The history of ancient Egypt is characterized by the practice of magic and belief in the supernatural, with curses being used in numerous contexts. One of those was in tombs to deter thieves and treasure hunters. That said, numerous negative occurrences have been attributed to them, with documentation on this dating back to 641 when the Arabs who conquered Egypt experienced this phenomenon.
Arab writers warned their counterparts to never tamper with Egyptian graves as the indigenous community practiced powerful forms of magic. The following is an outline of some of the most bizarre and extremely creepy, ancient Egypt curses.
A curse on the Britannia
In 1972, treasures from King Tutankhamun’s tomb were sent to numerous museums in England to commemorate the 50th anniversary since the discovery of his final resting place. Some of the items were transported into the country via a Royal Air Force Britannia plane. An incident that occurred on the flight was believed to have unleashed a curse on its occupants. Apparently, one of the technical officers thought it would be humorous to kick a crate holding King Tutankhamun’s Royal Mask, and two years later, he broke the leg. Two other crew members died of heart attacks soon after the incident, while another went through a nasty divorce, blaming it on the curse of Tutankhamun.
Stolen ancient Egypt relic in Germany
In 2007, an anonymous owner of an ancient Egypt relic returned it to the Egyptian embassy in Germany because of its curse. The artifact was reported to have been stolen from the Valley of Kings, which is close to Luxor. The area is home to dozens of tombs belonging to rulers and noble men of ancient Egypt. Apparently, the owner’s stepfather stole it in 2004, and took it back to his home country as a souvenir. However, misfortune soon befell him. The following is an excerpt of the report on this by the Telegraph.
“It was on his return to Europe that the trouble began, according to an anonymous note that accompanied the carving when it was recently returned to the Egyptian embassy in Berlin.
“Instead of enjoying his stolen treasure, the thief was struck down with an inexplicable fatigue and fever, progressing to paralysis, and ultimately death. Following his demise, the stolen piece was returned to the Egyptians by his stepson, who believed that the thief’s torment would not end merely with death. By returning the carving to its rightful home, Egypt’s Supreme Council for Antiquities said this week, he hoped his stepfather’s soul could rest in peace.”
Curses on private tombs
Many private tombs that date back to ancient Egypt have been found to have curses engraved, especially those from the Old Kingdom period. The following is a comprehensive one found in Ankhmahor from Saqqara’s tomb.
“As for anything that you might do against this tomb of mine of the West, the like shall be done against your property. I am an excellent lector priest, exceeding knowledgeable in secret spells and all magic. As for any person who will enter into this tomb of mine in their impurity, having eaten the abominations that excellent akh-spirits abominate, or who do not purify themselves as they should purify themselves for an excellent akh who does what his lord praises, I shall seize him like a goose (wring his neck), placing fear in him at seeing ghosts upon earth, that they might be fearful of an excellent akh…”
Some of the said afflictions from ancient Egypt tomb curses have been concluded to be effects from exposure to noxious gases in the tombs and mutated strains of bacteria and fungi present in the enclosures that can lead to ill health and sometimes death.
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