Mythica von Griffyn on the Colorado Bigfoot, Bat Boy and the tattooed, bearded lady
Mythica von Griffyn has a long history in the haunted house business, where she first started working when she was only fourteen, and she's also known as a multi-talented poet, chalk artist and body painter. That considered, Mythica is a match made in heaven as the Freak Show manager for the Denver County Fair: She truly knows her way around a creepshow, and everyone knows that you go to a freak show to be creeped out. Fair promoter Dana Cain always knew from the very start that she wanted to host a freak show as an integral part of the whole event, and this will be a dandy, with its medicine show barkers, aliens in jars and Bat Boy in the flesh. We asked Mythica a few questions about what to expect.
Westword: So, how is the Freak Show coming along?
Mythica von Griffyn: It's shaping up great! The entire freak show will be like a tribute to P.T. Barnum.
What are some of the attractions people will see?
Well, we have the Colorado Bigfoot, and it's amazing: People will be able to go in there and stand right up there and take a picture with it. The story goes that some people hiking in a remote part of Colorado found it at the bottom of rock slide, and we're assuming that the creature was killed in an avalanche and then thawed out in the spring when the people found it. That's our story, and we're stickin' to it.
There's also a tribute to Fruita's Mike the Headless Wonder Chicken. The original Mike died, but a version of him will be there. And we have a tattooed, bearded lady, too (usually, you just have one or the other), and boy is she smokin'! She's like something right right out of a burlesque show. Normally the freaks are ugly, but this one is drop-dead gorgeous!
One thing about the freak shows in Victorian times is that they had lots of things in jars. One thing we have is a brain in a jar that's rumored to have somehow been taken from P.T. Barnum before he was buried. It's good to save such an amazing mind. Also, we have an alien baby fetus reported to have been smuggled out of the area in Colorado above the sand dunes. A lot of things in the show have to do with all the amazing ghost stories and rumors about places in Colorado. We have a lot of cool stuff in our state.
We've lured the Colorado Lizard Man out for the show. The rumor and conjecture is that he lived downstream from Rocky Flats, and that he ate some of the local meat and fish. Usually, he stays cloistered away, but he did agree to come out for the freak show. He's also incredibly strong, and he has a split tongue. We're very proud of him.
What will make this freak show different from all the others?
This is a modern freak show. It's not your run-of-the-mill everyday freak show. We're hoping to entertain people and just have fun with it. I'm trying to stay in touch with Dana's original vision of the freak show, so there will be all kinds of stuff going on in both traditional and nontraditional formats.
Why do people like freak shows?
I think people come to be amazed, to be freaked out. The freak show is one of few places where people give you permission to be grossed out. Like, what part of freaks did you not understand?
And what will you be doing in the midst of all the freakiness?
I'm going to be a roving show all of myself. I am known as the freak wrangler, and I will be wearing a red vintage carnival ringmaster coat. I'll be looking a little different each day. I'm also an expert special-effects artist and a body painter, so I expect there will something different and unique about how I look everyday during the fair.
Meet up with Mythica and the rest of the Freak Show at the Denver County Fair, July 28 through 31 at the National Western Complex, I-70 and Brighton Boulevard.
Get the Arts and Theater Newsletter
Weekly information keeping you in the know when it comes to the art and theater scene. Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events.