Why mummy’s curse turned miners to nervous wrecks

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GHOSTLY goings on at a Yorkshire miners’ home are being blamed on a mummy’s curse – which may only be lifted by digging up the golf course and bowling green.

The remains of an Egyptian princess are buried in the grounds of Low Hall, a former stately home near Scarborough, but there is now only one man left alive who knows where to look – former home boss Peter Aldridge, 79.

Tough pitmen and staff have been reduced to quivering wrecks by ghostly footsteps, and a sinister presence in the library, he says.

Mr Aldridge, who quit working at the home he had run for years with wife Shirley, now lives only two miles away. But he admits he is still nervous. He said: “I never believed in ghosts until I worked at Low Hall.

“Now I sometimes think this thing will never leave me alone until it finds peace.”

The legend dates back to when the house was owned by the Rowntree family.

The mummy was brought back to Britain in 1904 by adventurer John Wilhelm Rowntree, who took to his bed and died less than a year later aged 37.

According to local folklore, the eldest son of York chocolate producer Joseph was struck down by a Tutankhamun-style curse for disturbing ancient Egyptian remains.

The family told the gardener to bury it and the premises later became a convalescent hall for pitmen.

Now Mr Aldridge is willing to lead NUM officials to the spot where the mummy is buried so the remains can be recovered and returned to Egypt.

But Barnsley-based NUM secretary Chris Kitchen said: “There is a nine hole golf course there as well as a bowling green. I doubt the current manager would be right happy about the pitch and put being dug up.”

One of those involved in the campaign for the mummy’s return to Egypt is Cairo’s “King of the Pyramids” Dr Zahi Hawass, who led a campaign for the return of looted Egyptian treasures.