Can Severed Heads Live On?

Decapitated Head Speaks 

Gwoeii | Shutterstock.com

                                                Gwoeii | Shutterstock.com

Centuries-old tales have described severed heads that seemed to live on for a few seconds — blinking, changing expressions, even attempting to speak.

During the French Revolution, an executioner reportedly held the severed head of Charlotte Corday (who assassinated politician Jean-Paul Marat) aloft and smacked its cheek. Witnesses claimed Corday’s eyes looked at the executioner, and an unmistakable expression of disgust came over her face.

More recently, in 1989, an Army veteran told of seeing a friend decapitated in a car crash. According to the story, the severed head showed emotions of shock, followed by terror and grief, its eyes glancing back at its separated body.

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