This could be fantasy if it weren't true. Who are the Comprachicos?

For the first time term "compracikos" appeared in the novel Victor Hugo "The Man Who Laughs". The preface of this work reveals the whole essence of the craft of these people. Verbatim "comprachicos" translated from Spanish as "buyers of children". Such people could work both as a group and alone. Often children were bought or simply stolen. Then they deliberately mutilated their face, body, and then sold them.

comprachicos viktor gygo

The "profession" of koprachikos was widespread in Europe (although there is evidence that freaks were created all over the world) in the 13-17th centuries. The fairly large popularity of this craft was caused primarily by the fact that non-standard, frightening and mutilated people were very popular. They were hired with pleasure, bought in traveling circuses, fairs, they also made jesters out of them.

circus freaks

Such people could often be found in the houses of eminent gentlemen, who, against the background of freaks, seemed to be a certain “perfection”. They also made beggars from such children, who evoked a feeling of pity, and sometimes horror, in everyone who met and saw them.

Particularly "appreciated" were people who were already born with certain bodily changes or who had been ill with rare ailments that changed their appearance beyond recognition. In the 19th and early 20th centuries were very popular Freak Circuses, Freak Showswhere unique people were gathered. For example, a lion-faced man - Stefan Bibrowski, who suffered from hypertrichosis - is excessive hair growth in places where only vellus hair usually grows.

Stephan Bibrowsky

Penguin Girl and Seal Boy - disease fokomeliя, in which the hands and / or feet are attached directly to the body, without shoulders, forearms, shins.

malchik tulen

Чhuman - super elastic skin. Felix Werle suffered from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, in which a person's skin becomes incredibly elastic.

chelovek elastichnay kozha

Дelephant skin girl - Charlotte Linda Vogel had the diseaseepidermolytic hyperkeratosis), in which the skin became gray, thick and formed deep folds.

camel girl Ella Harper suffered from knee buckling syndrome.

woman baby - Medusa van Allen, who was called "Little Miss Sunshine", suffered from a genetic bone disease, due to which only her head grew.

miss rosina freaks

bearded women - the growth of a beard in such women was due to an excess of androgenic (male) hormones in the female body.

borodataya zhenshina

How were freaks created?

Most often, comprachikos bought, stole children who were two or three years. This was due to the fact that it is at this age that a person is easy to “reshape”, soft bones are easily deformed.

One of the most common ways was the following: a boy or a girl was placed in a barrel or vase without a bottom: the head remained on the surface, and the legs could move freely. The child grew and gradually began to repeat the shape of the vessel. When the deformation was completed, the container was broken. The "client" could place an order for a freak of any shape.

koprichosi circus

Facial disfigurement. In this case, the "compracikos" showed imagination. They could cut off the nose, ears, make a smile “from ear to ear”, cutting the mouth, inflict many scars, burns on the face, make the child cross-eyed or completely blind, pull out all the teeth.

Also, children were methodically soldered with alcohol, in the sources devoted to this topic, there are even references to the fact that they were bathed in bathtubs filled with wine. Girls and boys were starved into "living skeletons", rickets. There was a downside - the child was fattened and he turned into a fat man.

Manipulations with joints, bones. Also, children were often broken and deformed joints and bones, thus making cripples and hunchbacks. Or they simply “trained” the child for incredible flexibility.

ugly photo

Operations on the larynx. In England, until the end of the 17th century, comprachos sold "cockerels" to the royal court. So they called people with specifically deformed vocal cords - in childhood they underwent laryngeal surgery (it led to the fact that a person acquired a voice similar to a cock, but could no longer control swallowing saliva). These unfortunates were obliged to walk around the palace at night and every hour to publish a cock's cry, repeating it as many times as there were hours.

freak circus story

But it was not only the comprachicos who were engaged in mutilating people. Sometimes parents themselves made monsters out of their children, sold them to circuses. Thus earning good money. For example, some women during pregnancy pulled their belly with a corset, thereby the child did not have the opportunity to develop normally and he was born handicapped.

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