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15:32 Friday 13 January 2012  Written by Laura Enfield

WATCH: Performance by sword swallower who once impaled on stage

Circus of Horrors lived up to its name when its sword swallower impaled himself live on stage.

Hannibal Hellmurto was badly injured when the accident happened in front of a packed audience in Bradford's St Georges Hall in October last year.

He had already swallowed a giant sword, a curved serpent sword and three swords simultaneously.

It was then time to take on the most deadly of all sword swallower's implements, a lit neon tube.

If it breaks it will leave glass inside you, it contains Mercury and of course it is powered by electricity, any of which could kill you.

Hannibal found himself struggling to breathe after it ripped a 10 centimetre hole in his oesophagus.

Luckily the tube did not break.

Amazingly he finished the show but was rushed to Bradford Royal Infirmary and was in Intensive Care for three weeks and hospital for five in total.

"It was quite severe," admitted Hannibal.

"There weren't gallons of blood all over the stage, so it wasn't gory, but it was extremely painful.

"I didn't know exactly how bad it was at first, but when your lungs fill up with liquid you can't breathe, so it was terrible, really bad."

Just months on from the potentially life-threatening slip up, Hannibal is happy to write it off as an unfortunate accident.

"You can be a marathon runner for years and still tear a muscle, so it was just one of those freak accidents," he said.

Hannibal was one of the members of The Circus of Horrors who stormed into the semi finals of Britain's Got Talent.

The former German Tax Official is now fully recovered and will be taking to the stage at The Hexagon - one of his first appearances since undergoing his final medical procedure on December 28.

Hannibal added: "I was a bit apprehensive about coming back but the best thing you can do is forget about what happened and get on with it.

"It's a bit like having a car accident - some people will never get back in a car but some go straight back in."

The new jaw-dropping show is set in 1921 Berlin where a struggling venue is helped out when Dr Haze rolls into town with his Vampire Vaudeville show.

It features hair hanging beauties, twisted contortionists, flying aerialists, demon dwarfs, gyrating jugglers, voodoo warriors, pickled people and its latest and greatest new found star The Ventriloquist.

Inspired by the Evil Ventriloquist movies ‘Devil Doll’ & ‘The Dead of Night’ the story twists and turns, sending a shiver down your spine as the demonic dummy seems to take on a life of its own.

See Circus of Horrors perform at Carter's Steam Fair.

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