The curious case of the man with two faces


In 1874, a man with two faces was born in Ohio. His parents named him Edward Mordake. Edward had a perfectly normal face on the right side of his head. On the left side, however, was a second face that was smaller than the right one. It had a feminine appearance and was said to be beautiful. The second face could not blink, speak, or eat.

As Edward grew older, the second face became more pronounced and began to smile and laugh when the main face was sad or angry. Edward Mordake was a bright young man and attended college, but the taunting and ridicule he endured because of his appearance took its toll. He eventually stopped attending classes and became a recluse.

In 23 years, Edward Mordake only left his house twice. He was an intelligent man and loved music and reading, but the constant staring and mockery from others was too much for him to bear.

On September 23, 1887, at the age of 23, Edward Mordake committed suicide. He left a note that said, “I leave this world because the mockery and horror of my existence is more than I can endure. I have tried poison, but it does not hurt me. I have tried to shoot myself, but the bullets pass through my face without harming me. I have even tried to drown myself, but I always float back to the surface. I cannot die and leave this awful curse behind me.”

Edward Mordake is just one of many people who have been born with a condition called diprosopus, which is also known as craniofacial duplication. This condition is extremely rare, occurring in only about one in every three to four million births. It is usually fatal within a few days of birth, but occasionally, as in Edward’s case, the baby will survive.

There is no known cure for diprosopus and it is not clear what causes it. Some scientists believe it may be due to a problem with the development of the embryonic cells that form the face. Others believe it may be the result of a genetic mutation.

Whatever the cause, Edward Mordake’s story is a sad reminder of the cruelty and intolerance that can be directed towards those who are different.

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here