The Curse of the Pharaohs’ Tombs
by Paul Harrison
The Curse of the Pharaohs Tombs is the definitive book on Ancient Egyptian tomb curses, providing new information and data never before published whilst exploring the many incidents and deaths associated with tomb curses. The book puts the record straight on matters which have been wrongly recorded by others, such as the legend of Tutankhamun, as well as presenting new data never before published associated with matters such as the torment Howard Carter suffered before his death. It also contains exclusive information and interviews with the family members and archaeologists associated with the curses, including experts at the British Museum and Cairo Museum.
Paul Harrison also covers the history of Egyptian tomb curses, why they were placed at the entrance to some tombs and not others, as well as the frightening reality of mummification after death in Ancient Egypt. Closer to home, the hundreds of deaths and haunted tube station (Museum) which are associated with the curse of Amen-Ra (housed in the British Museum) is covered along with the mysterious deaths and tragedy associated with Cleopatra s needle on the Embankment of the River Thames.”
The Curse of the Pharaohs’ Tombs is a rather romantic collection of the curses of Egyptian artifacts that also has a conspiratorial air about it. This book opens with tales of mysterious deaths with the opening of Tutankhamen’s tomb and continues with other artifacts of ancient Egypt. Each story has some anecdotal evidence of calamity affecting someone who has had some type of contact with the artifact in question. Harrison states that he is not trying to convince anyone, but suggests that perhaps the scientific community or “Establishment” has dismissed too many incidents that cannot be coincidental. At one point he explains that Howard Carter, who opened the tomb, felt pressure from his academic colleagues to not believe in reasoning other than purely mundane. Harrison states, “It is not the masses who distinguish reality from fiction, it is the Establishment that does so.”
I had a few issues with this book. The main one being I wanted footnotes or some sort of documented sources. A letter is included that was supposedly penned by an Egyptian workman and sent to the author by his son. I had a red flag go up while reading this. While it was fascinating and I was glued to the pages, there is no mention of confirming the source of this letter. That bugs me. There are dozens of these types of accounts littered throughout that are very engaging, but I can’t really take them seriously without some evidence.
As for all the coincidental deaths that appear to result from having contact with artifacts or whatever Egyptian curse. How many people walked away unscathed? There are thousands of artifacts that have been removed over the years. Without giving some number of people that that are healthy vs people who succumbed, the evidence that is given has no context.
Having stated the glaring problem I have with The Curse of the Pharaohs’ Tombs, I still had fun reading it. The content was interesting, but I just didn’t vibe with his suggestive conclusions. It reminds me of a set of books that I begged for as a kid, Time Life book series Mysteries of the Unknown. I remember seeing the commercials for it and I willingly admit I loved it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4zBYh2PUyk Books like this I think can be an entry point into your life and can initiate a passion that lasts. So, If you like ghost stories, or you’re interested in Ancient Egypt, or perhaps The Age of Enlightenment (the time period where many of these stories originated), this is a fun book you might want to try.