Alice Elizabeth Doherty was one of the most fantastic American freaks of all time, the only known person born in the United States with the exceedingly rare condition hypertrichosis lanuginosa or "dog-faced" hypertrichosis. Nevertheless she remained quite a minor figure on the turn-of-the-century museum scene, never attaining the same fame and fortune as her charming foreign competitors Fedor Jeftichew (Jo-Jo) and Stephan Bilgraski (Lionel). It seems more than likely that quiet Alice simply didnít enjoy the attention.


"Alice, The Minnesota Woolly Girl" was born in Minneapolis on March 14, 1887, to normal parents who had a son and another daughter who were also normal. At birth, Alice was covered all over in two-inch long, silky blonde hair. She began her exhibition career at the age of two. "Alice, as she is called, is only two years of age, but is as bright as a silver dollar and shows intelligence far beyond her years," commented a writer in Waukesha, Wisconsin. "She has pretty blue eyes, and is as frolicsome as a kitten." She also, at the time, had no teeth, and no signs that she would ever grow any.


By the age of 5, she was touring the Midwest with her mother, playing storefront engagements with Professor Wellerís One-Man Band. "This curious little girl seems to be especially interesting to the ladies," wrote one reporter of Aliceís engagement at the Carter Building in Decatur, Illinois. "They find a remarkably bright child on a platform with her mother....Some of the ladies examined the childís features, thinking to find that the hair on her face had been put there with hands. They found that it had grown there. The childís face is round, and would be pretty if it were not hidden by the light, almost white, hair, five to nine inches long, which grows all over the face as thickly as hair grows on the heads of ordinary children. On her body, which is covered with her clothing, the hair does not grow so long, but is quite thick."


Alice's family relocated to Dallas, Texas, sometime between 1900 and 1910, and it was here that Alice retired in 1915. She passed away on June 13, 1933, of unknown causes, at the age of just 46.


Elizabeth Anderson


The Forgotten Sideshow

Alice Doherty

"The Minnesota Woolly Baby"




Born March 14th 1887


Alice E. Doherty,  was billed as The Minnesota Woolly Baby,

She had a  very rare genetic mutation known as Hypertrichosis.

Although the statistic has been cited that this only occurs for 1 out of 10 billion people,

19 people alive today have hypertrichosis, out of ~6.5 billion people in the world,

makes for an average of 1 in 340 million.


Click on Images to Enlarge


First 5 images Special Thanks to and TheDoghouseArchive"

Alice & Her Mother,

Circa 1890's

Alice  -  Mother


 Alice & Family

 Alice Doherty

Alice Age 7








 Alice Doherty

The Worlds

Greatest Wonder

Midway Show

The Worlds

Greatest Wonder

Next 9 images - Special Thanks to Neil Davis

 Alice & Family




Alice  -  Mother

Alice Worlds Greatest Wonder

The Worlds Greatest Wonder

 Alice & Friends on Horseback


Hypertrichosis is a medical term, also known as "Wolfitis" or "Werewolf syndrome", referring to a condition of excessive body hair. It can be generalized, symmetrically affecting most of the torso and limbs, or localized, affecting an area of skin. It may be mild or severe. In most cases, the term is used to refer to an above-average amount of normal body hair that is unwanted and is an aspect of human variability.

In medical practice, once generalized hypertrichosis has been distinguished from hirsutism it is most often considered a variation of normal, primarily resulting from genetic factors.

Most of the people recently featured in the media with hypertrichosis are from the Aceves clan of Loreto, Zacatecas, Mexico, some of whom have emigrated to the United States. Various of them have worked for circuses. The brothers Victor Ramon "Danny" Ramos and Gabriel "Larry" Ramos have worked as acrobats. Their cousins, Jesus "Chuy" Aceves and his sister, Lili, have worked in sideshows.






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