Archive for Sideshow

084-Carnival Foods?


The thrills of the carnival lie in the bright lights, fun games and crazy rides. Although the sights and sounds are unmistakable the tastes of the carnival are the true reason to celebrate. From sweet to salty, hot to cold there are carnival foods for every flavor.

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083-Noteworthy Animals III : That’s Fowl?


We realized that we were lacking birds in our previous noteworthy animals episodes. We decided to make is up the entire avian branch with an episode dedicated to them.

With Special Guest Jason Cavegn

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Lake Champlain sits between Vermont and Upstate New York. It is the vacation spot for many in the area as well as being used by commercial fisherman. There has been many sightings of something strange near the surface of the lake.

Special guest:

Frank Tybush



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Taxidermy is derived from the Greek words taxis meaning movement and derma meaning skin. We talk about what is taxidermy and what it isn’t. Its eerie to record amongst animals skins that used to be alive, placed in their eternal stance.

This episode we welcome guests Greg Hatem, owner of Bazaar and Robert Marbury author of Taxidermy Art.

Taxidermy Art

This Episode recorded inside Bazaar curiosity shop.


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A Night of Tiki Culture March 20th

The Curioso Podcast celebrates their second annual live show with an homage to island and Tiki culture. This themed evening hosted by Christopher Scarborough and Joe Taylor, boasts a cavalcade of fantastic performances. Gaze upon the lovely visage of Lady Rockwell as she transports you to a luau with her burlesque stylings. Louisa Hall brings her aggressive joyfulness through the strings of her ukulele. See the hula hooping gyrations of the lovely Liz Christmas. Become transfixed by stunt entertainer and anatomical wonder Dangerous D in his first East Coast performance since appearing in AMC’s Freakshow and America’s Got Talent.

Buy your tickets here:

$12 Adv/ $15 DOS Backstage / Doors at 9:00



Sponsored by:

Freestate Guitars

Deville Ink



052-Robert Ripley?


Robert Ripley has left behind a massive legacy all tied to the words Believe it or Not! He has had his hand in cartooning newspapers, hosting radio and television shows and of course his many Odditoriums around the world. Ripley traveled the word collecting oddities and stories to display them to the masses. During this episode we speak with Nora the regional manager for the Maryland Ripley’s Odditoriums. She is a lifelong Ripley fan, as are we and we a great time discussing his early life as a sports champion, his travels and his harem. Robert Ripley wore many hats in his day and even owned his own private island. This episode was recorded inside of the Baltimore location which we toured directly after.

Companion Video:

Here’s a link to the PBS documentary we discussed in the episode.
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042-Jack the Ripper?


Jack the Ripper is the first sensationalized serial killer. His reign of terror was in the Whitechapel district of London, England over several months in 1888. His victims were exclusively prostitutes who were mutilated after death. Several letters were sent to the police supposedly penned by the Ripper most discounted as hoaxes. One of the most intriguing aspects of the case is that is has never been solved. Some recent clues have been brought to light having to do with DNA found on some of the articles near one of the crime scenes.

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Vaudeville was the most popular form of American entertainment from its rise in the 1880s through 1930s. It played much the same a role in people’s lives that radio and later television would for later generations. Many early radio, television and film stars began as vaudeville performers. It was variety entertainment, consisting of a diverse series of short acts. The acts ranged from singing groups, animal acts, comedians, contortionists, magicians to short musical plays. Very rarely freaks or sideshow acts were performed.

Special Guests:

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The Curioso on Charles live Vaudeville variety show.


The Curioso Podcast is hosting a vaudeville style variety show as our first live event! We are super excited as we have gathered some of the best talent around the state to perform titillating burlesque, sensational sideshow arts and majestic musical comedy! Let me introduce you to the performers:

Valeria Voxx is a member of BlackTassel BoolesqueTassl , the
mid-Atlantic region’s only spooky burlesque troupe. She knows that the fastest way to a man’s heart is between his second and third rib, and while she doesn’t wear her heart on her sleeve, she might wear yours…If it matches her outfit that day. She’s the fiery red head that gets your soul all hot and bothered!

Speaking of Hot and Bothered we have musical guests Oliver Hot and Stanley Bothered! That Neo-Vaudevillian duo who dresses well and plays music even weller.

Shaggy Wilcox has been a stoic sight around Charles street for years. Now catch him performing his newly learned sideshow stunts for the first time! If there’s any chance of things going wrong its definitely the first time and you wont want to miss it!

Check out the facebook event page here!

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World Sword Swallowers Day 2014

This past Saturday the winter seemed to give way to spring. It was a short reprieve but the skies could not have been clear on a better date. It happened to be on my new favorite holiday.

I began trying to sword swallow in 2007 at the Coney Island sideshow school. It was the last year that Todd Robbins taught the class. Little did I know I was in the company of others who would become performers in their own right. Mike Vitka I know was working for the World of Wonders as well as stumbling in to him in Salem Massachusetts on my honeymoon. He was running a museum show my wife and I visited. Tony Gangi wound up writing an amazing book Carny Sideshows: Weird wonders of the Midway, describing the trials of learning his skills. It was amazing meeting and furthering my knowledge of sideshow with these great people. The thing is, I already knew some of the basics, blockhead and quite a few strongman stunts. The real aim was swallowing swords. With the least amount of damage to my body as possible. It would take longer than I thought.

Last year was my first experience swallowing for the crowds in front of Ripleys. If your keeping count it took me about six years to learn the art. I became a member of the SSAI (Sword Swallowers Association International)that day. I feel as though I was inducted into a group of people unlike any other. Almost a secret society of amazing people stupid enough to shove sharp pointy things down their throats for applause.

This years Sword Swallowing Day I again spent the day at Baltimore Ripley’s. Baltimore being my home town and all. James Taylor of Shocked and Amazed was there to offer his insight to the weird and wonderful. Nora the general manager as always was pleasure to work with. I had the opportunity to perform with Tyler Fire and Thrill Kill Jill from the Lucky Daredevil Thrillshow. They are a sword swallowing sideshow duo that is due to have more members soon. Right now Jill is pregnant with their third child and is still dropping blades. Yes she is the first pregnant sword swallower. I took the stage for a half hour strongman demonstration. Ripping decks of cards in half and rolling up frying pans and the ilk.

Of course when 2:22 came it was time to perform the big swallow. This is the moment when sword swallowers around the word drop their blades all at once. The curious get a chance to see something live that they would have only seen on YouTube. Trust me it’s much more impressive live.

written by Christopher Scarborough

World Sword Swallower’s Day 2014 results!
•Hollywood 11 SwSws swallowed 25 swords totaling 511 inches or 42 feet of steel – including the World’s Tallest Sword Swallower!
•New York Times Square 13 SwSws swallowed 22 swords for a total of 437 inches – including 5 female sword swallowers!
•Atlantic City 1 SwSw swallowed 1 sword for …a total of 19 inches… while sandwiched between TWO BEDS of NAILS!
•Baltimore 3 SwSws swallowed 3 swords for a total of 63 inches… and one of them was PREGNANT!
•Myrtle Beach 1 SwSw swallowed 1 sword for a total of 16 inches
•Gatlinburg 3 SwSws swallowed 11 swords for a total of 253 inches
•St. Augustine 5 SwSws swallowed 15 swords for a total of 327 inches – including the World’s Youngest Female Sword Swallower at 15 – and they traveled the MOST MILES – 7693 miles – from Vermont, Indiana, Georgia, and all the way from Bavaria GERMANY!
•Key West 1 SwSw swallowed 1 sword at 25 inches – This was the most SOUTHERNMOST sword swallow of the day!
•Branson 1 SwSw swallowed 1 sword at 24 inches
•Dallas Grand Prairie 3 SwSws swallowed 6 swords at 134 inches – Including one sword swallower balancing on a high unicycle!
•San Francisco 1 SwSw swallowed 1 sword at 16 inches
•Arizona Science Museum Ripley’s Exhibit 1 SwSw swallowed 1 sword at 22 inches – to an audience of about 400!
•Genting Hills Malaysia 1 SwSw swallowed 1 sword at 18 inches – the most EASTERLY location from the US!
Last Year’s Record – World Sword Swallower’s Day 2013:
44 Sword Swallowers swallowed 76 swords totalling 1517 inches or 126 feet of steel at 18 Ripley’s museums
Total for World Sword Swallower’s Day 2014:
45 Sword Swallowers swallowed 89 swords totalling 1865 inches or 155 feet of steel at 13 Ripley’s & 1 Science Museum