Never Alone: Bizarre Tales of Parasitic Twins
The Nightmare Begins
Parasitic twins are a very real phenomenon. In some cases, one twin consumes the other in the early stages of development, leaving no traces behind. At other times, remnants of the twin who is lost become one with the surviving fetus, although this usually goes unnoticed.
The following is the story of a man who became the victim of the very thing he had, unwillingly, nurtured. I will say upfront that there are many who doubt that the account you are about to read is true. Although there are no known pictures of the actual subject of this tale, neither is there solid proof that he didn't exist. In any case, it's an interesting legend that is worth sharing.
Some believe that the bane of Edward Mordrake's existence was nothing more than his partially formed, attached twin. Others doubt this theory. Edward's twin, if accounts are to be believed, was something straight out of a nightmare. For Edward, there would be only one avenue of escape.
Edward Mordrake was born of English nobility. His life began, and ended, in the early years of the 19th century. He was said to have been remarkably handsome with delicate features that made him the envy of both men and women alike.
He was also a scholar who loved the arts and music. A gifted and kind soul, Edward would have lived a blessed life had it not been for the terrible secret he was forced to hide. What most people didn't know at the time was that, on the back of Edward's head, he possessed a second face.
The Other Edward
The extra face that Edward Mordrake was forced to bear shared none of the qualities of his true face. It could not speak out loud, in spite of the fact that the lips were constantly moving as though taking part in an animated, albeit silent, conversation.
His second face did not have the ability to consume food or drink. It did not possess the gift of sight, but its milky eyes would follow anyone who happened to pass close by. Those unfortunate souls who had seen Edward's other face firsthand claimed that the eyes bore into them as though they were looking directly into their soul.
The face had the ability to change expressions and did so quite often. When Edward would smile, his other face would scowl. It seemed that whatever emotion Edward displayed, the face behind him would exhibit the opposite.
Eventually, the young nobleman became a virtual recluse, refusing to see even his closest friends and family. The only people he allowed into his world were a parade of doctors whom he hoped could rid him of the burden he carried.
Edward claimed that, although others couldn't hear the face speak, he was not as fortunate. By his accounts, the thing that lived on the back of his head tormented him night and day. As a result, he was never able to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time.
He asserted that the things that the face whispered to him were too terrifying to repeat. He would only say that the words that he was forced to listen to were those that "one would only speak of in Hell."
An End to the Madness
At his wit's end, Edward pleaded with his physicians to remove the face. He told them that even if the procedure killed him, it would be worth it to finally be rid of the "demon" that had tormented him since birth.
In spite of his pleas, Edward could find no one who would agree to perform the unprecedented procedure. With no end to his misery in sight, Edward Mordrake committed suicide by poison at the tender age of twenty-three.
Edward's suicide note consisted of a single last request. He asked that the face be removed from the back of his head and destroyed. He feared that if he were to be buried with the thing that had plagued him his entire life, it would continue to do so for all eternity.
Those who could do nothing to help Edward in life, granted his final wish. The face was excised and burned to ash. Edward's body was interred in an unmarked grave far away from where the ashes had been left to return to earth. Perhaps, at last, Edward Mordrake could rest in peace.
- The Human Marvels
There have been countless horror movies over the years that depicted a person who was the unfortunate victim of their evil twin. It's a silly notion, of course, that someone who shares ones exact DNA would ever wish to do them harm. There are, however, exceptions to every rule—intentional or otherwise.
I attended elementary school with a boy named Gary Engall. We shared the same homeroom from the second grade until the fifth. That was when Gary transferred to another school district.
My classmate was a boy who was always tall for his age and who sported a head of blonde curly hair that made him stand out among the other students. There was another reason that Gary received a lot of attention, though it wasn't the sort of popularity that anyone would want.
Gary had a cleft palate which at that time was referred to as a "hair lip." The mild deformity caused him to speak with a lisp. That was about all any of us knew about Gary except that he was always nice in spite of the teasing he sometimes received. I would learn later than there had been far more to this unique child than met the eye.
Although Gary and I were never close friends, we did talk to each other on occasion. We even played together at recess nearly everyday. He was shy, as was I, so we instantly had something in common. It would be two years after his transfer to another school that we would meet again.
Two Become One
Following my graduation from elementary school, I moved on to the local junior high which encompassed several districts. It was there that I happened to run into my former classmate, Gary Edgell.
It took some time for Gary to remember that he had, at one time, known me. Once it came back to him who I was, we became fast friends. He had grown out of his awkwardness and we became fairly close over the course of the school year. It was after I had gained his trust that he confided in me something that was known only to his family and closest friends.
It turned out that Gary hadn't transferred schools in the fifth grade, as we had all been told. He had, in fact, been in the hospital. Gary's doctors thought that the boy was suffering from a brain tumor. He had been extremely ill for a very long time, unbeknownst to any of us at school.
When his physicians finally decided to remove the tumor that had been affecting his speech and mobility, it had been a life or death decision. It turned out that the speech issues that Gary had exhibited for years were the result of the tumor, not the cleft palate. The thing inside of him was eating away at the boy little by little. The operation was risky, but not having the mass removed would have been even worse.
The procedure was successful and Gary pulled through, much to everyone's relief. What the surgeons discovered when they analyzed the tumor is what makes this story truly amazing.
The pathology report on the mass they had removed showed that it had consisted of bone fragments, hair and teeth. It had not been cancer. It was what was left of the child who would have been Gary's twin.
Apparently, Gary's body had absorbed the other fetus in utero. As odd as it seems, his doctors told him that it happens more often that people would ever believe. Most of these masses are harmless and some people live their whole lives unaware that they are harboring what had, at one time, been the beginnings of another person.
The whole scenario terrified Gary and his family. His twin, or at least what was left of it, had caused him an immeasurable amount of pain and could have cost him his life. For whatever reason, the two of them had not been meant to be together in any way, shape or form.
Gary made it clear that he did not like to share his story and he asked me not to repeat it to anyone at school. I promised that I wouldn't and I kept my word. I'm hoping now that enough time had gone by that he will forgive my indiscretion. Still, I wanted to respect his privacy so I did make changes to his name. In the end, I hope he understands that his remarkable tale is certainly one that deserves telling.