The Unlucky Mummy

Was the sinking of Titanic the wonder, a spell of bad luck, poor workmanship, a sleepy captain? Or does the truth lie in a Titanic conspiracy theory? When the most tragic events occur in our lives, we do our best to make sense of them. We might blame God, bad luck, our secret desires, fate, and destiny.

On April 15, 1912, at 2:20 a.m., what was deemed one of the most luxurious and safe ships ever built, hit an iceberg and sank off the coast of Newfoundland, taking more than 1,500 lives. The ship, the world’s largest passenger ship at the time, was on its maiden voyage, headed from Southampton, England, to New York City. While the tragedy has inspired myriad movies, books, and articles, the ship and its passengers still hold secrets and little-known facts that might surprise you.

The Titanic was plagued by tragedy from the start. Eight people alone died during the ship’s construction. The richest man aboard was John Jacob Astor IV, who was widely believed to have been the richest man in the world at the time of his death. Multiple newspapers mistakenly reported that the crash caused no fatalities, including the Daily Mail, the Belfast Telegraph, and The World. In the race to publish a headline about the disaster, numerous newspapers gave families and loved ones false hope about the sinking of the Titanic. had the Titanic’s crew seen the iceberg 10 seconds sooner, the ship would have missed it entirely. If they alerted Captain Smith 10 seconds later, they would have hit the iceberg head-on. This may have caused substantial damage, but it would not have sunk the ship. The ship expired because the iceberg sliced a long section of the side of the vessel, which was catastrophic. 


Strange occurrences have been said to eddy around an ancient Egyptian artifact, known as the “Unlucky Mummy,” since it was taken from Egypt to Europe in the 19th century. verified by Bertram Fletcher Robinson, a journalist of the early 20th century. Bertram purportedly spent months investigating and verifying the truth of tragedies related to the artifact. Before he could complete his work, Robinson suddenly died. Was it the curse of the Unlucky Mummy?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle thought so, as did some of Robinson’s other acquaintances. Doyle’s remarks on Robinson’s death and Robinson’s research were recorded in the publications Pearson’s Magazine and the Daily Express.

Robinson’s death:

“It was caused by Egyptian ‘elementals’ guarding a female mummy, because Mr. Robinson had begun an investigation of the stories of the mummy’s malevolence. It is impossible to say with absolute certainty if this is true … but I warned Mr. Robinson against concerning himself with the mummy at the British Museum. He persisted, and his death occurred … I told him he was tempting fate by pursuing his enquiries …The immediate cause of death was typhoid fever, but that is the way in which the elementals guarding the mummy might act.”

the bewitched mummy of an ancient and powerful Princess from Egypt, belonged to Lord Centerville, who had hoped to ship it to a buyer in New York City. To better protect the deceased, monarch, Titanic’s Captain Smith agreed to place the mummy in a storage area near to the ship’s bridge. the statue above her head reportedly read, “Rise from the ashes, and let your eyes strike those who stand in your way.”

The Curse

one of the members was shot accidentally in the arm by his servant, through a gun exploding without visible cause. The arm had to be amputated. Another died in poverty within a year. A third was shot. The owner of the mummy case found, on reaching Cairo, that he had lost a large part of his fortune, and died soon afterwards. … When the case arrived in England, it was given by its owner, Mr. W., to a married sister, At once, misfortune fell upon her household; large financial losses were suffered, bringing other troubles with them.” A photographer who photographed the case and claimed that he’d captured a living woman’s face on the film is said to have died shortly afterward. The artifact’s owner gave it to the British Museum where it was housed when Robinson studied it, and  where it remains to this day .


1860s, five recent Oxford graduates took a trip to Egypt. they sailed down the Nile. To remember their trip, they bought a souvenir in the mummy pits of Deir el-Bahri—the coffin lid of a priestess of Amen-Ra. The high priests of Amen-Ra, named after an Egyptian deity, Powerful and prone to keep secrets, the priesthood worked to appease the gods that Egypt had clearly angered. With her wide, baleful eyes, open palms, and outstretched fingers, the priestess on the coffin lid seemed to cast a malevolent

Back from Egypt

On their way back from Egypt, two of the men died. A third went to Cairo and accidentally shot himself in the arm, and had to have it amputated. Another member of the group, Arthur Wheeler, managed to make it back to England, only to lose his entire fortune gambling. He moved to America and lost his new fortune to both a flood and a fire. The coffin lid was then placed under the care of Wheeler’s sister, who attempted to have it photographed in 1887. The photographer died, as did the porter. The man asked to translate the hieroglyphs on the lid committed suicide. The coffin seemed cursed. But this was only the beginning.

Artifact 22542.

The mummified priestess, today lives in the British Museum where it’s officially known as “artifact 22542.” has another, more commonly used name: “Unlucky Mummy.” Since its arrival at the museum in 1889, the Unlucky Mummy has been blamed for everything from the sinking of the Titanic to the escalation of World War I.

Bertram Fletcher

A journalist named Bertram Fletcher Robinson published a front-page article in the Daily Express, called “A Priestess of Death,” about the allegedly haunted mummy. “It is certain that the Egyptians had powers which we in the 20th century may laugh at, yet can never understand,” he wrote. Three years later, Robinson died suddenly of a fever, and his friends immediately thought of the mummy’s curse. “The very last time I saw him he told me a wonderful tale about a mummy which had caused the death of everybody who had to do with it,”

Sherlock Holmes

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, recalled that he had cautioned Robinson not to get involved with the mummy. “I warned Mr. Robinson against concerning himself with the mummy at the British Museum,” he wrote. “He persisted, and his death occurred… I told him he was tempting fate by pursuing his inquiries, but he was fascinated and would not desist.”

The list of stories about the mummy’s influence began to grow longer—people who sketched the mummy having mysterious accidents, a lady falling down the stairs, a captain meeting financial ruin, a psychic claiming the mummy haunted him for weeks. There was a rumor that the mummy had been on the Titanic and caused the ship’s deadly collision. One person claimed the mummy, at the peak of her wrath, had been presented to the Kaiser and caused the outbreak of World War I.

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