FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show A Real Skull With Two Faces?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows the skull of a man that was born with a second face on the back of his head.

Verdict: False

The pictured skull is actually an art piece. The story linked to the piece appears to be an urban legend.

Fact Check:

The image being shared appears to show a skull with a second, smaller face on the back of it. The caption claims it belongs to Edward Mordrake, a man who was purportedly born with a second face on the back of his head during the late 1800s.

“The skull of Edward Mordrake, the man born with a second face on the back of his head, c. 1890,” reads the caption. “Although it could not speak full words, the second face was able to laugh, cry and make strange noises without Edward’s control. He reportedly begged doctors to have his ‘Demon Face’ removed, claiming that it whispered to him at night, but no doctor would attempt it. He committed suicide at the age of 23.”

In reality, the image does not show a real human skull. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact discovered the supposed skull was created by artist Ewart Schindler. He posted photos of it from several angles on the website DeviantArt in 2015.

“I was surprised to see that no one had done a Mordrake, so I thought I’d have a go at that,” he told Newsweek in 2018. “It’s papier-mâché, a traditional sort of material. I really wanted to make the piece as realistic as I could.” (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show Bodies Of People Who Died From COVID-19 In Italy)

The story of Mordrake has circulated since long before the internet, appearing in a December 1895 article in The Boston Post. The San Diego-based Museum of Hoaxes describes Mordrake’s story as a literary creation from poet Charles Lotin Hildreth, while the Ripley’s Believe It or Not website calls it a hoax.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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