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Sunday, 13 May 2018


Have you ever heard of the man with two faces?
Am not talking about conjoined twins but two different faces on one head; one male and the other female.

Such was the case of Edward Mordake (also Mordrake). History has it that he was born in the nineteenth century, an heir to an English nobility but had an extra face at the back of his head.

Medical science could not diagnose his rare deformity; it was simply termed as a case of craniopagus parasiticus, a very serious form of parasitic twin, or a form of diprosopus.

Edward was said to have asked his doctors to remove his other face but it was declined by his doctors. He ended up committing suicide at the age of 23.

Here is Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine 's account of Edward.

"One of the weirdest as well as the most melancholy stories of human deformity is that of Edward Mordake, said to have been heir to one of the noblest peerages in England. He never claimed the title, however, and committed suicide in his twenty-third year. He lived in complete seclusion, refusing the visits even of the members of his own family. He was a young man of fine attainments, a profound scholar, and a musician of rare ability. His figure was remarkable for its grace, and his face – that is to say, his natural face – was that of an Antinous But upon the back of his head was another face, that of a beautiful girl, "lovely as a dream, hideous as a devil." The female face was a mere mask, "occupying only a small portion of the posterior part of the skull, yet exhibiting every sign of intelligence, of a malignant sort, however." It would be seen to smile and sneer while Mordake was weeping. The eyes would follow the movements of the spectator, and the lips "would gibber without ceasing." No voice was audible, but Mordake avers that he was kept from his rest at night by the hateful whispers of his "devil twin", as he called it, "which never sleeps, but talks to me forever of such things as they only speak of in Hell. No imagination can conceive the dreadful temptations it sets before me. For some unforgiven wickedness of my forefathers I am knit to this fiend – for a fiend it surely is. I beg and beseech you to crush it out of human semblance, even if I die for it." Such were the words of the hapless Mordake to Manvers and Treadwell, his physicians. In spite of careful watching, he managed to procure poison, whereof he died, leaving a letter requesting that the "demon face" might be destroyed before his burial, "lest it continues its dreadful whisperings in my grave." At his own request, he was interred in a waste place, without stone or legend to mark his grave."

Songs, novels and movie have been written and made about Edward Mordake; the man with two faces.

Source: Wikipedia

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