While most Halloween characters that incite fear are the works of someone’s twisted imagination, or maybe loosely based on events that happened to a friend of a friend, mummies are the real deal.
These walking corpses have been raising the hairs on the backs of necks for thousands of years, and although the most popular forms of mummies come from Egypt, there are mummified bodies littered throughout the world.
To try and understand where the fear originated one must look at the history and for this discussion we will look at the Egyptian mummy; because long before Hollywood brought us the horror of Paris Hilton on the big screen it devoted much of effort to haunting our dreams with images of Imhotep chasing starlets through ancient temples.
The idea behind mummies is actually deeply rooted in Egyptian culture.
The Egyptians believed that after death our bodies moved to the afterlife, and in order to keep the soul alive the body needed to be preserved.
The preservation process may be where the fear of mummies started; it’s believed that if the priest in charge of the embalming process made unnecessary cuts, the spirits that take the soul to the after life would not be able to recognize the body and it would walk the earth forever searching for the priest.
Another bit of important history in the legend of mummies is the curses said to be laid on anyone who disturbs the tomb of a pharaoh.
One such curse was the center of much of the hysteria associated with the tombs and their mummies.
In 1923, Lord Carnarvon funded the expedition to unearth the tomb of King Tutankhamun, and shortly after the unearthing of the mummy, he and many of the archeologists that visited the tomb died mysteriously.
Lord Carnarvon died when a mosquito bite got infected, coincidence? At the exact time of his death all of the lights in Cairo went out. It’s even reported that his dog started howling, again at the same time of his death, and died.
If you think that’s strange but still aren’t convinced, it’s reported that a number of the explorers who visited the tomb, which was found to be one of the most intact tombs ever discovered, died shortly after their visits.
Hollywood jumped on the bandwagon producing a number of films staring Mummies, including The Mummy in 1932.
From the first time the world was introduced to the sight of the bandage wrapped beasts they were transfixed, solidifying whether fact or fiction that the mummies will get you.
Here are some interesting facts about mummies:
- They possess magical powers and are linked to the afterlife.
- A fear of mummies is called Pharaohphobia
- Mummies have superhuman strength
- The best way to kill a mummy is to use a sword or a club, but remember they cannot be stunned.
- Mummies are generally Captains of a group of Zombies or Skeletons and they should be killed first because they organize the rest of the group.
- They have been around for thousands of years and have probably learned some great fighting techniques.
- If all other attempts are squashed in trying to rid yourself of a mummy call Brendan Fraser, he has some history of dealing with them.
- Do not, I repeat, Do Not call Madonna, she looks too much like them when they are unwrapped, and that likeness could lead to the formation a super group, when formed would try to raise the rest of the undead world using Egyptian scripture subliminally hidden in her lyrics.
Photo Courtsey of HBO
Check hometownstation.com all week for the full series of Creature Features. On Tuesday, October 27 all five creatures will square off for a hypothetical battle royal. Tune in to Something to Talk About at 10:00 a.m. to hear our pitches and find out who our special guest judges believe is the most fearsome monster.
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