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Pasqual with the Sells-Floto Sideshow in 1917 (Bogdan) In 1917 the Sells-Floto circus exhibited a fantastic freak: Pasqual Pinon, the Two-Headed Mexican. According to his promoters, Pinon had followed General Pershing out of Mexico, bringing his family of seven to Texas, after losing his family ranch to Pancho Villa. Attached to Pinon's head was a second head, its immobile features fixed in a perpetually surprised expression. The face's lack of animation was explained away by claiming it had once been mobile, but had atrophied after Pinon suffered a stroke at the age of 20. When he exhibited himself onstage, Pinon tilted back the upper head, revealing its "neck", or the fleshy connection between it and his own skull.

In fact the true story of Pasqual Pinon is far more disturbing. A railroad worker from Texas, Pinon was discovered by a sideshow promoter, who was fascinated by the massive tumor growing from Pinon's head. A silver plate, molded into a realistic face, was surgically inserted under the skin of Pinon's tumor, transforming the disfiguring growth into a convincing second head. Pinon was an enormous success, though his career lasted only two years. While playing in Detroit, he began to suffer from dementia, and it was found that the silver plate was compressing his brain. His manager paid for an operation to remove the enormous tumor, and Pinon returned to Texas to resume life as a laborer.

The main flaw of Pasqual Pinon's gaff was that a true parasitic head would be situated upside-down on top of the host twin's head, as a result of incomplete craniopagus twins. Only a handful of cases of craniopagus parasiticus have been recorded. Most recently, in 2005, Manar Maged of Egypt became the first baby to survive an operation to remove a parasitic head, but she died in March of 2006 of a persistent infection in her brain.

Information on Paqsual Pinon from Illustrated World, January 1922, "The 'Wonders' of the Circus World" by Frank Braden. Reproduced on Sideshow World as "The Volpus and the Two-Headed Man", May 2005.