According to a 19th century English myth, Edward Mordrake was born with a second face on the back of his neck and head. Although this extra face could not eat or talk, it would allegedly laugh out loud and even cry.
But that’s not the worst part.
The myth also claims that the face would whisper terrible things to Mordrake in the middle of the night. When he asked doctors to rid him of the monstrosity, they refused to do so because of the risks involved in such a surgery.
If you’re a fan of American Horror Story then you probably remember his character from Season 4, played by Wes Bentley. In the show, Mordrake was forced to commit horrible crimes by his second face.
In a book published in 1896, called Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine, George Gould provides more information on Mordrake.
One of the weirdest as well as most melancholy stories of human deformity is that of Edward Mordake, said to have been heir to one of the noblest peerages in England. He never claimed the title, however, and committed suicide in his twenty-third year. He lived in complete seclusion, refusing the visits even of the members of his own family. He was a young man of fine attainments, a profound scholar, and a musician of rare ability. His figure was remarkable for its grace, and his face — that is to say, his natural face — was that of an Antinous. But upon the back of his head was another face, that of a beautiful girl, ‘lovely as a dream, hideous as a devil.’ The female face was a mere mask, ‘occupying only a small portion of the posterior part of the skull, yet exhibiting every sign of intelligence, of a malignant sort, however.’ It would be been seen to smile and sneer while Mordake was weeping.
Mordrake supposedly committed suicide at age 23, unable to handle the thought of living with his ghastly abnormality any longer.