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The British Museum's "cursed" mummy


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Mauro
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The recent piece about Learmouth Garden brought back to me all those ideas about the occult powers of the ancient Egyptians and particulary how dangerous it is to disturb their dead. The so called "Tutankhamen's Curse" is the most famous but there's another less known stories related by none other that Sir Ernest Wallis Budge, world-famous Egyptologist and British Museum Keeper which gave London perhaps the best collection of Middle Eastern antiquities in the world.
The story goes like this. Three English gentlemen were visiting Egypt sometime after General Wolseley crushed Arabi Pasha's uprising. While near Thebes they were approached by a shady individual who, well knowing the Western appetite for antiquities, offered them a truly unique piece: a sarcophagus containing a perfectly preserved mummy, a woman judging by the portrait. After the customary haggling they agreed on the deal and the mummy was added to their luggage. Happy with their purchase they boarded a boat to return to Alexandria and catch a steamer home. Near the Cairo they stopped to hunt for waterfowl and here their troubles began: one of them lost an arm when his shotgun backfired and another drowned. The survivor, scared to death by these accidents, sold the mummy to an antiquarian at the Cairo and boarded the first steamer home.
The mummy was purchased by a collector named Streetham (or Streatham) and arrived at his London home in 1888. He was perfectly happy with his purchase until he invited over the famous Madame Blavatsky to have a look at his latest collectible. The Russian seer immediately turned to him and told him to get rid of the mummy or die by the end of the year. Scared by these gloomy warnings, the man immediately sold it at a loss to a London antiquarian. The antiquarian decided to have the mummy photographed to add the picture to his catalogue and hired the well known W.A. Mansell for the job. While returning home Mansell had an accident and broke a leg. Not only that but all the slides were damaged and could not be developed properly.
A buyer was found but she kept the mummy for less than a week claiming that it was the cause of poltergeist activity in her house.
Finally a philantropist named A.F. Wheeler bought the mummy but immediately presented it to the British Museum, refusing to keep it in his house for a single night.
The two delivery man carrying the mummy to its final resting place also paid the price: one had a accident on his way home and the other died the next.
Not only that but the mummy was linked to the sinking of two ships in WWI: both were said to carry bits of the mummy on board.
The vengeful mummy appeared to be satisfied with her new home and no more accidents followed. Sir Ernest joked that the occult powers of ancient Egypt had no power of such an institution as the British Museum!
The mummy is still exhibited at the British Museum: Egyptian Antiquities Department, show case 35, invtary number 22542.

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


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Daniel Parkinson
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Re: The British Museum's "cursed" mummy

I have been to the British Museum several times, it's difficult to cover it in one day anyway. I always wondered about this story, the painted cover is quite striking.
Wasn't it rumoured that Wallis Budge was involved with the Golden Dawn? I am sure I read it somewhere - although most probably not true.

Mauro
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Re: The British Museum's "cursed" mummy

Wallis Budge translated and compiled The Egyptian Book of the Dead which had an enormous influence over many occultists, including many founders of the Golden Dawn. He also contributed material for Frazer's The Golden Bough.
Though he was never member of any "paranormal" society nor a Spiritualist he strongly believed in spirits and corresponded frequently with various contemporary "ghost hunters".

In Distorsion We Trust

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


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Ian Topham
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Re: The British Museum's "cursed" mummy

Isn't there a tale about the Titanic having a cursed mummy aboard. I have no doubt it is just modern folklore though with no basis is fact.

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BaronIveagh
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Re: The British Museum's "cursed" mummy

The RMS Titanic had a lot of stuff on board, due to the nature of it's passangers.  Mummies?  Maybe.  I've heard that rumor as well, but can't say I've seen any proof, though Titanic isn't on my list of ships to look into.  The cause of her demise is well known. 

Now, if anyone has any ideas on the Tai Ching 21 and what happened to her (other then the obvious), I'm game...

Summum Nec Metuam Diem Nec Optima

Englishpsychic
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Re: The British Museum's "cursed" mummy

 So, she is finally happy in the museum? I don't want to sound funny, but I guess she was type that liked many people's attention when she was alive. I would be terrified to keep a mummy in my house...I would get rid of it immediately. In my opinion, the British Museum is the best place for it. 

Mauro
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Re: The British Museum's "cursed" mummy

If I remember correctly one officer aboard the HMS Hampshire was said to carry a memento from the mummy when it sunk in the North Sea, killing all aboard (including Lord Kitchener). The Titanic connection is unclear.

In Distortion We Trust

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


Leekduck
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Re: The British Museum's "cursed" mummy

I read somewhere that there is a Station in london witch is haunted by a Mummy, Cant remember the details however

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Ian Topham
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Re: The British Museum's "cursed" mummy

Your right about a station Leekduck.  In 1933 The British Museum Station was closed.  It was said to be haunted by the mummy from the British Musuem and the sounds of it's wailing coul dbe heard I the tunnels.

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Ian Topham
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Re: The British Museum's "cursed" mummy
cragrat09
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Tai Ching 21

The best rational explaination I can think of is a fire breaks out, the crew panic and abandon the vessel. Either the capitan panics and leaves as qickly as he can or tries to send a may day call, but the boat's communication equipment has been damaged by the fire. The fire burns itself out without too much structural damage being caused. As it says in the article below, it is difficult to predict the drift of the liferafts as they don't know how long Tai Ching 21 has been abandoned for and that the Orion's radar would not pick up the liferafts.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/733882



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