In Search of the Mummy's Curse
This November, I am lucky enough to get to spend ten days traveling throughout Egypt. Booking the trip was very spur of the moment and I’m really excited for this once-in-a-lifetime experience with my go-to travel companion, my mom. We fly out of Toronto on October 31st, and a colleague recently pointed out to me that I am leaving for the land of the mummies on Halloween. Technically, by the time the plane lands it will actually be November 1st, but I still found the connection rather amusing.
It got me thinking about the fascination with mummies within Western popular culture. Mummies have become a mainstay in horror movies, comic books, Halloween costumes, and more. They are often grouped in with other monstrous creatures, like vampires, werewolves and zombies but, unlike the others, mummies are REAL! While the others may have some basis in cultural lore or perhaps even misunderstood science, we have tangible proof that mummies exist. Granted, they are not walking around like in the movies (though I promise to report back if I see evidence to the contrary on my trip) but mummification has nonetheless been a very real cultural practice around the world for millennia. And Western culture is fascinated!
Being the intrepid librarian that I am, I decided to take a look through our catalogue to explore some of the ways that mummies and mummification have been represented in pop culture. Off I went on my own little (virtual) archeological dig, and here’s some of what I found.
This collection features all 6 of the classic Hollywood mummy movies, including the original version of The Mummy (1932) and Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955).
For a more scientific approach, try this documentary series produced by the Smithsonian.
And lastly, I leave you with a reminder of the time the mummies invaded Toronto. The Art Gallery of Ontario hosted a wildly popular King Tut exhibition in 1979.