Ghosts In Ancient Egyptian Culture

There was wide spread belief in ghosts in ancient Egypt
There was wide spread belief in ghosts in ancient Egypt
One of the horror movies made about mummies seeking vengeance on those that disturbed them.
One of the horror movies made about mummies seeking vengeance on those that disturbed them.
1932 Movie Poster About The Mummy.
1932 Movie Poster About The Mummy.

Ghosts In Ancient Egypt

The Ancient Egyptians believed very much in ghosts and the ancient priests taught that if you disturbed the tomb of a Pharaoh that the ghost of that Pharaoh would hunt you down and torment you to the ends of time. Many Hollywood Movies have been made about this subject.

To the Ancient Egyptians the ideal of total death was unthinkable. It scared them to death to think that once you were dead that you were gone forever. The Pharaohs had their favorite slaves smothered to death and buried with them so they would have the slaves with them in the afterlife to serve them. They had all their personnel belongings even boats buried with them so they would have everything with them they needed in the afterlife.

And the Ancient Egyptian public feared ghosts more than anything else on earth. They believed that if they disturbed the mummy of a deceased person that the ghost of the person who once lived in that body would come back into the mummy and that he mummy would hunt them down and kill them and their family. The ideal of a disturbed ghost seeking vengeance lead to several Hollywood Movies about mummies seeking vengeance on the living.

The Royal Cobra (Uraeus), representing the protector goddess Wadjet, atop the mask of Tutankhamun
The Royal Cobra (Uraeus), representing the protector goddess Wadjet, atop the mask of Tutankhamun

The Curse Of The Pharaohs

It was believed that if you disturbed the final resting place of one of the pharaohs that you would be cursed for the rest of your days. It is believed that this curse could bring bad luck, illness, or death. Down through the years there have been many books written and many documentary's made claiming that the curse is real.

The belief in the curse was brought to the public's attention after what happened to members of the Carter Party that opened the tomb of Tutankhamun.The famous Egyptologist who worked with Howard Carter was named James Henry Breasted and he told that just after they opened King Tut's tomb that Carter sent a messenger to his house. When the messenger got near the house he heard a strange noise like the cry of a baby and when he went into Carters House he found a cobra inside the bird cage in Carter's office. The cobra had Carter's canary in its mouth and was in the process of swallowing it. The cobra is the symbol of the Egyptian Monarchy. Almost immediately people all over Egypt said that the curse was the cause of the cobra.

But the cobra was not the end of it. Very soon there were several mysterious deaths among the people involved with the opening of the tomb of King Tut. Carter's financial backer Lord Carnarvon was the first. He got bit on the face by a mosquito and then he accidentally cut the bite open when he was shaving. It became infected and before long Lord Carnarvon was dead of blood poisoning. It is interesting to note that when the body of Hing Tut was examined closely he had a cut on his face in almost exactly the same place where Carnarvon had his mosquito bite that killed him. Seven other members of Carters group died under mysterious and unusual circumstances.

One of these people was the half brother of Lord Carnarvon and he died of blood poisoning not long after having a tooth pulled. Its interesting to note that the same exact tooth was missing from King Tut when he was later examined. How strange is it that King Tut had a cut on his face where Lord Carnarvon had his mosquito bite and was missing the same exact tooth that was later pulled from the mouth of Carnarvon's mouth resulting in blood poisoning and killing him. Strange coincidences indeed.

There was the gift of a paper weight to Carter's friend Henry Field. The mummified hand did not come from King Tuts tomb but the hand was wearing a bracelet that said , " Cursed Be He Who Moves My Body - To Him Shall Come Fire, Flood, and Pestilence ". With in days of taking the hand back to England Fields house burned to the ground but the paper weight hand was not harmed. Not long after the house was rebuilt it was destroyed by a flood when there had never been a flood in the region where the house was. Again the hand was not harmed. Field had the hand returned to Egypt and reburied. A few years later he died screaming out of his mind saying that he was being attacked by bugs.

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The death of Lord Carnarvon six weeks after the opening of Tutankhamun's tomb resulted in many curse stories in the press.
The death of Lord Carnarvon six weeks after the opening of Tutankhamun's tomb resulted in many curse stories in the press.

In the 1930s and 40's Hollywood made several big hit movies about mummies. The mummies were supposed to be seeking revenge because their resting place had been disturbed.

The story of Howard Carter and the mysterious deaths of the people associated with opening King Tuts Tomb was also a big story of the time. Big City newspapers in America really played up the supposed curse that was said to have claimed peoples lives under mysterious circumstances.

Akhenaten"

Pharaoh Akhenaten tried to change the religion of ancient Egypt and he and his wife worshiped Aten the Sun God. After his death Egypt returned to their old Gods and the priests of the old Gods cursed the spirit and soul of Pharaoh Akhenaten and it is said that to this day that the ghost of Akhenaten wanders over Egypt trying to get to the afterlife but it never can. To this day people in Egypt claim to see the ghost of Akhenaten walking around Egypt wailing and throwing his arms over his head.

I don't know about you but Mummies scare the hell out of me. The last thing in the world that I would want chasing me is a mummy. I remember watching all those old movies about mummies seeking revenge and they flat creeped me out.

Spells for the dead Pharaohs were often written on the inside of their coffins. These spells were spells for the protection of the dead Pharaoh and they even commanded the Gods to protect the dead Pharaohs or all the plaques of Egypt would descend on the Gods. The Egyptians believed very much in an after life and they believed that as long as the mummy of the dead Pharaoh was not disturbed that the Pharaohs ghost would live forever and enjoy the afterlife. Even the Pharaohs cats were killed and buried with them so that the cats spirits would be with the dead Pharaoh in the afterlife.

Anubis was the ancient Egyptian god associated with mummification and burial rituals. Here, he is shown attending to a mummy.
Anubis was the ancient Egyptian god associated with mummification and burial rituals. Here, he is shown attending to a mummy.
The Ancient Book Of The Dead
The Ancient Book Of The Dead
The Egyptian god Anubis (a modern rendition inspired by New Kingdom tomb paintings)
The Egyptian god Anubis (a modern rendition inspired by New Kingdom tomb paintings)

The ancient Egyptians had an elaborate set of burial customs that had to be followed when a Pharaoh died. Mainly these customs included mummification, the casting of spells to protect the dead Pharaohs mummy, and burying the dead Pharaoh with all his belongings including his slaves and animals so he would have them in the after life. Slaves and animals were both smothered and cats were even mummified to preserve them for the afterlife.

The ancient Egyptians had a book called the Book of the Dead which was a collection of spells said to help the dead find their way into the afterlife and to protect the mummies of the dead. Egyptians believe that when a cats mummy is disturbed that the ghost of the dead cat then has to wander the earth forever. Many people in Egypt claim to see the ghosts of dead cats in the Valley of the Kings where many Pharaohs were buried.

Some Egyptians believe that the ghosts of the dead of Egypt whose mummies have been destroyed or sent out of Egypt are condemned to wander the dessert and look for their mummies each night until the mummy is returned and put back where it belonged. For this reason many Egyptians especially older people even today won't go into the dessert at night.

People still claim to see the God Anubis which is said to be the protector of the dead. Anubis is seen in some of the mummy horror movies usually with the body of a man and the head of a jackal. A creature of this type was reported in and around the area of the Carter party when they first opened King Tut's tomb. One of the Egyptian workers who worked for Carter was found dead on the porch of Carter's house a few days after the tomb was opened. His eyes had been gouged out and his throat had been torn open like an animal had done it. Other workers started the rumor that Anubis had killed the man for his part in opening the tomb of the boy king, King Tut.Who ever killed him was never caught. After Carter left Egypt his house was burned to the ground to try to get rid of the evil spirits that were in the house seeking revenge against those who had disturbed the eternal sleep of King Tut.

I hope you enjoyed my Hub Page on the Ghosts In Ancient Egyptian Culture and I want to thank you for reading my Hub Page. I do appreciate it. It would seem that people all down through history have believed in and seen ghosts. I hope you have a nice day and be sure to watch out for Mummies.


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Please Feel Free To Post Your Comments About Ghosts In Ancient Egypt. 10 comments

crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 4 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Thanks very much. I appreciate your kind words.


EinderDarkwolf profile image

EinderDarkwolf 4 years ago from Tempe, A.Z.

Well written. Thanks for writing it, it was interesting.


clairemy profile image

clairemy 4 years ago

Yes the looting is a tragedy, in fact my husband stopped some things being looted less than 6 months ago.....although heavily into politics there he is a Doctor of Antiquites, so has enormous knowledge, very good contacts and absolutley adores his country of birth, Egypt


crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 4 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

I love Egypt very much and think all the looted artifacts should be returned. I Have been there 7 times and will come again. Hopefully in the next 2 years. And yes I know tour guides can tell some wild stories.


clairemy profile image

clairemy 4 years ago

Yes deaths were related to the opening of the tomb, however during scientific examination of the walls they also found bacteria that could have been responsible.

I love my home in Luxor and speak and spend time with many of the older and younger guides

They know their history extremely well, but sometimes they embellish a little. Also because of the damage done by some of the pharaohs to their predecessors monuments .tombs, cartouches and temples some mysteries and dates and yes even ancient curses are still being either researched or speculated upon..

However i am so glad that you love Egypt enough to visit more than once.


crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 4 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Deaths claimed to be related to 'the curse'

The tomb was opened on November 29, 1922.

Lord Carnarvon died on April 5, 1923 after a mosquito bite became infected. His death was 4 months, and 7 days after the opening of the tomb.

George Jay Gould I died in the French Riviera on May 16, 1923 after he developed a fever following a visit to the tomb.

Howard Carter opened the tomb on February 16, 1923 and died on March 2, 1939.

Prince Ali Kamel Fahmy Bey – Died 10 July 1923 – Shot dead by his wife.

Colonel The Hon. Aubrey Herbert, MP, Carnarvon's half-brother – Died 26 September 1923 – Blood poisoning after dental procedure went wrong.

South African millionaire Woolf Joel – Died 13 November 1923 – Shot dead in Johannesburg by blackmailer Baron Kurt von Veltheim whose real name was Karl Frederic Moritz Kurtze.

Sir Archibald Douglas-Reid, Radiologist – Died 15 January 1924 – Serious Illness.

Sir Lee Stack, Governor-General of Sudan – Died 19 November 1924 – Shot and assassinated whilst driving through Cairo.

A. C. Mace, Egyptologist – Died 1928 – Arsenic poisoning

The Hon. Mervyn Herbert, Carnarvon's half brother – Died 26 May 1929 – Reported to have died of "malarial pneumonia".

Captain The Hon. Richard Bethell, Carter's personal secretary – Died 15 November 1929 – Found smothered in his bed.

Richard Luttrell Pilkington Bethell, 3rd Baron Westbury, Father of the above – Died 20 February 1930 – Supposedly threw himself off his seventh floor apartment.

Edgar Steele, Director of handling Tomb Artifacts at the British Museum – Died 24 February 1930 – Blood poisoning after stomach procedure went wrong.

Sir Ernest Budge, an Egyptologist and former Keeper of Egyptian Antiquities for the British Museum – Died 23 November 1934 – Found dead in his bed, death unexplained.

James Henry Breasted, Egyptologist – Died December 2, 1935 – streptococcus after returning from Egypt.

Prince Hallah Bey – Brother of Prince Ali – Committed suicide.

Hugh Evelyn-White, Egyptologist – Committed suicide by hanging.

Plus remember what happened to Carters Canary.


crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 4 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

We were told the story of the house being partialy burned down and later rebuilt by tour guides there. It is also in literature they gave us.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle speculated in the press regarding the death of Lord Carnarvon so soon after opening of Tutankhamun's tomb. Many other members of Carnarvons family also died under mysterious circumstances including his two half brothers. Many deaths have been associated with the curse. Many are listed in the papers they handed out to us when we were there in 1972. I will have to hunt those papers out and post a list.


crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 4 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Howard Carters house is there but it is not the same house. The original one was burned down by people in the area to get rid of evil spirits. The one that is there now is on the spot of the original one. I have been to Egypt many times.


Lilleyth profile image

Lilleyth 4 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

I really enjoy reading your hubs.


clairemy profile image

clairemy 4 years ago

Really interesting reading.

I don't know if you have been to Egypt in recent years but Howard Carters house is up on the hill overlooking the Valley of the Kings ,a great tourist attraction, and lower down on the road leading to the town of Qurna is a restaurant named after him.

Egyptian history is full of myths and legends, but as far as I know non of our tourists have died a horrible death from visiting the tombs.

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