Actual Life Story Of The Woolly Girl: The Tragic Fate Of A Freak Show Star Not Destined To Become Popular

Date June 14, 2019

Children with rare genetic abnormalities have been born both now and always. Some people courageously raised their unique sons and daughters, some were ashamed and hid them, while others simply got rid of the unwanted descendants. At the same time, there have been those who used their “features” to earn money in once-popular freak shows.

When the popularity of the circus was incredibly low, and the strong men and gymnasts were no longer interesting, people desired emotions that bordered disgust. For this reason, freak and monster shows were a rather profitable business. Of course, for their owners, not the artists.

Alice Doherty was born in 1887 in Minneapolis and became the only child with her rare diagnosis in the USA. The entire body of the baby with piercing blue eyes was covered with blond hair reaching 2 inches, which became longer with age. The girl was born with a rare anomaly: hypertrichosis. This condition is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of hair throughout the body. This birth defect was particularly strange since there were no similar cases in Doherty’s family.

The respected parents didn’t get rid of the daughter. But their concern gained commercial interest when the girl was only 2 years old. She started making a living since this age: the mother exhibited her at a freak show.

The kid had several nicknames: The Minnesota Woolly Girl, The Dog-Faced Girl, and many other offensive names. It seemed that no one was interested that she was a genius beyond her age, curious, and very shy.

Alice was “a unique exhibit.” She entered the stage and caused an incredible interest among the ladies who loved to attend sideshows. They touched her face with particular attention, which would have been pretty if it weren't for the hair covering it. Some of the people even suspected that the kid’s mother was gluing it.

Alice didn’t get pleasure from her job, but continued to “perform,” trying to support the family financially. She left the circus only in 1915, moving to Texas later. In 1933, the life of the “woolly girl” was cut short for unknown reasons. Such a rare defect could have made her much more wealthy, but it didn’t happen. Perhaps Alice was more apathetic on stage compared to her “colleagues,” who simply bathed in the rays of such dubious glory. One of them was Stephan Bibrowski, who was born in Poland in 1890.

The mother of the hairy boy believed that his “lion’s” appearance was the result of an attack by a real lion on her husband. The woman became a witness to this incident during pregnancy. Stephan was only 4 when her mother gave him up to the German impresario. The boy toured around Europe, and later America.


Публикация от Freaks (@freaksofmoon)

The “program” included a demonstration of “beastly” manners that in reality weren’t characteristic of him. At the same time, he performed gymnastic tricks and talked with the audience, showing his kind-heartedness and extraordinarily good nature. By the time of his death in 1932, the Lion-faced Man was famous and wealthy.

Alice could have become as famous and popular as Stephan, but her case turned out to be different, despite her mother trying to make her a “star.” Perhaps the woman had no other choice. Maybe she didn’t care about her daughter’s life and happiness because of the unusual appearance? Well, we will never know.