Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The Dark Story of The Lobster Boy

  1. Oct 18, 2014 #1
    When I was a kid growing up in New England, there was a carnival in the vicinity every summer. I never went, but other kids came back with tales of nudie dancing you could watch if you found the right loose tent flap. As far as I remember, none of my friends ever found that loose tent flap. If they got close to the "adults only" tent, some carney would come along and chase them away. The quest for that legendary loose tent flap, though, kept boys returning to the carnival every year.

    But, they also came back with tales of the "Lobster Boy." He was billed as a boy born with lobster claws instead of hands. If you paid to go in and see him, what you got was a miserable looking man (not a boy at all) with deformed hands and feet, lying in a plastic childs swimming pool half full of water (as if, being part lobster, they had to keep him wet). He was pretty much the classic sideshow freak; objectified and gawked at.

    The fourth season of American Horror Story, which started airing last week, is based around a carnival freakshow, and one of the main characters is "Lobster Boy." He is the offspring of the bearded woman and the circus strongman, which, of course, makes complete biological sense, and they are portraying him as a good guy freak: loyal to the others and a fighter for their rights.

    The real "Lobster Boy," history now tells us, was a violent, abusive drunkard, and outcast among freaks. He eventually descended to murder, and, when he got off with probation only, he was, himself, murdered. He was so hated in his community, that no one was willing to be his pall bearer.

    His name was Grady Stiles. If you've been watching American Horror Story: Freakshow, you might be interested in the dark story of the real Lobster Boy:




    Post your tales of Lobster Boys, freak shows, carnivals, and loose tent flaps.
  2. jcsd
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Can you offer guidance or do you also need help?
Draft saved Draft deleted