At what point in time did freak shows (as in, two-headed pigs, dead mermaid, other deformed or faked creatures) become widely known as fakes?
Or, to state this another way, would carnivalgoers at the turn of the century (maybe 1902-05) actually believe in the things they were shown, or would it be more of a amusing fake to them, like it's generally treated today?
How early ahead of time would the shows be advertised? I've read that they were generally advertised as the circus moved into town, relying on word of mouth.
When a circus came to town, wht was the religious response? Would churches preach against it?
Would a nine or ten-year-old (girl) be considered too young to look at the freak show part of the circus? I know today we would think young children would be scared, but the social standards were different.
If anyone knows where I could find more information, I'd be forever grateful.