Before the development of medicine and technology, many people with deformities were considered unique, both positively and negatively. People had to see them with their own eyes even to believe that such a person existed. One of the "special" persons was Edward Mordrake, a man who, in a way, was a real attraction in the 19th century.
Parasitic twins are a nature's phenomenon. In some cases, one twin consumes another in the early stages of development, leaving no trace. At other times, the remains of a lost twin become one with the surviving fetus, although this usually goes unnoticed.
What follows is the story of a man who became a victim of what he was, reluctantly, born with. I will say at the outset that many of you will doubt what you are going to read is real. Although there are no known images of the actual subject of this story, there is also no solid evidence that it did not exist. It is definitely an intriguing legend worth sharing.
The Nightmare Begins
He was also a scholar who adored art and music. Edward's gifted soul would have lived a blessed life if it weren't for the awful secret he had to hide. What most people didn't know at the time was that he had another face on the back of Edward's head.
Edward Mordrake was born of English nobility. His life began and ended in the early years of the 19th century. He was told that he was extremely handsome with gentle qualities.
The Other Side Of Edward Mordrake
Edward Mordrake was born with a significant anomaly. Because of a congenital disorder known as diprosopus, Edward was born with two faces.
That is, was a man who had two faces, one from the front and the other "parasitic" face from the back of the skull, on the back of the head.
The extra face Edward Mordrake had to wear did not share any of the features of his true face. Even though its lips were constantly moving, as if participating in an animated, albeit quiet, conversation, the face could not speak aloud.
His other face could not consume food or drink. It had no gift of sight, but its milky eyes would follow anyone who happened to pass by. These unfortunate souls, who saw Edward's second face first hand, claimed that their eyes rested on them as if looking straight into the soul.
The face could change expressions, and it did so quite often. When Edward Mordrake smiled, his other face would grin. The face behind him seemed to show the opposite, regardless of the emotions Edward showed.
It was later stated that the face could not eat or speak, but it was recorded that it was laughing, crying, or muttering indistinctly. What is even more interesting in this case is that some suggest the face was a female, but there is no way to prove whether Edward Mordrake had a twin sister or a twin brother or anything resembling an additional face.
Allegedly, the sounds that face made, which Edward Mordrake could not control, affected Edward's psyche. The face had no consciousness.
The records say people saw that horrible face smile when Edward cried. Although no one heard the scary face speak, Edward said he could not sleep at night because of the insulting whispers of his "twin from hell who never slept."
He thought that the other face was "demonic" because, according to Edward Mordrake, it was "uttering demonic words" when no one was around.
This is why Edward Mordrake wanted the doctors to remove the face at all costs and free him. He was even willing to sacrifice his life to get rid of it.
The Unhappy Life Of Edward Mordrake
Eventually, the young nobleman became an abandoned man who refused to see even his closest friends and family. The only people allowed into his world was a parade of doctors he hoped would be able to relieve him of the burden.
Edward claimed that although people could not hear the face speak, he was not so lucky. He was tormented night and day by the thing that lived on the back of his head. As a result, he was never able to sleep more than a few minutes at a time.
He asserted that the things his face whispered were too horrifying to be repeated. I would just say that the words he was forced to listen to were the ones that "a man would only speak of in hell."
Edward Mordrake came from a wealthy family, so he could certainly afford the best doctors. But no one then even dared to think of trying such a procedure. Even for today's medicine, removing the face at the nape of the neck would be a real challenge and a risky operation.
Edward Mordrake was undoubtedly ready for such a risk because his life with two faces was unbearable. Unfortunately, despite numerous attempts, he remained doomed to live like that.
Edward had no control over the face. It is difficult for us to imagine ourselves in such a situation, but the very thought that there is an abnormal growth on the back of your head and that it produces strange sounds scary.
The End Of The Madness
At the end of the wit, Edward and his doctors asked for this face to be removed. He told them that even if the procedure killed him, it would be worthwhile to finally get rid of the "demon" that had been torturing him since birth.
Despite his actions, Edward could not find anyone who would consent to the conduct of the proceedings without precedent.
Eventually, Edward Mordrake committed suicide at the age of 23, drinking poison, unable to endure life in such a state. Edward had one single request. He asked that the face be removed from the back of the head and destroyed. He feared that if he were buried with a thing that had tormented him all his life, it would continue for all eternity.
Those who could not help Edward in his life made his ultimate wish come true. The face was cut out and burned to ashes. Edward's body was carved into an unmarked grave far away from where the ashes were locked to return to earth. Maybe finally, Edward Mordrake could rest peacefully.
The Story Lives On
One artist made a wax replica of his head to show what Mordrake looked like. Notes on his condition are recorded in the books of the Royal Scientific Society by Charles Lotin Hildreth.
Edward's story appeared in several other books. It was revealed that he was allegedly the heir of one of the most prominent noble families in England, but he never accepted the title. It is written that he was a handsome and talented young man, but that on the other side of his head, he had a face of eerie appearance.
His story became part of the popular TV series American Horror Story. While it's not known if all of this is 100% true, the gruesome records of his life have fascinated many generations who lived after his time.
Tom Waits, an American singer, and songwriter, even released a song dedicated to Edward Mordrake on one of his albums in 2002, entitled Poor Edward.
Misery Loves Company
So far, no such identical case has been recorded in medicine, but there have been several other people who, like Edward Mordrake, were also two-faced throughout history. In addition to Mordrake, people born with two faces were Chang Tzu Ping (pictured) and Pascal Pignon.
Unlike Mordrake, the "two faces" were formed on the same side of Ping. Chang's other face formed on the right side of his face, from which only his teeth, lips, and part of his tongue developed.
When Chang opened his mouth, the other mouth on the right side of his face would automatically open, which Chang could not control. Fortunately, Ching managed to remove the other face and make his skin more or less fit with the operation.
The third case is Pascal Pignon, who, like Murdoch, lived in the 19th century and was known as the Two-Headed Mexican. However, this case is a scam. Pignon was born with a massive growth in the middle of his head, which is why he managed to get a job in a circus, but that growth was not a face. The face was drawn by the owner of the circus, as he wanted to attract more people.