Home U.K. The mummy who fooled Bram Stoker and inspired one of his novels

The mummy who fooled Bram Stoker and inspired one of his novels

The mummy who fooled Bram Stoker and inspired one of his novels 1

When its casket was found in a dusty corner no one dreamed it had led Stoker to pen The Jewel Of Seven Stars. 

But now historian Mike Covell has traced the origins of the tale back to Whitby, North Yorkshire, where the figure was kept next to the desk where Stoker wrote Dracula in 1897.

It belonged to neighbour and local MP Sir George Elliot, who had brought the mummy back from the Valley of the Kings 20 years earlier, believing it was that of a queen. 

Stoker reimagined her as evil Queen Tera in his 1903 spine-chiller, brought back to life with horrific consequences. The book’s gruesome ending so unnerved those who kept mum-mies as curiosities that many hastily donated them to local museums. Sir George’s mummy ended up in Whitby Museum, which later sold it to Hull Museum curator Thomas Sheppard. 

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His new exhibit attracted huge queues and he was keen to know what was beneath the bandages.

Sheppard feared unleashing a curse if he unwrapped the mummy so took it to Hull radiologist Dr J Bannen who X-rayed it, only to find it wore no jewellery. 

Modern tests have revealed the mummy is in fact that of a male priest. 

Mr Covell said: “Jewel Of The Seven Stars was the mother of all mummy novels which led to the movies, from Universal and Hammer right up to the present day. 

“So to find out that the mummy found in a Hull warehouse was actually the model for Stoker’s original mummy epic is amazing news.”

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