The Unlucky Mummy: Being The Cause Of The Sinking Of The Titanic?

An Egyptian coffin lid that belonged to a high-ranking woman, to whom multiple misfortunes are attributed, is on display at the British Museum in London. The most notorious, having been the cause of the sinking of the Titanic.

The collection of Egyptian antiquities at the British Museum in London has a very special tenant, a painted, wood and plaster anthropomorphic cover that once covered the mummy of a woman, possibly a priestess of Amun Re. years as the “mummy of bad luck” (the unlucky mummy), although in reality such a mummy does not exist, but it is only a coffin lid.

The “bad luck mummy” is displayed in a glass case in room 62 of the museum and bears the identification number 22542, measures 1.62 meters, is painted in bright colors and covered with hieroglyphic inscriptions. The female representation wears a wig, a large necklace and, most curiously, her hands placed in a strange way, emerging horizontally from her chest and with the palms facing out. The piece is of great beauty and dates from the end of the XXI dynasty (950-900 BC).

But why was he given such a disastrous name? It seems that this priestess, who has the bad habit of hanging around the museum at night, is attributed the thousand and one misfortunes that occurred to her successive owners and to those who tried to tell the story of her evil deeds, including some intrepid reporter. Characters of the stature of Yeats, Conan Doyle or Henry Rider Haggard made reference to the “bad luck mummy“, and even a newspaper as respected as The Times published an article in 1921 that spoke of the dangers faced by those who crossed paths. their way.

Image of Unlucky Mummy

The story of this mummy casing would make for a gripping adventure novel. Apparently, the object was purchased from grave robbers by a certain Thomas Douglas Murray, a member of a group of English travelers who was in Thebes between 1860 and 1870. The trip back to London with the object was anything but uneventful. Both Murray and his companions suffered various disasters: one went into the desert and never appeared again, another lost an arm due to the accidental shot of a servant. The curse even haunted them once in England: another member of the group went bankrupt and another contracted a serious illness that left him bedridden.

The mummy covering of a priestess of Amun Re is attributed the many misfortunes that befell the group of Englishmen who acquired it during a trip to Egypt

In the end, the object ended up in the hands of Mrs. Warwick Hunt, the sister of one of those affected by the evil actions of the priestess. But the inhabitants of her house also began to suffer a series of misfortunes, so she decided to donate the object to the British Museum in 1889. In the museum it continued to cause disasters, some minor ones like the falls of tourists, but others as terrible as the deaths of a photographer who tried to take a picture of the object or that of the journalist Bertram Fletcher Robinson, who died in 1907 due to fevers that some said were caused by the mummy, since the reporter had dared to divulge his supposed curses.


But the most fascinating story surrounding this piece is the one that states that it was the cause of the sinking of the Titanic, the impressive ocean liner, jewel of the White Star shipping company, which sank in the North Atlantic on April 12, 1912. How? did such a story come up? Apparently, the legend about a cursed mummy that was on the ship was launched by the journalist and spiritualist William T. Stead, who was traveling aboard the Titanic (and did not survive). He gathered with other travelers in the smoking room he told a scary story featuring the exploits of the cursed mummy, and added that she was traveling aboard the ship, sent by its new owner, an American billionaire, to his country. But there is more, already after the sinking another incredible story arose about the adventures of the “bad luck mummy”. According to this, the object floated and was picked up by a salvage company that took it to the US and tried to return it to its owner, who was in London. But the ship carrying the “unlucky mummy” back to England, the Empress of Ireland, also sank, and the sarcophagus was again recovered from the waters. But the tragedies would not end here. The mummy was given to Kaiser Wilhelm in Germany, and shortly after the First World War began.

A legend tells that the sarcophagus of the priestess of Amón Re traveled aboard the Titanic, bound for the USA and was the cause of the sinking of the famous transatlantic

The Unlucky Mummy, mummy-board, 21st Dynasty, Thebes, 950 BC.

Evidently, all kinds of information is mixed around the coffin cover of the supposed priestess of Amun Re, some true, others rumors and most authentic nonsense, but it is part of the tradition about the curses of ancient Egyptian mummies, so the taste of the time. In any case, there is no trace of the amulet that, according to some rumors, she wore on her head and read as follows: “Wake up from your prostration and the ray of your eyes will annihilate all those who want to take possession of you.”

The beautiful sarcophagus in room 62 of the British Museum continues to observe visitors with its half smile and friendly expression, and it has been a long time since there has been any misfortune among the thousands of tourists who come to the London institution every day . In fact, most walk past the “unlucky mummy” and don’t even stop to glance at it…

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