The Curse of Pharaoh – Real or Imagined
Many reports have been recorded regarding calamities and misfortunes happening to every person that has anything to do with any aspect of Egyptian antiquities. Some of the victims in many of the historical accounts include those who participated, at one time or the other, in the excavations, movement, selling, transferring, picturing or processing of any kinds. This has led to the general belief that there is a mysterious curse associated with the Egyptian antiquities, especially the mummified bodies of the kings and other royal personalities as well as the hidden treasures kept with them in the pyramids.
It would have been easy for us to discard these stories as folklore or mere superstitions if they were all dated back to the pre-historic periods of Egyptian history. But alas, most of them happenings took place in the recent time with living proofs.
To illustrate this point, let me quickly bring just one relevant story in this regard. Quoting from M.M. Ja’far’s Al-Sihr, Khaleel ibn Ibraheem narrated the following story.
One of them is about a finely made sarcophagus of the mummy of an Egyptian priestess currently displayed at the British Museum. According to available records, this sarcophagus was brought to London by one Mr Douglas with the intention to keep it in his house as a valuable antiquity. Unfortunately, every person that had anything to do with it got into one disaster or the other and that prompted Douglas to give it to the British Museum.
The very day Douglas bought this sarcophagus, he had a very terrible accident that eventually led to his death. He was just cleaning his revolver when it went off and a bullet hit him in the thigh and he died on the operating table while doctors were trying to remove the bullet. Following Douglas’ instruction before the surgery, his friend, Mr Hopley decided to give the sarcophagus to his sister in London. He therefore took it to Port Said for onward shipping to London. When Hopley reached the port, he found a telegram awaiting him that his had just been murdered. In the same vein, when Douglas’ sister received the sarcophagus in London, and put it in her room, she started having one trouble over another. Her daughter was killed by a passing car the same day the sarcophagus arrived and her husband committed suicide the following week. Her financial situation also worsened . Following advice from astrologers, she decided to give it away to the British museum. When the sarcophagus was being put in place, a porter if the museum was reported to have been making jest of it. This porter later started having pains experiencing serious agony for several minutes before he later fell beside it and died.
All the above happenings fired the imagination of the English experts on Egyptian artifacts who took interest in this sarcophagus and appointed a committee to carry out a study on it. H.A. Mansell was the company contracted to carry out the photographic part of the work. When the company’s representative finished taking pictures of the various sides of the sarcophagus, she later had accident in which he lost all the fingers of his right hands and could not take pictures again. Anyway, the picture was eventually developed and something strange was found on the developed photo. What they found was an engraved picture of a priestess with an expression of anger on her face. When those who have seen the sarcophagus before was asked about this pictures, they all said that they never saw any images on it before.
Many similar stories even of more brutal accounts have been narrated by many authors and narrators. Did you know that Titanic, the greatest ship ever built by man had a pharaonic mummy on board? Expressing his confusion about this mystery, a German writer, Philip Vanderberg stated:
How can we explain that whenever a Pharaonic mummy is found in a place there is inevitable calamity that occurs in the same place?