Friday, September 2, 2011
Schlitzie Surtees - The Most Famous Freak of the 20th Century
According to many sources, Schlitzie had to wear a dress to hide diapers (he had incontinence). The idea to present him as a girl appeared later on. Schlitzie often was dressed in a muumuu in public.
At those times microcephaly was very popular in carnival business. People watched microcephalics as if they were aliens. Mircocephaly is a disorder that leaves people with very small brain, skull and a stature. Schlitzie had the cognizance of a 3-year-old child.
The history doesn’t mention Schlitzie’s birth parents. They were probably drunkards or beggards, and most likely sold their sick child to a sideshow.
People who knew Schlitzie said he was affectionate and sociable person. He enjoyed dancing and singing. Throughout his life-long career, Schlitzie was a major sideshow attraction. He was performing the sideshow circuit till his death at the age of 70 of pneumonia.