On the 12th April 1912 the Titanic was crossing the Atlantic on her way to New York on her maiden voyage. All seemed to be going well on the voyage. A group of eight people gathered in the first class smoking room to discuss the meaning of life.
|An Original Picture of Titanic|
Dated March 20th 1912 at Belfast
|A Picture of Titanic During Construction.|
One of the group was William T Stead , the English journalist and Spiritualist. As the evening progressed Stead began to tell a ghost story which would open the flood gates to legends and myths surrounding the Titanic and her sinking for decades to follow.
|William T Stead.|
He boasted that he was not superstitious as he pointed out that his story began before midnight on the 12th April and ended shortly after midnight.
The story concerned the finding of an Egyptian Mummy and the translation of the inscription on the Mummy's case. The inscription warned that whoever should verbally recite the inscription would meet a very violent death.
The seven other members listened with sinister curiosity. Could Stead have been serious? Was there such a curse? Where was the Mummy - surely not onboard the ship they were travelling on?
Seven men out of the eight went down with the ship, including Stead himself although he had already had a premonition about his death some time before. The only survivor from the group was Fred Seward , who later when asked about the Mummy story told them that he would never dare retell it
|Seward in his|
1925 Passport Application
Over the years there have been many different accounts of the Mummy's curse but after careful research the answer seems quite clear.
Before I can conclude it is important to retell the Mummy's curse as
frequently told from various sources.
The Mummy's Curse
The Princess of Amen-Ra lived some 1,500 years before Christ. When she died, she was laid in an ornate wooden coffin and buried deep in a vault at Luxor, on the banks of the River Nile.
In the late 1890s, four rich young Englishmen visiting the excavations at Luxor were invited to buy an exquisitely fashioned Mummy case containing the remains of Princess of Amen-Ra.
|Modern Day Excavations at Luxor|
They drew lots. The man who won paid several thousand pounds and had the coffin taken to his hotel. A few hours later, he was seen walking out towards the desert. He never returned.
The next day, one of the remaining 3 men was shot by an Egyptian servant accidentally. His arm was so severely wounded it had to be amputated.The third man in the foursome found on his return home that the bank holding his entire savings had failed. The fourth suffered a severe illness, lost his job and was reduced to selling matches in the street.
|Princess of Amun Ra at the Louvre.|
Nevertheless, the coffin eventually reached England (causing other misfortunes along the way), where a London businessman bought it.
After three of his family members had been injured in a road accident and his house damaged by fire, the businessman donated it to the British Museum.
As the coffin was being unloaded from a truck in the museum courtyard, the truck suddenly went into reverse and trapped a passer-by. Then as 2 workmen were lifting the casket up the stairs, 1 fell and broke his leg. The other, apparently in perfect health, died unaccountably two days later.
Once the Princess was installed in the Egyptian Room, trouble really started. The Museum's night watchmen frequently heard frantic hammering and sobbing from the coffin. Other exhibits in the room were also often hurled about at night. One watchman died on duty. Other watchmen wanting to quit. Cleaners refused to go near the Princess too. When a visitor derisively flicked a dust cloth at the face painted on the coffin, his child died of measles soon afterwards.
The Curse of The Titanic
Finally, the authorities had the Mummy carried down to the basement figuring it could not do any harm down there. Within a week, one of the helpers was seriously ill, and the supervisor of the move was found dead on his desk.
By now, the papers had heard of it. A journalist photographer took a picture of the Mummy case and when he developed it, the painting on the coffin was of a horrifying, human face. The photographer was said to have gone home then, locked his bedroom door and shot himself.
Soon afterwards, the museum sold the Mummy to a private collector. After continual misfortune (and deaths), the owner banished it to the attic.
A well-known authority on the occult, Madame Helena Blavatsky , visited the premises. Upon entry, she was sized with a shivering fit and searched the house for the source of an evil influence of incredible intensity; She finally came to the attic and found the Mummy case.
|Madame Helena Blavatsky|
On the night of April 14, amid scenes of unprecedented horror, the Princess of Amen-Ra accompanied 1,500 passengers to their deaths at the bottom of the Atlantic. The name of the ship was of course, the R.M.S. TITANIC ."
Some accounts of the story go on to say that the American collector bribed the crew of the Titanic to put the Mummy in a lifeboat and was smuggled onboard the Carpathia when she picked up the Titanic survivors and landed safely in New York.
In America the Mummy continued to bring tragedy to those that handled the coffin and so it was shipped back to Europe on the Empress of Ireland which then sank with the loss of 840 passengers on the 29th May 1912.
Somehow, the Mummy was saved again. The collector decided to ship the coffin back to Egypt on a third ship, the Lusitania. The ship was torpedoed by a German submarine. What happened after that is not known.