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Old 05-24-2002, 10:35 AM
S. Mussberger S. Mussberger is offline
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Location: Ultima thule
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Did Edward Mordrake realy exist and if so, did he have two faces?

To anyone who can clarify this,

I was listening to Tom Waits new album "Alice" and there is one song there that is called "Poor Edward". The song is about a guy who has a second face on the back of his head. Eventually the face drives him mad by mumbling things “heard only in hell” and Edward kills himself. A gruesome story and perfect Waits material.

To my surprise I find claims that the story is very real LINK .Supposedly an English man of the name Edward Mordrake is supposed to have poisoned himself at the age of 23 because he could no longer stand the torment from his second face, which is supposed to have showed some signs of a life of its own. One reference (Gould, George M. & Walter L. Pyle, Anomolies and Curiosities of Medicine, New York: 1896, p.188) states, "…It would be seen to smile and sneer while Mordake was weeping. The eyes would follow the movements of the spectator, and the lips would 'gibber without ceasing.' No voice was audible..."

I must say I'm skeptical but could you please sort this out once and for all. Because, honestly, it scares the crap out of me...
Old 05-24-2002, 10:52 AM
S. Mussberger S. Mussberger is offline
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Location: Ultima thule
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D#%¤! Misspelled the title and managed get three supoose in there
Old 05-24-2002, 10:53 AM
S. Mussberger S. Mussberger is offline
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Location: Ultima thule
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D#%¤! Misspelled the title and managed get three suppose in there
Old 05-24-2002, 11:40 AM
astro astro is offline
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Taint of creation
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Also discussed here...

Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine

Warning do not go to the above site without a strong stomach. It's more than just a "freaks site", it discusses the abnormailites from an indepth medical and physiological perspective . Way way way TMI
Old 05-24-2002, 01:53 PM
RGillen RGillen is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Dayton, OH
Posts: 79
The story as you tell it is dubious. Anything I found on "Edward Mordake" (no second 'r') seems to trace back to the book linked to by astro. It is a compilation of "reports" by George M. Gould and Walter Pyle from 1896. They don't appear to be physicians, but they apparently consulted with some. Here are their views on references and citations:
Complete references are given to those facts that are
comparatively unknown or unique, or that are worthy of particular
interest or further investigation. To prevent unnecessary loading
of the book with foot-notes, in those instances in which there
are a number of cases of the same nature, and a description has
not been thought necessary, mere citation being sufficient,
references are but briefly given or omitted altogether. For the
same reason a bibliographic index has been added at the end of
the text. This contains the most important sources of information
used, and each journal or book therein has its own number, which
is used in its stead all through the book (thus, 476 signifies
The Lancet, London; 597, the New York Medical Journal; etc.).
These bibliographic numbers begin at 100.
The linked-to e-book doesn't seem to have any citations at all.

Anyway, while looking for info, I found this site that has a small section called "About Conjoined Twins":
Conjoined twins are identical twins who develop with a single placenta from a single fertilized ovum. No cases of conjoined triplets or quadruplets have ever been documented. The twins are always the same sex...
The emphasis is mine because the Mordake story mentions that his second face was female. Also:
Conjunction occurs in a variety of ways, from cranial unions and torso unions to unions of the lower half of the body and the anterior union of the upper half of the body, wherein two faces coexist on the opposite sides of a single conjoined head. In over a third of all cases documented, the conjunction of the twins is at the upper half of the torso and involves the sharing of a single heart.
(again my emphasis)

I remember roughly 15 years ago watching a TV show along the lines of "Ripley's Believe it or Not" that had footage of a Chinese man called "Chang" who had parts of a second face on his cheek. There was a tuft of growing hair and a severely defomed mouth. The mouth had teeth and lips that he could move, but no opening to his own mouth. It did not have a mind of its own. No eyes. He also had other deformities including a hump on his back that was apparently also part of his minimally developed conjoined twin.

My guess is that the Mordake story is a legend (based on a medical possibilty) that got way out of hand. Lest I get too sure of myself, though, Gould and Pyle send me a warning from beyond the grave:
We wish, also, to enter a mild protest against the modern egotism
that would set aside with a sneer as myth and fancy the
testimonies and reports of philosophers and physicians, only
because they lived hundreds of years ago.
Old 05-24-2002, 02:42 PM
Happy Lendervedder Happy Lendervedder is offline
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Location: Michigan
Posts: 13,710
I don't know how they could claim it was a female face, without female body parts, a face is a face-- possibly a male's face that looked feminine, but what exactly is a "girl's face" other than a face attached to a girl?

Very creepy story, though. I'm not saying that it's not entirely untrue, just that maybe some poetic license was used in retelling the story.

Old 05-24-2002, 05:50 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Any pictures?
Old 05-25-2002, 05:23 AM
DougC DougC is offline
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Location: IL, USA
Posts: 5,209
- - - Guin, ever heard of the Mutter Museum? -I never really been, but I have seen magazine photos... - DougC
Old 05-25-2002, 05:45 AM
DougC DougC is offline
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: IL, USA
Posts: 5,209
- - - Well, really the Műtter Museum.
(the spec-char took me a sec...)
But you can google it as "mutter museum".
-Say,,, since we's here,, -to get the special character, I had to do it in Word2K and copy and paste. When I tried to search for how-to in the WIn98SE help, it told me to open the character map, but when I did that it said that the character map was not installed. So I looked at what was installed and not, and the only thing I hadn't installed (for this Win98SE full-retail CD) was Web TV for Windows. So, is there any way to get a character map in Win98 SE? Without having word. Or a font editor that shows the character maps separately, that is...-I got that also, but you shouldn't need it, right? Does the OS have any character map display on its own? - DougC
Old 05-25-2002, 07:37 AM
S. Mussberger S. Mussberger is offline
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Man, this board is fantastic. Thanks a million!


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