Comprachicos: how a gang of kidnappers have been doing business in the ugliness

Deformities and physical abnormalities simultaneously frightened and attracted people at all times. The so-called "circus freaks" appeared in antiquity and gone recently, and in the courts of monarchs and nobles traditionally were people with an unusual appearance or abnormal growth. We all know that demand creates supply and demand the ugliness spawned comprachicos.

Comprachicos: how a gang of kidnappers have been doing business in the ugliness

Such a terrible phenomenon as comprachicos, lasted in Europe for a relatively short time, little more than a century and if not for Victor Hugo with his "Man who laughs", this ugly page of history probably would never have been opened.

A shameful phenomenon, which appeared at the turn of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, could only exist thanks to the support of those in power and the tacit consent of the Church.

Comprachicos: how a gang of kidnappers have been doing business in the uglinessThe word "comprachicos" is of Spanish origin and translates literally as "the buyer of children". Still unknown, where did the people who made the ugliness of the industry whether they have acted centrally or separately, where they gathered to discuss their plans — it was beneficial to the comprachicos have sunk into oblivion, and their name never was called.

Comprachicos: how a gang of kidnappers have been doing business in the uglinessThe main customers of the comprachicos were rich nobleman, merchants, owners of theaters, circuses and traveling troupes. Was among buyers and the monarchs and the clergy, usually acting through nominees.

The choice of "goods" offered the mysterious merchants of pain and despair, were very broad. In the dark, guys in wide-brimmed black hats, you can buy dwarfs, eunuchs, hunchbacks, people with large or small heads, on the contrary, children and adults without limbs — to list all kinds of deviations from the norm offered for specie, it was difficult.

Where he took a terrible and unusual item of the comprachicos? Children in Milan, Zurich, London, Paris and Prague are frightened by scary thieves who steal naughty children from their beds and taken in its eerie halls. Actually, the main suppliers of "raw materials" for the comprachicos were by their parents. Merchants freaks don't steal babies — they bought them in the poor families who could not feed many mouths.

After the child fell to the comprachicos, he gave a "presentation". Sometimes the villain acted guided by inspiration, and sometimes they had a clear order for a certain cripple. In the skill comprachicos reached unprecedented heights — bought for real money children were a valuable material, so the right to a mistake was not.

Comprachicos: how a gang of kidnappers have been doing business in the ugliness

Sometimes the result was achieved after a single intervention, but there were times when the work took months and years to come. The most difficult in "manufacturing" were the dwarfs and hunchbacks. To warp the child's spine and stop its growth, the comprachicos used corsets for complex forms, of which the "patient" was not selected. In 2-3 years, when the growing body is hopelessly curved in a tight "lats", they were removed and knowledgeably evaluated the result of assigning living of the product price.

Comprachicos: how a gang of kidnappers have been doing business in the ugliness

Operations comprachicos used both local and General anesthesia. Local anesthesia, most often, were cheap alcohol, and as a General used decoctions of herbs and mushrooms, the composition of which is kept secret. Was in the course and decoctions, is able to suppress the will of man or to deprive him of the memory after processing by such means the children couldn't learn with no parents or homes or even turned into a cheerful madmen.

It is known that among the comprachicos were people of different nationalities and faiths, though most often in the conduct of this terrible business have accused Gypsies. For communication, the community members used their own special jargon, consisting of words of different European languages as stranger could catch snatches of phrases, but the meaning is the talk of the comprachicos remained a mystery to him.

Comprachicos: how a gang of kidnappers have been doing business in the ugliness

Comprachicos: how a gang of kidnappers have been doing business in the ugliness

The same king James II Stuart

England in the seventeenth century was a Paradise for comprachicos until the power came simply to the foreigner, William III of orange, stadholder of Holland. The new monarch took up the trade with great enthusiasm — decorating the comprachicos and their suppliers gallows and branches of trees in all counties of the island. In combination with strict laws against vagrancy, this tactic destroyed the comprachicos as a phenomenon in a few years.

Comprachicos: how a gang of kidnappers have been doing business in the ugliness

Keywords: Crime | The slave trade | The middle ages | Ugliness

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