In 1922, archeologist Howard Carter found the tomb of King Tutankhamun, the boy-king, also known as King Tut.
In 1907, Lord Carnarvon hired Carter to search the burial tombs of Egypt for dead nobles.
For 16 years Carter hunted for archeological mysteries. His long search was fruitless.
Carter became obsessed with finding the tomb of the forgotten dead king. His patience paid off. On November 4th, 1922, he discovered a step that had been cut into a rock. The step led to 16 stairs. The stairs led to a sealed door covered in royal designs.
An excited Carter immediately sent word to Lord Carnarvon.
Three weeks later the two men went down the steps together. Workmen removed the sealed door. Behind that door were things that no one had seen in 3,300 years.
King Tut’s burial chamber was stuffed with treasure beyond imagining. Its discovery would make household names of Carter and Carnarvon. It would also make a legend of the forgotten boy-king who died at age 18.
Amongst the treasure was the royal Egyptian mummy in his elaborate coffin. His face was hidden by a mask made from gold.
Some say something else was in that dark and secret tomb: A terrible curse for anyone who violated King Tut’s final resting place.
Can there be any truth in such a superstition?
In March of the next year, Lord Carnarvon was bitten by a mosquito. The British aristocrat made the bite worse while shaving. Shortly after, he died of blood poisoning. His dog was said to have died the same time his master kicked the bucket.
A member of Carter’s excavation team died of arsenic poisoning. And a rich American who visited the tomb died of pneumonia shortly after. People involved with the tomb were dropping like flies.
The creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle called it the ‘curse of the mummy’. The curse of King Tut was born.
Critics say if such a curse exists, why was Carter spared? The famous archeologist didn’t die until 1939 at the age of 64. They also say that Lord Carnarvon was chronically ill before he entered the tomb.
Despite this, the curse of King Tut has become equally as famous as the archeological discovery.
In 1982, San Francisco police lieutenant, George LaBrash, suffered a stroke while guarding the ancient mask of King Tut.
LaBrash sued the authorities. He believed he was a victim of the pharaoh’s curse.
LaBrash said, “I firmly believe that King Tut’s curse is as good an explanation for what has happened to me as any.”
The police officer was unsuccessful in his lawsuit.
Did Carter and Carnarvon really unearth a terrible curse or is it nothing more than a series of coincidences?
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