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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Tut May Have Sent Spirit to Kill His Finder, Doyle Says

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Tut May Have Sent Spirit to Kill His Finder, Doyle Says is an article published in The Chicago Tribune on 6 april 1923.

Tut May Have Sent Spirit to Kill His Finder, Doyle Says

The Chicago Tribune (6 april 1923, p. 3)

New York, April 5. — [Special.] — An evil spirit, or "elemental," summoned by Egyptian priests or others who resented the invasion of Tut-Ankh-Amen's tomb, may have induced the disorder which caused Lord Carnarvon's death, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle suggested today in an interview.

"One can't say, but it may be dangerous digging into these old tombs," Sir Arthur said. "Certainly it has been very noticeable that innumerable disasters have occurred to those concerned in the past with disinterring mummies."

"One wouldn't like to my as to cause and effect, but the digging up of tombs evidently is a dangerous adventure. The men who first robbed Tut-Ankh-Amen's tomb were tortured to death it is known.

"The Egyptians had powers that we know nothing of. They easily may have used those powers, occult and otherwise, to defend their graves. They always opposed digging up the mummies.

Occult Death Possible.

When asked whether he thought that it was possible for occult powers to be employed to induce sickness and death, Sir Arthur said it was possible, in his opinion.

"But decent people avoid these forms of spiritualism." he said. "They are what is called black magic, witchcraft, etc. There isn't any doubt that witchcraft is perfectly real."

When asked whether he thought Tut-Ankh-Amen and Lord Carnarvon will meet immediately in the spirit world or already have met. Sir Arthur said that he couldn't really venture an opinion, but it was not likely.

"Unless." he added, "the one who died long ago was a terrible rotter. Otherwise he would have risen far above the plane on which a newly disembodied spirit would enter."

What an "Elemental" Is.

"An elemental is a built-up, artificial thing, as we understand it," he added. "It is something distinct from life which holds together for a certain time and then breaks. Supposedly it hat no soul. What we call fairies may be elementals. Elementals are not always evil; there are nature elementals, for instance."

"Do you think there may be spirits of the woods and trees?" Sir Arthur was asked.

"O, yes, there may be." he answered. "Nature was never empty. I am sure.

Egyptologists Scoff.

New York, April 5. — While Sir Arthur Conan Doyle asserted today that it was by no means an untenable theory that spirits caused the death of Lord Carnarvon, Egyptologists and scientists read "insect bits" and nothing more. They scoffed openly at the idea of an avenging spirit remaining faithful 3,000 years.

Mrs. Caroline Williams of the New York Historical society, former assistant curator of Egyptology Metropolitan, was among those who scouted the superstition. Unlike the others, however, Mrs. Williams was interested in finding its origin and tracting its growth, and in doing so cited some of the tomb inscriptions which have given rise to and strengthened the belief.

"One of these," Mrs. Williams said, "was found on a tomb of about 2,500 B. C. and read: 'After any man who shall enter this tomb to usurp it, I will receive him like a wild fowl and he shall be judged for it by the great God.'"

Mrs. Williams said that the mortuary endowment of Ammon-Hotep III., grandfather of Tut-Ankh-Amen's queen, gave a particularly complete account of what was expected of the protectors and preservers of the endowment and of threats against those who violated it. Of these latter the inscriptions said: "His body be accursed. Ammon shall deliver violators to blazing wrath."