“Cursed be those who disturb the rest of a Pharaoh. They that shall break the seal of this tomb shall meet death by a disease that no doctor can diagnose”. The famous quote is linked to Egyptology, namely to the famous saying “curse of the pharaohs”. The curse refers to a belief that those who disturb the mummy of a pharaoh will suffer something terrible.
The Curse of Tutankhamun, or the curse of King Tut started in 1922, when his tomb was first opened. The expedition to find the tomb started in 1917. Before that, curses related to tombs were rare, because the idea was unthinkable. However, after the opening of the tomb on November 29th, 1922, many people that were linked with the expedition of finding the tomb and the opening, suffered a terrible and mysterious death. Here are seven victims of the King Tut’s curse.
He was the one who started the curse. The financial backer of the excavation team died just four months and one week after the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb. The fun thing is that he died from a mosquito bite that became infected. Carnarvon was the first person to succumb to the King Tut’s curse. How did he infect the bite? Just hours after a mosquito bite, the Lord was shaving, and accidentally tore the bite open. He died of blood poisoning. Just weeks after the press started the famous article on the “Mummy’s curse”, Carnarvon succumbed to it. Some legends say that the moment the Lord passed away, the lights in his house went out in a mysterious way.
Carter was the man responsible for discovering the tomb. He passed away more than a decade later, but people attributed his death to the curse. Carter died at the age of 64, and never had a mysterious illness neither his house ever fell victim to natural disaster. Howard died of cancer, and even his tombstone is linked with Egyptology and archeology. On his tomb, the quote “May your spirit live, may you spend millions of years, you who love Thebes, sitting with your face to the north wind, your eyes beholding happiness” is written. Carter died in 1939, long after he opened the tomb in February 1923.
Sir Bruce Ingham
The fun fact is that Bruce had nothing to do with the tomb, the discovery or the opening. He was merely “infected” by the curse just by being a friend with Howard Carter. According to the legends, Carter gave Bruce a paperweight with a mummified hand wearing a bracelet. Some say that the bracelet was inscribed, and that the words “cursed be he who moves my body” were written on it. As a result, Bruce’s house was burned to the ground just months after receiving the gift. He tried to rebuild it, but the house was hit again, this time with a flood.
James Henry Breasted
James was working with Howard Carter. He was just another Egyptologist on the team, but he helped finding the tomb. After the tomb was found, James returned home, only to find that his pet was eaten by a cobra. The cobra is a symbol of Egyptian monarchy, so many attribute that to the curse. Breasted died in 1935, just days after a trip to Egypt.
Ember was another Egyptologist, but he was not on the team tasked with finding and opening the tomb. However, he was friends with almost every person on the expedition, including the man who financed everything, Lord Carnarvon. He died in 1926, few years after the tomb was opened. His house burned down, and instead of trying to exit safely, Ember was trying to save a book. The name of the book? The Egyptian Book of the Dead. He was working on the book when he died because of the fire. Spooky, isn’t it?
The brother of the main financier, Audrey, died from a mysterious death. With no serious health problems before, Herbert became blind just months after the opening of the tomb. The doctors believed that his rotten, infected teeth were interfering with his vision, causing him to go totally blind. In an effort to save him, they pulled every single tooth from his mouth. However, since the diagnose was wrong, it didn’t work. However, as a result of the operation, he suffered blood poisoning, and died because of that. Herbert died just five months after Lord Carnarvon, his brother.
Some people succumbed to the curse, others were not so patient to wait for King Tut’s curse to kill them. Hugh was archeologist who was tasked with the excavation of the body. He took his own life, because he was terrified of the curse. With many of the crew members falling victim to the curse in 1923, Evelyn-White hanged himself. But before he hanged himself, he wrote a suicide letter, in which he wrote “I have succumbed to a curse which forces me to disappear”.