Mummy Stories


From the first time I saw a mummy movie on TV, I developed a lifelong interest in mummies: Egyptian and otherwise, factual and fictional.

One of my favorite activities in childhood was watching TV shows and old movies--especially scary movies.Many Friday nights I begged to watch the Twilight Zone, only to become so scared that I couldn't go to sleep all night; the scariest episode of all was the one entitled "Room for One More" involving a dream about the hospital morgue. And on Saturdays I often tuned in an old Mummy movie (or Frankenstein or the Wolfman--you get the picture). The mummy movies were the most fascinating to me--the idea of someone coming back to life (all wrapped up in tattered bandages) was very creepy. Although as a child I never had a chance to see a real mummy or learn about ancient Egypt (it wasn't covered in my school's curriculum), I kept this fascination to adulthood.

In 1990, when I was all grown up (and then some), I got an idea to write a book about mummies. I was in the British Museum in London, climbing up the long staircase to the second floor when I came across a mummy that I couldn't ignore. It was Lindow Man, and he was in a display case at the top of the stairway.

Lindow Man is a bog body, a kind of mummy I had never before encountered. One look at his preserved body, and I knew I wanted to write a book about all the different types of mummies in the world.

That's what I did in my book How to Make a Mummy TalkTo do this, I read a lot of books and articles about mummies. I spoke to a number of mummy experts. I also visited many museums that exhibit mummies. One of my personal favorites is the Museo de las momias in Guanajuato, Mexico. I've included a few pictures to help you get the idea. A few years later, I decided to write an entire book about bog bodies, complete with photographs; it's called Bodies from the Bog.

I have five mummy stories to share with you:


Mummy Story 1

The Lemon Grove Mummies -- a sad mummy story about stolen mummies still displayed at a California museum.


Mummy Story 2 

The Curse of King Tut's Tomb -- a factual look at a story created by the rumor mill.

Mummy Story 3

Lindow Man -- the account of how a famous bog body was discovered and what scientists were able to piece together.


Mummy Story 4

The Mummy on the Titanic -- the truth about a story that swept the Internet about the possibility of a cursed mummy aboard the ill-fated ship.


Mummy Story 5

Elmer McCurdy-- the story of a bank robber who was turned into a mummy for profit.