I've always loved fairs but I was never one for freak shows much...they scared me and I felt strange and guilty if I looked at the freaks.
But when I was a child I saw a show at the fair that really freaked me out. I went in to see it by myself (my mother didn't want to bother). It was a lady who's head was "disconnected".
Perhaps like the "headless girl" or "headless woman" but I think they called her the "disconnected lady". I don't remember any tubes coming out of where her head would have been.
Her body was on one side of the exibition as you come in, in a hospital bed. She had no head and she had a pretty nightgown on with ruffles where her head would have been connected to her body so that you couldn't see the place where her head was cut off.
Her body would move...she would lift her arm and scratch or whatever.
After you saw her body, you walked past a bunch of medical computer controls (supposedly keeping her alive or monitoring her) and I seem to remember some people who looked like doctors in the background (although my memory is vague of that, I could just be making that up in my memory).
On the other side of the controls was her head, sitting on a table with nothing underneath it.
She was talking, at first I thought she was just talking randomly but then she looked at me and said "hello".
FREAKED ME OUT!
I almost always realized that this show was a fake, illusion or whatever...but I always wondered how they were able to do it.
Do you have any history on this show? I know I'll never forget it.
Love your site, thanks.
Doris, I have posed this question to many showmen, most haven't heard of the Single O.
I received this recollection from Pete K.
I vaguely recall Isabelle White telling me about a single-o her father Charlie White owned that featured this two illusion combo.
We were playing Houston Tx circa '83, I had a Headless and Belle had her dad's Spidora up. We got to talking and she told me about her dad's Headless and as I recall it sounded very much like the one in the question. Pete K.
I have posted your question here in hopes that someone may have more information about the single-o. I will post any and all information submitted
If you have information about the Disconnected Women please email us Sideshow World
August 1, 2013
I was a ‘Disconnected Lady’
I just saw this and can see no dates so I hope you all are still around.
I have an answer.
I was a ‘Disconnected Lady’ many years ago at the Oregon State Fair 1971. My friends father (we were about to enter high school) was a PR man for the fair that year and got us the jobs. What a job! The couple who owned several side shows that year were from Florida and they needed to hire three local girls for their DL show.
This was how it worked: A trailer was used one side having a big Plexiglas window running the entire length. People would climb a few stairs and walk along a platform running end to end and this is what they saw: On the far right side was a hospital bed with vital ‘tubing’ coming out of my neck and into a giant machine in the mid section. Mirrors hid my head which was tilted back, my upper body in the upright position. Medical (ish) monitors in the mid section pulsed and beeped and kept me ‘alive’. Then on the far left of the trailer the tubes came out of the machines and into ‘my head’ which was sitting on a small table where a microphone was placed. Essentially, one girl laid in the bed covered up, one was the head and one took a break for an hour when we switched places. Body and head kept alive by the ‘technology’ of the times so to speak. It was weird, hilarious and a peak into carny life all rolled into one. Despite how fake it seemed to us, some people who came through believed it, most didn’t or were very skeptical. Some wanted their money back. Nuns prayed for us. A cowboy star came through. People asked questions of ‘the head’. Our script was this: “I’d” had a ‘cancerous type growth’ on my neck requiring this one in a million surgery and now travelled the country to pay my medical bills. When one of us was the ‘head’ we donned a wig and sunglasses, an attempt at consistency.
I remember getting paid in cash every night.
I remember the owners and how the woman was much older than the man but they were a couple. She had very tan skin and smelled like cigarettes and truly cheap perfume. They had a couple kids, nice but they seemed a little wild.
It almost seemed like a dream but it wasn’t. I knew at the time it was something to be able to have a peak at another lifestyle and now, another time altogether.
Not long after that they cracked down on those types of shows and out righted banned most. Too bad. It seemed innocent enough compared to the ways one can part with money today. The fair was to me always mix of corny and farm life couple w/ a suggestion of sex ( w/ the lights and the rides and the boys especially at night) and the signal of the passing of summer, with school starting as soon as it ended. It was curly fries and corn dogs when you couldn’t get them anywhere else. It was seeing who was working where because a lot of kids could earn money in a short span by serving sodas or cotton candy or Scones. It was a way to step out and grow up a little. It was cows and chickens and FFA and 4H and flowers. It was everything. It was wonderful.
I think I’m gonna cry now.
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