An illustration by Martin van Maële of the mummy from "Lot No. 249" an 1892 Gothic horror short story by British writer Arthur Conan Doyle.

Mummies are commonly featured in horror genres as undead creatures wrapped in bandages. Similar undead include skeletons and zombies.


The mummy genre has its origins in the 19th century when Egypt was being colonized by France and, subsequently, by Victorian Britain. The first living mummies in fiction were mostly female, and they were presented in a romantic and sexual light, often as love interests for the protagonist; this metaphorically represented the sexualized Orientalism and the colonial romanticization of the East. Notable examples of this trend include The Mummy's Foot by Théophile Gautier, The Jewel of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker, The Ring of Thoth by Arthur Conan Doyle, She: A History of Adventure and Smith and the Pharaohs by H. Rider Haggard, My New Year's Eve Among the Mummies by Grant Allen, The Unseen Man's Story by Julian Hawthorne, and Iras: A Mystery by H. D. Everett; the latter actually has the protagonist marry a mummy which takes on the form of a beautiful woman.[1][2][3]

Starting from the 1930s, the "romantic mummy" was supplanted by the "monster mummy", pioneered by Boris Karloff in the 1932 movie The Mummy; mummies thus joined the pantheon of 19th century Gothic monsters, alongside Count Dracula and Frankenstein's monster.[1]

However, the end of the 20th century saw the revival of interest in the "romantic mummy" archetype, starting with the 1989 novel The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice, which involved a sexual relationship between a benevolent male mummy and a female archaeologist.[1] The trend intensified throughout the late 1990s, the 2000s, and the 2010s: modern works of fiction featuring romanticized living mummies include the 1997 horror fiction novella Don't Tell Mummy by Tom B. Stone,[4] the Inca Mummy Girl episode of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the 2006 fantasy novel Freaks: Alive on the Inside by Annette Curtis Klause, and the 2011 video game The Next Big Thing by Pendulo Studios.[5]




Main article: List of mummy films

During the 20th century, horror films and other mass media popularized the notion of a curse associated with mummies (see Curse of the pharaohs). The 1922 discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb by archaeologist Howard Carter brought mummies into the mainstream.

Video games

Games and toys


  1. ^ a b c Corriou, Nolwenn (July 21, 2015). "'A Woman is a Woman, if She had been Dead Five Thousand Centuries!': Mummy Fiction, Imperialism and the Politics of Gender". Miranda (11). doi:10.4000/miranda.6899. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  2. ^ Deane, Bradley (May 29, 2014). Masculinity and the New Imperialism: Rewriting Manhood in British Popular Literature, 1870–1914. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107066076.
  3. ^ Daly, Nicholas (February 10, 2000). Modernism, Romance and the Fin de Siècle: Popular Fiction and British Culture. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781139426039.
  4. ^ Don't Tell Mummy recap by Point Horror
  5. ^ Blockfort: Top 10 Best Egyptian Video Game Characters!
  6. ^ Doyle, Arthur Conan (2010), McGregor, Rafe (ed.), The Conan Doyle Weirdbook, 56 Leyton Road, Birmingham: Theaker's Paperback Library, p. 67, ISBN 978-0-9561533-2-6((citation)): CS1 maint: location (link)
  7. ^ "Pyramids of Mars". BBC Online. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  8. ^ catmom-2 (7 May 1999). "The Mummy (1999)". IMDb. Retrieved 22 November 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson. Dungeons & Dragons (3-Volume Set) (TSR, 1974)
  10. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  11. ^ Turnbull, Don (August–September 1978). "Open Box". White Dwarf (8): 16–17.
  12. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by J. Eric Holmes. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR, 1977)
  13. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Dave Cook. Dungeons & Dragons Expert Set (TSR, 1981)
  14. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Frank Mentzer. Dungeons & Dragons Set 2: Expert Rules (TSR, 1983)
  15. ^ Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
  16. ^ Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume One (TSR, 1989)
  17. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  18. ^ Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  19. ^ Edwards, Terry. "Shrouded In Death: The Ecology of the Mummy." Dragon #300 (Paizo Publishing, 2002)
  20. ^ Eckelberry, David, Rich Redman, and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes. Savage Species (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  21. ^ Collins, Andy and Bruce R Cordell. Libris Mortis (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
  22. ^ Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  23. ^ Perkins, Christopher, Mike Mearls, and Jeremy Crawford. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2014)
  24. ^ Rangel Jiménez, Mauricio (2021). Lanzando los dados: aproximaciones académicas a los juegos de rol (in Spanish). Universidad Iberoamericana. ISBN 978-607-417-763-3.