SideshowBefore video transmissions enabled the conveyance of freakery world-wide, and before we understood (generally) that bizzare monsters didn't lurk in every corner and within every forest, the world was a scary place. Sometimes we bled and didn't understand why, and other times we'd happen across a person with a strange ailment and think it was the work of spirits or from a strange sin. But while we didn't know why it all happened, we still wanted to see it. And it wasn't that hard for someone to figure out that if he came upon a person with an obvious defect, others might pay money to see it.
Thus was born the Freak Show, a display of human (and non-human) grotesquery that travelled the countryside, offering a glimpse at what we might otherwise never see, or want to see.