John Merrick, the Elephant Man (1862-1890)


This was John Merrick in real life, as the real Elephant Man.


And this was John Merrick, in the 1980 movie of the same name, 90 years later.

John Merrick who once lived on this Earth, was really human. Rather than being an elephant or an animal. He just had some deformity that no one believed on.

Deformity means that someone can have a body problem. For example, Siamese twins stuck together. This can be a heartbreaking problem. Especially if they are alive or dead. 

Next are the cast members in the 1932 movie, “Freaks”. They had deformity problems, but became famous in that very old movie. No arms or legs, small faces, very little, or any of that. But some midgets from that movie years later, were in the 1939 colorized movie, “The Wizard of Oz” as the munchkins. 

Thirdly are those movie icon characters. Sloth from “The Goonies”, and that raving psychopath Michael Myers in that John Carpenter movie, “Halloween”. They had deformity problems on their faces. Jason Voorhees too from “Friday the 13th”, but was way worse. 

Fourth and the very last, that in countries such as Iran, Africa or Vietnam, kids can get deformity problems really bad. Especially if they are affected by Agent Orange. They can die from that very easily. Both deformity and Agent Orange, that toxic chemical gas. 

John Merrick here, was the very first with that deformity problem. Born on August 5th, 1862, he was born with that deformity of his. He couldn’t speak, he had body skin problems, and became known as the Elephant Man. In a freak show as a part of the circus. 

A few years later, London surgeon Dr. Frederick Treves took him in. And taught him the privilege of speech, manners, and kindness. By age 27, he was definitely, a very kind  man. However, he did wanted to be more normal like everyone in the UK. Which was why on the evening of April 10th, 1890, at age 27, rather than having more pillows on his bed, he had only one pillow. And died in his sleep when the Elephant Man’s neck was dislocated. Dr. Treves examined his body the next morning on April 11th, 1890. 

After the Elephant Man died in early 1890, Dr. Frederick Treves dissected John Merrick’s dead body. 


By examining his skin samples, and using plaster casts on his head and limbs, the skeleton of John Merrick was placed on display at the Royal London Hospital in the UK. He did everything on John Merrick before Dr. Treves died at age 70, in late 1923. 

And here is what is interesting on John Merrick….


By wearing that white hood, and dark black clothes, they wouldn’t recognize him. He wore that outfit a lot until his reveal and accident days later. 

He may have died at almost 30 years of age, but he was definitely a human to the people of the UK. Rather than being called ‘The Elephant Man’. 

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