Go to ...
Ipswich24 Magazine on YouTubeRSS Feed


Ipswich man buys sword swallower’s sword

Five years ago, in front of a packed audience at Croydon Fairfield Halls sword swallower Hannibal Helmurto had an almost fatal accident while swallowing a sword.

Unbeknown to him he had a throat infection which caused the sword to get stuck on the way down & as it slipped by his lungs it ripped a hole in his esophagus almost 20mm long.

He was rushed to hospital & kept I intensive care for three weeks then moved to a general ward for a further two weeks. Thankfully he made a full recovery & returned to sword swallowing six months later. He vowed however never to swallow the damned sword again & it was placed in the loft in his house.

Five years later he was contacted by auctioneer to see if he had any memorabilia to place in a sale and Hannibal offered the sword, believing it may sell for £30 to £40.

Imagine his shock when an Ipswich man Fred Mead bid £320 for it!

Fred has a fine amalgamation of Circus, Magic, Fairground & Side Show memorabilia & he believes the (almost) killer sword will be a great addition to his collection, he also intends to visit The Circus of Horrors when it appears in The Regent Theatre, Ipswich on the 28th November and get Hannibal to sign it for him.

Helmurto (30), who hails from Germany first saw the Circus of Horrors in his home town of Munich where it was performing at the 1996 Tolwood Festival.

‘At the time I was working as a Tax Inspector for the German government. I did not have one tattoo or piercing but after seeing the show I knew I had to join it, the accident was just one of those freak moments and it certainly hasn’t put me off performing’ claimed Helmurto.

It took Helmurto 10 years to modify his body into a complete work of alternative art. His body is covered in over 200 tattoos, there is more ink on the outside of his skin than blood running within it.

But that’s not all he has also had giant yo yo’s fitted inside his earlobes, and had his tongue sliced with a laser to ensure it is forever forked.

The Circus of Horrors
Will be performing at
IPSWICH Regent Theatre
Wed 28th November
01473 433100

More Stories From Theatre