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Several generations in different cultures around the world have their share of mysteries and urban legends. The one we are going to present to you today is as strange as it is unusual and has remained in the medical world as a unique and disturbing case. Let’s discover together the story of Edward Mordrake, the man with two faces.

Edward Mordrake was born in 1887. Coming from a noble family, he was considered in his time as a man very cultivated in the arts of music and studious. It is also at first sight a person with a certain charm and dressed in a refined and graceful way.

Yet since his birth, Edward has hidden a terrible secret that he considers to be a curse in his daily life. Indeed, behind her head is a second, almost feminine face with the particularity of being deformed. Edward Mordrake perceives him as his evil twin.

Credit : Carland on Steemit

Very quickly when the strange and unusual disability suffered by Edward Mordrake came to light, the news was like a bomb and several doctors decided to study the case closely. Thus, their research has shown that this is not the first time that this deformity has occurred. Through Roman mythology, they have indeed found a personality with characteristics similar to those of Edward.

It would be the god of gates named Janus who is represented with two faces. He would have saved Rome by bringing out of nowhere a hot spring to prevent a group of warriors from storming the citadel. Since this event and when a period of war arrives, the doors of the Forum are open so that Janus can intervene and save the inhabitants.

However, doctors have still not found a name for this disease that causes Edward Mordrake to suffer. The latter said that depending on these moods, the second face could either laugh or cry. It seems that when Edward tries to sleep at night, this “second personality” would whisper evil things to him. Several witnesses to Mordrake’s disability testified that the eyes of the second face could move as they stared at the strange face. It was also said that sometimes you could distinguish the lips of the latter whispering words.

In 1910, at the age of 23, Edward could no longer bear to go through this ordeal, which had affected his psychological state since birth. He begs the doctors to take this monstrosity out of his body. But the latter refused because the operation could inevitably cost him his life. Faced with the doctors’ refusal, Mordrake had no choice but to take care of this thing himself.

He then realized that the only way to get rid of it was to kill himself.

The next day, Edward’s lifeless body was found with a letter in which he demanded that, before his funeral, he be rid of this “demon face”, in his own words.

Thus ends the story of the two-faced man who has become a source of inspiration for most directors. Especially in the hit series American Horror Story where the story of Edward Mordrake is highlighted.


Edward’s so-called skull. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Nevertheless, the evidence mentioning the existence of this individual is very controversial. Indeed, some say they have found the remains of the body while others say the opposite, and despite very thorough research in the 19th century by doctors, this case is considered unique in medicine because we still do not know the name of this disease and whether there are any means of treatment. And the few writings mentioning Edward Mordrake from 1895 are not considered reliable sources. The person referring to it was Charles Lotin Hildreth and he was known to be a science fiction and poetry writer, so it is likely that he was able to invent this story.

Yet while this case could be classified as an urban legend, it does not stop there. Indeed, from 1896 onwards, doctors Georges M. Gould and Walter L. Pyle wrote a book entitled Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine in which they adopted Hildreth’s ideas, but affirmed that this case of medicine was possible, which renewed the hesitation about the case.

Now, when we say that this case is unique in the history of medicine, it does not necessarily seem to be true. Indeed, a Chinese farmer named Chang Tzu Ping suffered from a malformation strangely similar to the case of Edward Mordrake.

His second face consisted of a small mouth with a tongue, several teeth, a skull covered with a scalp, eyes and ears. The children in her village were frightened when they crossed Chang’s road.

It was from the age of 40 that he decided to carry out an operation to remove this second face. The surgery seemed to go well as Chang returned to live in his village.

We can therefore conclude that the story of Edward Mordrake continues to cast doubt on its authenticity and on the very existence of the individual. It is therefore up to you, dear readers, to form your own opinion on the subject.

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John Sinclair

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