OCCULT BOOKS, MAGICK BOOKS, PAGAN BOOKS & ALTERNATIVE MEDIA

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CIRCUS FREAKS, MEDICAL CURIOUSITIES
HUMAN ABNORMALITIES


Freak Babylon:
An Illustrated History of Teratology & Freakshows
By Jack Hunter


Freak Babylon is a startling, disturbing documentary of the history of one of mankind's most fascinating sciences--Teratology, the classification of human anomalies--and its dubious cultural correlative, the Freakshow, from ancient times to the present day. Featuring over 200 rare and intriguing photos of human anomalies, and covering the areas of scientific research, sideshows, cinema and body modification, it also includes a look at the controversial 1932 horror film Freaks, and looks at some famous case histories such as the Elephant Man and Johnny Eck. Freak Babylon shows how medical research and exploitation are often interlinked, and poses the question whether new sciences of cloning and genetic engineering are taking us back to the dark days of man-made freaks.
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Carny Folk
By Francine Hornberger


Here are Lionel the Lion-Faced Man, Otis the Frog Boy, Jeanie the Half-Girl, the Human Torso, the "What Is It?", and more than fifty other legendary sideshow acts. From P. T. Barnum's American Museum in New York City, to the traveling oddity museums linked to circuses and carnivals, to a whole new generation of "carny kids," the public has always been fascinated with the strange and misunderstood world of the sideshow attraction. This anthology pulls back the curtain on scores of the most famous sideshow celebrities, revealing the astounding, the curious, and the very, very unusual.
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The Phantom Museum:
And Henry Wellcome's Collection Of Medical Curiosities
By Danielle Olsen, Hildi Hawkins


A richly illustrated anthology of stories inspired by objects from Henry Wellcome's museum, one of the 20th century's most mysterious and bizarre collections. Businessman and philanthropist Sir Henry Wellcome—co–founder of Burroughs Wellcome & Co., one of the first giant pharmaceutical companies—was fascinated by anthropology and the history of medicine. His great ambition was to trace the story of the human body, in sickness and in health, through the entire sweep of history. By the time he died in 1936, he had built up one of the largest and most extraordinary museum collections in the world. Estimated to be five times the size of the Louvre, his collection is now scattered among a hundred institutions, including the Wellcome Trust, the British Museum, and the Science Museum in London. Beautiful, mysterious, and often disturbing, the objects Wellcome collected range from the ancient to the magical, the religious to the scientific. The Phantom Museum offers some personal responses to this vast but little–known collection. Playful and thought–provoking contributions from A. S. Byatt, Tobias Hill, Peter Blegvad, Helen Cleary, Hari Kunzru, and Gaby Wood combine text and images, fact and fiction, to consider how objects can be read depending on who views them and when.
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Snake Oil:
Life's Calculations, Misdirections, and Manipulations
By Jim Rose


The gyp, hoodwink, shuck, sandbag: An artform that has been passed down through generations of hustlers, con men, and freaks. Selling snake oil is the ultimate con, and readers will find within these pages everything from classic deceptions to the most recent of ruses. From fooling your friends to dangerous stage stunts, Jim Rose, snake oil salesman extraordinaire, provides new angles to old tricks. Those who dare to explore these pages will find themselved enticed by this special brand of snake oil. Step right up: it's all here. There's nothing it won't cure!
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Freaks, Geeks, And Strange Girls
By Teddy Varndell


Sideshows sprung up alongside traveling circuses across the United States in the mid 19th Century after the railway system linked both coasts, and they fully flourished in rural areas after the turn of the century. With their inexpensive promises of lurid delights, fantastic feats, and horrific "monstrosities," they were part magic show, part raunchy B-movie, and part wunderkammer, all in one. The barker and music might draw a customer close, but a well-executed banner might make or break an act. Firms sprang up across the country to handle demand, and the works are often astounding and lurid combinations of text and image. These works stand as one of the more fascinating cross-pollinations of illustration, signage and self-taught vernacular art in American history. They're also very un-PC and strangely beautiful. As with all modern advertising, the promise of the images rarely lived up to their accompanying pitches; the "Alligator Girl" just suffered from a dreadful skin condition, while the "Feejee Mermaid" was, you guessed it, not really a mermaid. The accompanying essays are all terse, fascinating, and tackle different aspects of the sideshow arts, the color illustrations plentiful and crisp. Even the most casual fan of tattooing knows that having Don "Ed" Hardy write an essay is a major coup. In the introductory essay, Lisa Stone and Randy Johnson rightly connect the lurid works to creations by margin-walking artists such as Ed Paschke, Karl Wirsum, and Joel-Peter Witkin. The photos of banners on location, as they looked back in the day, are especially interesting. While not the first or most definitive sampling of this work, it is easily the best.
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Freaks and Fire:
The Underground Reinvention of Circus


Beyond the historical confines of Ringling Bros. and the über-kitsch of Cirque du Soleil, tightly knit alternative circus troupes like Yard Dogs Road Show, Flam Chen, Circus Contraption, and other over-the-top groups bring thrill-starved audiences sometimes disturbing, sometimes exhilarating riffs on the classic circus. From the sick shockfests of the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow to the anarchic burlesque of the Bindlestiff Family Circus to the obscure but elegant puppetry of the Cloudseeding Circus of the Performative Object, Freaks and Fire celebrates the world of the underground circus. The voices of the performers themselves describe the grit and glamour of their art - from chaos-inducing performances to paying the rent. J. Dee Hill's provocative text and Phil Hollenbeck's lurid images explore the role of these self-styled freaks in society, along the way giving a snapshot of society itself, of the large audience these neo-vaudevillians seek to dazzle and challenge.
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Freaks
DVD


First time ever on DVD!
So disturbing that it was banned for 30 years!

Tod Browning, who directed Bela Lugosi in the original Dracula, stepped into even eerier territory with this 1932 story of betrayal and retribution in the circus. Evil trapeze artist Olga Baclanova seduces and marries a midget in the circus sideshow, hoping to inherit his wealth. But in doing so, she has crossed the wrong folks: the tightly knit group of nature's aberrations, who stick together like family--and who set out to avenge their little pal. Browning brought in some of the most famous sideshow attractions of the era, include Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton and Johnny Eck the Legless Boy, as well as Zip and Pip, microcephalics whose appearance in this film inspired cartoonist Bill Griffith to create his comic strip, "Zippy the Pinhead."
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Monsters:
Human Freaks in America's Gilded Age
By Chas Eisenmann


Called "monsters" by the medical profession, the subjects of this photographic collection made their living appearing in circuses, side shows, and living museums across America from the 1880s through the 1890s. Photographer Charles Eisenmann captured the images of these unusual people within his New York studio apartment. Originally released in 1979, this new edition includes the 80 original images and background information to place the subject of each performer within America's Gilded Age. Also included is a discussion of Eisenmann's photographic techniques.
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The Dr. Ikkaku Ochi Collection:
Medical Photographs from Japan Around 1900
By Naruyama, Gloeden, Molinier, Eisenmann


In an inconspicuous wooden box that had long gone unopened, Akimitsu Naruyama discovered 365 photographs of people with congenital and pathological deformations. After looking at just a few pictures, the Japanese art dealer and collector knew that he had discovered an extraordinary collection. A doctor and photography enthusiast, Ikkaku Ochi practiced his profession in Okayama, one of Japan's southern islands. He had his patients photographed during the last decade of the 19th century, producing images that are strikingly distinct from contemporary medical photographs, which serve as mere educational material and rarely as sensitive portraits of the diseased. Ochi's patients were recorded with dignity and respect, though the exposed, diseased parts of their bodies are explicitly documented and not for the squeamish. Individual photographs reveal the physical manifestations of syphilis in its final stages, elephantiasis of the testes or breasts, and other medical conditions--conditions that today are almost completely suppressed by medication or vaccination. Cruel and melancholic, these photographs seen today possess an undeniable elegance and uncomfortable beauty, qualities that Akimitsu Naruyama recognized immediately when he opened that forgotten wooden box.
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The Last Sideshow
By Hanspeter Schneider


The Last Sideshow is a wonderful chronicle of an American community of traveling circus performers. Populated solely by sideshow "Freaks" and circus performers, Gibsonton, Florida, is a fascinating and unique community. The images in this book are Hanspeter Schneider's outstanding personal record of the town and the people that live there. They are a permanent record, showing beauty, humour and above all understanding.
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Shrunken Heads:
Tsantsa Trophies and Human Exotica
James L. Castner


Shrunken heads are ceremonial artifacts that were produced by the Jivaroan Indian cultures of Ecuador and Peru. Their creation and existence fascinates some, repulses others, but intrigues almost everyone. They are human heads reduced to approximately the size of a fist for ceremonial and cultural purposes. This reduction process is described step by step, as is its significance. This book accomplishes several objectives in five chapters. First, it discusses the Shuar (Jivaro) culture and explains the cultural significance behind taking and shrinking heads. Second, it methodically explains how to differentiate between an authentic tsantsa (a head shrunk by the Jívaro and used ceremonially) and non-ceremonial human heads fabricated by others for sale to collectors and curiosity seekers. Third, it discusses how shrunken heads have been portrayed and viewed in western cultures past and present. Finally, full-page portraits of more than 40 shrunken heads are presented in the last chapter. An extensive bibliography allows readers to locate pertinent literature and original accounts or reports.
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Mutter Museum:
Of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia
By Gretchen Worden


Home to over 20,000 mind-boggling anatomic specimens, plaster casts, wax models, and paintings, the Mutter Museum, founded in 1858, is part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. This book features over 100 photographs by a select group of renowned photographers whose work appears in the award-winning Mutter Museum calendars. Highlights include a bust of an early-19th-century Parisian widow with a six-inch horn protruding from the forehead; the connected livers of Chang and Eng, the world-famous Siamese twins; the skeleton of a 7'6" giant from Kentucky; and a collection of 139 skulls showing anatomic variation among ethnic groups in central and eastern Europe. Historical photographs from the museum's archives, brief background texts about the collection, stunning photographs by acclaimed photographers including William Wegman and Joel-Peter Witkinand, and an introductory essay on the museum are also included.
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A Morning's Work:
Medical Photographs from the Burns Archive
By Stanley Burns


Burns is an ophthamlic surgeon, but his true passion is vintage photography. He has assembled a collection of more than half a million images and has authored or coauthored works on memorial photography, medical photography, and hand-colored daguerreotypes. Here he presents 127 images in as many pages and then another 50 or so pages of notes, providing specifics of the photographs and extensive discussion of the condition or medical practices shown. More than a few gruesome images are included, though the warm tones of the printing and the antique dress have an anesthetizing effect on the viewer. There are also a good number of images depicting obsolete mid-19th-century practices. The chronological arrangement does impart a sense of progress as we move from images of horrible deformity through pictures of amputation during the Civil War to photos of reparative surgery following World War I.
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Mutants:
On Genetic Variety and the Human Body
By Armand Marie Leroi


A brilliant narrative account of our genetic grammar and the people whose bodies have revealed it, balancing both the science and the stories behind some of history's most captivating figures-including a French convent girl who found herself changing sex upon puberty; children who, echoing Homer's Cyclops, are born with a single eye in the middle of their foreheads; a village of long-lived Croatian dwarves; a hairy family who was kept at the Burmese royal court for four generations (and from whom Darwin took one of his keenest insights into heredity); and the ostrich-footed Wadoma of the Zambezi River Valley. Stepping effortlessly from myth to molecular biology, this elegant, humane, and illuminating book is about us all.
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Seeing Is Believing:
America's Side Shows
By A. W. Stencell


From striptease midgets, human pin cushions, and monkeys in miniature race cars to trained fleas and people with double bodies, three legs, and enormous feet, this chronicle of twisted midway attractions and the showmen who have presented them covers it all. The history of the circus side show and its companion, the carnival, is celebrated in words and rare, eye-popping images, making this a must for all collectors and enthusiasts. Interviews with many of the big players on the carnival circuit are included.
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Ripley's Special Edition 2005
By Ripley's Believe It Or Not


It Can't Be...Can It? Within these pages, you'll find hundreds of outrageous BRAND-NEW oddities from the fascinating files of Robert Ripley -- fantastic facts and astonishing acts sure to awe and impress: California man rides a motorcycle shaped like an electric guitar! - 1989 Volkswagen Jetta now runs on used vegetable oil from fast-food restaurants instead of fuel.- Chuck Christensen collects spider venom for a living - and shares his home with 50,000 spiders! There's nothing stranger than the truth... Believe It Or Not!
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Cabinet of Medical Curiosities
By Jan Bondeson


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Freaks:
We Who Are Not As Others
By Daniel P. Mannix


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James Taylor's Shocked and Amazed:
On & Off the Midway


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Freak Show:
Presenting Human Oddities for Amusement and Profit
By Robert Bogdan


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Freakery:
Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body
By Rosemarie Garland Thomson


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Memoirs of a Sword Swallower
By Daniel P. Mannix


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Side Show:
My Life With Geeks, Freaks & Vagabonds in the Carny Trade
By Howard Bone


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Jay's Journal of Anomalies


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The Two-Headed Boy,
and Other Medical Marvels

By Jan Bondeson


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Lobster Boy
By Fred Rosen


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Conjoined Twins:
Historical, Biological and Ethical Issues Encyclopedia
By Christine Quigley


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Millie-Christine:
Fearfully And Wonderfully Made
By Joanne Martell


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Chang and Eng:
A Novel
By Darin Strauss


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The True History of the Elephant Man
By Michael Howell


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Geek Love
By Katherine Dunn


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The Bone House
By Joel-Peter Witkin


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