Prior to the widespread use of technology, biological anomalies slipped into the status of urban legend, but as medical science has proven, some people are born with deformities that really have to be seen to be believed, which brings us to the case of Edward Mordake.
Regarded as one of the “human freaks” of the 19th century, his story has been a continual source of fascination. Mordake was reportedly born with two faces, a congenital disorder known as diprosopus, and there was something very sinister about his second face.
To learn more about his extraordinary and sad story, check out the video below:
In most recorded cases of diprosopus, the person afflicted has an extra facial feature like a nose or an ear, but in rare cases, entire faces can be duplicated. This duplication is what Mordake was said to suffer from when he was first described in the Boston Post in 1895.
To give an insight into what Mordake might have looked like, an artist created a wax replica of his head.
Alongside a number of other people born with extreme deformities, the information reported about Mordake’s condition was obtained from the reports of the “Royal Scientific Society” by writer Charles Lotin Hildreth, although it’s unknown if this society ever existed.
Mordake’s story then managed to make its way into the 1896 medical encyclopedia Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine, co-authored by Dr. George M. Gould and Dr. Walter L. Pyle. However, it was not specifically defined as a case of diprosopus at the time.