The curse of the mummy began when many terrible events occurred after the discovery of King Tut's tomb. Legend has it that anyone who dared to open the tomb would suffer the wrath of the mummy. Because mummies have been associated with many magical powers throughout history, some of the mummies found from Egypt were ground into a fine powder and sold as mystical mummy powder. It's believed the powder had magical healing powers and it wasn't until the discovery of King Tut and the hype of the media that things would change forever.
The hype began when Lord Carnarvon, the person who funded the dig of King Tut’s Tomb, died shortly after the discovery. The path to his death began in the spring of 1923 when he was bitten on the cheek by a mosquito. During his morning shaving routines, he further aggravated the mosquito bite. It soon became infected and Lord Carnarvon found himself ill. He suffered a high fever and chills. A doctor was sent to examine him but medical attention arrived too late and Lord Carnarvon died. At that exact moment the lights in Cairo mysteriously went out.
Once Carnarvon died the media went wild with stories of his death. They claimed King Tut wanted vengeance and announced a mummy's curse, which targeted those who had entered the tomb.
When Lord Carnarvon died on 5 April 1923, seven weeks after the official opening of pharaoh Tutankhamon's burial chamber, rumours were rife about a curse. News of Tutankhamon's tomb and its discoverers had sent the world's media into a frenzy and the death of Lord Carnarvon added another twist for eager journalists.
|TUTAKHAMON TOMB ENTRANCE|
However, no inscribed curse was found.
One inscription, found on the Anubis shrine (a jackal on a pedestal shown here) in the tomb's so-called Treasury, did say:
"It is I who hinder the sand from choking the secret chamber. I am for the protection of the deceased."
|ANUBIS SHINE FOUND AT THE TOMB|
Reporting of the curse was further fuelled by more deaths, many with very stretched associations to Tutankhamon. Five months after Carnarvon died, his younger brother died suddenly.
Closer to the tomb, another "casualty" was the pet canary of the tomb's discoverer, Howard Carter. The bird was swallowed by a cobra on the day the tomb was opened. This was interpreted as retribution for violation of the tomb, particularly as a cobra was depicted on the brow of the pharaoh from where it would spit fire at the king's enemies.
According to one list, of the 26 individuals present at the official opening of the tomb, six had died within a decade. In reality, many of the key individuals associated with the discovery and work on the tomb lived to a ripe old age.
|PHARAOH DEAD MASK|
Dr D. E. Derry
Derry carried out the original autopsy on Tutankhamon's mummy. If anyone should have been cursed along with Carter, it probably should have been Derry, but he didn't die until 1969.