Weird History

The Abusive 'Lobster Boy' Freak Performer Killed His Daughter's Fiance The Day Before Their Wedding

Fans of American Horror Story: Freakshow are familiar with "Lobster Boy." But was the Lobster Boy based on an actual person? The chilling answer is yes, and like the fictional character, this real-life Lobster Boy was a cold-blooded killer. The shocking acts committed by Grady Stiles, the Lobster Man murderer, are even more outrageous when you consider that he was hardly punished. His tale is one of abuse, alcoholism, conspiracy, and death.

Who was Grady Stiles, really? He came from a line of circus "freaks" born with ectrodactyly – his fingers and toes were fused into claw-like appendages, hence his nickname. Stiles joined the family sideshow act at a young age, and his life was probably quite difficult, especially since his condition made him unable to walk. Maybe that's why he started drinking. Whatever the reason, Stiles became an alcoholic, and a violent one at that. He attacked his wife and murdered his daughter's fiancé. Even Stiles's death was horrific: in 1992, he was killed by a hit man hired by his own family.

Stiles's life, and death, are the stuff nightmares are made of. It wasn't his claws that made Grady a monster. It was the suffering he brought upon others and the pain he inflicted on those he claimed to love.