American Horror Story: Factual Freaks

American Horror Story, one of the most popular series in television at the moment, is into it’s 4th and creepiest season. This time around the cast is the placed in the midst of a run-down circus show.  The actors from previous seasons such as Jessica Lang, and Evan Peters are casted as persons with interesting abilities and disabilities, some of which are based on real people which adds to the shock and awe factor of the show.

Nicodemus the Indescribable

nic indescro

If you are familiar with the show and have seen the title sequence you will notice that there are many animated “creatures” that inhabit the sideshow. One of them that can be seen hobbling through the tents is a man with an incredible disformity. This man has a norma sized torso and one normal arm. The remaining three limbs are shrunk and attached at the wrist and ankle rather than with the whole arm or leg. His name was Nicodemus and he was born 1863 with extreme difformities. He joined a freak show where he was known for being an amazing acrobat and incredibly strong despite his disabilities. He died sometime after 1908. The causes of death are unkown.

Lobster Boy


“Lobster Boy” can also be seen in the title sequence of the show but is also portrayed by Evan Peters as “Jimmy”. While Jimmy is a main character in the show, the plot does not reflect  many similarities to his actual life.  The Lobster Boy that you see in the title sequence is a animation of an actual picture of Grady Stiles Jr.. He was born with a condition called ectrodactyly, a disformity that is caused by genetics that results in fused fingers and toes.

Three-Legged “Freak”


Once again this oddity can be seen as an animated version in the title sequence of AHS. Although this one seems like a made-up character implemented by a creative team to scares and disgust the audience, this is 100% real. Within the sequence you see a naked human ( hard to tell gender ) with three legs and the middle leg appears to be more like male genitals. It took me a few times to see this before I really realized what I was looking at. This malformity belongs to Blanche Dumas, a woman born in the Caribean Islands in the early 1800’s. Yes, she really did have a third leg AND both sets of male and female genitalia. Dumas moved to Paris where she became a prositute.

There are plenty of other oddities seen both in the show and the title sequence. As unreal as the majority of them may see all of the characters are based off real people. And if you haven’t seen the show, here’s the title sequence and I would highly recommend watching it if you can bare it.


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