Editor’s Note: For maximum eerie effect, this article is best read with the lights off and a flashlight held under your chin.
On a fateful day in 1922, British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of the boy pharaoh Tutankhamun in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings… or did he? Yes, he did. With the help of his wealthy aristocratic friend George Herbert, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, Carter digs up the tomb… and unleashes the mummy curse?
Nothing quite as spectacular as waking up an evil mummy with deadly, awesome powers. But after a year, Carter pushed the daisies. Cause of Death: A mosquito bite that got infected after he shaved, resulting in fatal blood poisoning… or did it? Yes, it was. Pretty mundane stuff. If you want to find something to blame, it’s the lack of scientific knowledge about treating trauma. If you consider that King Tut had been suffering from ill health long before he went to his tomb, there is no mystery in his death.
But what about the other 44 Westerners (the “curse” is said not to affect the local population) who were said to be in Egypt when the tomb was inspected? A 2002 study by the British Medical Journal calculated the average age of death of people around the grave… and you’ll be absolutely shocked by what they found! Or not. They found nothing unusual. It is unlikely that anyone died as a result of the alleged curse. Famous supernaturalist James Randi found that people who were supposed to be cursed in theory lived an average of 23 more years.
Consider this: You’d think if anyone had died that quickly, it would have been Carter, right? After all, he wasn’t the only one who found and physically opened the sarcophagus, he actually removed the mummy. Dutt must be shaking with rage. Nevertheless, Carter lived another 16 years, dying at the age of 64. Herbert’s daughter, Lady Evelyn Beauchamp, attended the unveiling of Tut’s tomb and died 57 years later, aged 78. Natural causes. Or was it Mom’s curse that for some reason she decided to let her live a rich, fulfilling life and wait half a century? Boy, it’s so hard to say, isn’t it?
So, our spicy hot take on Tutankhamun’s Curse: Yes, No. So what gives? How did the rumor of the curse spread? One of the culprits is the press sensation. Newspapers at the time were not satisfied with King Tut’s invention alone. It is not enough to report things at face value from a scientific perspective. there was There must be more to it. It should be considered bold and dangerous. Of course the ancient Egyptian pharaohs responded by unleashing a terrible plague.
It didn’t help that famous contemporaries like Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – who believed in the occult, witchcraft and a whole lot of nonsense – did. The New York Times article that there were “several evil spirits” and that one of them may have signed Herbert’s death warrant. In 1970, when a member of an excavation party was involved in a minor automobile accident, the tabloids teased that the mummy curse had something to do with it!
Other influences are movies and fantasy books written about the topic. After the discovery, writers rode the King Tut wave by creating stories about cursed mummies. Movies like The Mummy’s Curse It captured the imagination of the audience. But decades before Dutt’s grave was discovered, writers planted ideas in the collective heads of the public.
For example, Louisa May Alcott, author of little girl And its brilliant, non-existent sequel Little Girls 2: Back and Smaller Than Ever In 1869 “Lost in a Pyramid; Or, The Mummy’s Curse.” But, alas, arguing that a mummy curse is based on the writers’ imagination is like trying to claim that vampires are a real thing. twilight.
Of course, that’s not to suggest that the artifacts found in the tomb aren’t intriguing. For example, one of the objects recovered was a dagger made of meteoric iron. This can only mean one thing: it must be the work of aliens and/or ancient astronauts. wait Maybe one day we’ll write an awesome article about that theory!