Auntie Doris’s They Died Too Young #18: Howard Carter. Died March 2nd 1939, aged 64.

howard-carterPoor old Howard Carter. His number was up from the minute he walked into the tomb of Tutankhamen in the valley of the kings back in 1922. It took them sixteen and a half years to get him. But they got him in the end. The moral of the story is plain for all to see. Mess with the Pharaohs and you will suffer the terrible consequences of the mummy’s curse! Howard had been beggaring about with Ancient Egyptian relics from an early age. Some might say dabbling with forces that he didn’t understand. They built those pyramids for a reason, and the reason was that they didn’t want people like Howard and his pal Lord Carnarvon messing about with their dead kings after they had finished pulling their innards out through their noses and wrapping them in bandages and stuff. They used to bury them all with all their golden trinkets and nic-naks in Egyptian times, so they had to do something about the thieving beggars who would break into the pyramids after all the goodies. The answer was writing curses, and they used to know how to write proper curses an’all, none of your mumbo jumbo. The Ancient Egyptians were an advanced race, and got their curse writing technology from the visitors from other planets and dimensions that they were regularly in contact with. Those curses were built to last. They got Lord Carnarvon within weeks. He cut himself shaving, and the wound turned malignant.Before he knew where he was, half his face was infected, and once the pus got into the veins of his cheek, it was only a matter of time before the poison went to his heart and he dropped dead. As his only living friend, Howard Carter had to go and identify the body, at the city mortuary in Cairo, and he was none to pleased when the coroner cited “mummy’s curse” as the cause of death. There was worse to come. When he got home that evening, he found that a viper had somehow got into his house, slithered its way into his pet canary’s cage, and swallowed it whole. All that was left were a few yellow feathers. That properly put the willies up Howard, as, being a top Egyptologist, he knew that the viper was an Ancient Egyptian symbol of revenge. And besides, no man takes very kindly to having his canary swallowed by a ruddy viper. Have you seen the fangs on those things? After that Howard was living on borrowed time. He fled back to England, only to discover that his house was infested with ruddy scarab beetles. What was worse was that the council didn’t have a clue how to get rid of them because they had only ever dealt with cockroaches before. When they discovered a further infestation of locusts in tween the living room ceiling and the bedroom floor, his wife left him and went back to her mothers. Howard spent his last years a haunted man, and finally succumbed to cancer of the sarcophagus in 1939. I never went further than Blackpool for my holidays, but if I had have gone abroad, you wouldn’t have caught me anywhere near them ruddy pyramids.

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