Curse of the Mummy's Hand...
|IMAGE via Oddities and Curiosities|
A fabulous story about a mummy's hand was recounted on Monday 13 August 1934 in the Western Daily Press and Bristol Mirror. It reported the sudden and unexpected death of Mr Jean Julien Romain Van Der Elst, aged 42, who was a well-known collector of antiquities. Mr Van der Elst, a descendant of the famous Flemish painter, Rieter Van der Elst, lived at Addison Lodge, Addison Road, where he kept many antiques, including a large collection of Chinese objects. It was however Mrs Van Der Elst, a self-proclaimed student of witchcraft, who claimed responsibility for introducing the mummy's hand into Addison Lodge.
Three year's previous to her husband's unfortunate death, Mrs Van Der Elst had bought the hand in Egypt from a local Bedouin. An archaeologist then declared into be 7000 years old and to be the hand of a princess. 'My husband never wanted it' she declared to the reporter, 'but it was my unbridled desire to have it'. Since that time, she and her husband had been constantly ill and unable to sleep. When her husband managed to doze, he consistently dreamt of the hand trying to strangle him.
Unable to live with the cursed hand any longer, she threw the mummified hand into the fire. Instead of it igniting immediately, the 'beautiful manicured hand' remained like stone and took 3 whole hours to be destroyed. Still worrying about the power of the hand's curse, she took to wearing a protective charm to ward off evil but the charm became lost soon after.
Mrs Van Der Elst concluded that 'Now he is dead. It is a great tragedy. I don't know what caused his death...'
What a great story!