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From Magic to Science


The tomb of the ancient Pharaoh, Tut-ankh-Amen, was opened some years ago. Lord Carnarvon, who financed the investigations, died shortly after the opening. Lord Westbury fell to his death from the high window of a London flat on February 21, 1930. His son, the Hon. Richard Bethell, had been found dead in his room the previous November. He was secretary to Mr. Howard Carter, one discoverer of Tut-ankh-Amen’s tomb. Many persons who had been connected with the excavations had died previously—M. Benedite, for example, died after participating in the research, and Mrs. Greely committed suicide after visiting the tomb. The Hon. Richard Bethell was the thirteenth person connected with Tut-ankh-Amen's tomb, directly or indirectly, to die, and his father, Lord Westbury, was the fourteenth. The death of Lord Carnarvon, a few weeks after the tomb was opened, stirred the notion that a curse had been placed on the mummy of the Pharaoh, or in his tomb, to menace violators. Succeeding deaths kept the notion alive, and the thirteenth death, of the Hon. Richard Bethell, wrung an opinion from Dr. Mardus, the eminent French Egyptologist. He was convinced that the ancient Egyptians could surround “their mummies with some dynamic force.” Such a force lurked in the tomb of Tut-ankh-Amen. Its nature was unknown, but it had manifested itself in the series of deaths.

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  • ISSN: 0031-8191
  • EISSN: 1469-817X
  • URL: /core/journals/philosophy
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