Meet Edward Mordrake, The Man With Two Faces

In the 19th century when medicine was not yet well advanced and certain discoveries had not been made in the medical world, certain abnormalities were not solved. History has it that both human and animals have been found to have two heads or two faces. In 2007, paleontologist archaeological discovered about 120 million old fossils of a reptile with two different heads and necks and such was the case of the Edward Mordrake, the two-faced man.

Mordrake was born as an heir to one of the noble British Families in the 19th century. He was to inherit the peerage title of his father, though there is no known record of his birth and death dates. His condition made him choose a life of solitude and seclusion even from his own family. Edward Mordrake later killed himself age the age of 23 because he said he could not bear the torture of the “demonic face” which he claimed haunted him every night from sleeping by whispering words that could only be uttered in hell.

Edward Mordrake Condition – Medical Interpretation

Edward Mordrake was born as a malevolent, meaning that he had a second face which occupied the posterior part of his skull – a condition which is known as Craniopagus Parasiticus or Parasite Twin Disease.

This condition is rare and occurs four to six of every 10 million births. Most infants born this way are said to either be stillborn or die after birth and it is a wonder how Edward made it to the age of 23 as recorded. Craniopagus Parasiticus occurs most in male children than female to a ratio of 7:9 and about 78% cases reported are mostly male. Like all conjoined twins, the sexes are never different but as speculated in the case of Edward Mordrake, his second face is alleged to be that of a beautiful female.

So far, about 10 cases have been recorded of this rare condition; one of such is the two-headed boy Bengal and Chang Tzu Ping from China in the 70s and 80s (though he had his second face reconstructed in the US after he was discovered). This condition is also referred to as diprosopus meaning the Craniofacial duplication.

Skull depicting Edward Second Face
Skull Representation of Diprosopus Condition

Speculations of Edward Mordrake’s Second Face

The face said to be that of a beautiful female, unleashed devilish torments on Edward Mordraka, whispering consistently to him. It was also said that the second face could not see, eat or speak out loudly, but did exactly the opposite actions of Edward Mordrake for instance when he cried, the face is said to smile when he smiled the face grimaced and sneered at him.

Generally, Edward was recorded to be a handsome man when viewed from his original face with a remarkably graceful figure. He was said to have been very intelligent scholarly and had a rare musical talent. He pleaded and asked his physicians – Manvers and Treadwell – to detach the second face severally but they could not take the risk to undertake the procedure, hence, the young man ended the torment himself.

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Death Wish

There are two reported accounts of Edward Mordrake death. First, it was said that he ingested poison which led to his demise and another account claimed that a bullet between the eyes of his demonic twin finally put him off his misery.

Whichever is the true version, one fact is that he left a letter with instruction for his burial and in it he requested that the demonic face is removed from him before he was buried as to prevent it from further whispering in his grave. He was buried in an unmarked wasteland as he requested.

Publications, Works About Edward Mordrake

The first ever published article about Edward Mordrake’s condition to the world was from  Poet Charles Lotin Hildreth in the American papers (1895) in before other papers and posts picked the same article up for their publication. The first to post the story was then Boston Sunday Post which was published on the 8th of December 1895. One year later, two physicians Dr. Geroge M. Gould and Dr. Walter L. Pyle were said to have quoted the condition of Edward from Hildreth in Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine, though there was no follow up on the case to verify the tale.

Short films, books, and songs have been done on the life of Edward Mordrake such as Poor Edward by Tom Waits in 2002, book entitled Mordake o la condición inflame written in 2001 by Spanish writer Irene Gracia, and film titled Edward The Damned released in 2016 among others.

It is worthy of note that Photograph circulating on the internet is said to have been waxed and an artistic representation of Edward Mordarake and not his original person.

Ose Blessing
Ose Blessing
From entertainment stories to news, blog posts, short stories to reviews and guides, my writings can be seen across a variety of publications both online and offline


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