Rare Disorder Causing Man to See ‘Demonic’ Faces

A persons face zoomed into the eye. (CBN News/Unsplash)

A man from Clarksville, Tennessee, is suffering from a profoundly rare neurological disorder that causes him to see people’s faces as “demonic.”

Victor Sharrah, 59, woke up one day in November 2020—in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic—thinking he had crossed over into some sort of demonic realm.

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“My first thought was I woke up in a demon world,” he told NBC News, referring to the disturbing faces looking back at him—faces with ears, noses, eyes and mouths stretched back with deep grooves in their foreheads and cheeks.

Sharrah knew someone who taught the visually impaired and suggested he might be suffering from a disorder called prosopometamorphopsia, also known as PMO. The illness—which is exceedingly rare with fewer than 100 reported cases—causes those infected to see faces in a distorted manner.

The disturbing distortions occur only when those suffering from PMO see other people face-to-face, rather than in photos or through computer screens. Because that’s the case, it allowed researchers the opportunity to create accurate images of what Sharrah said he sees when he looks at people’s faces.

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The scientists had Sharrah observe photos of people next to the flesh-and-blood individuals, and he described to them the differences between the images and the real-life faces. They then created digital versions of the distortions for him to approve.

The findings were published this week in The Lancet.

Typically, symptoms are believed to resolve in a matter of days or, at the most, weeks. But Sharrah has been suffering from PMO now for years.

To read the full story, visit our content partners at Faithwire.

Reprinted with permission from Copyright © 2024 The Christian Broadcasting Network Inc. All rights reserved.

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