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There is something fascinating – something hopelessly mystical, romantic, and lavish – about Ancient Egypt. It has held a powerful place in our collective imagination, showing up in science fiction, fantasy, romance – and horror. Egypt’s time honored association with supernatural terror isn’t surprising: it fostered a religion in which the afterlife played a central role, one fascinated with revenge, curses, justice, and spirituality. And then there are the mummies: preserved corpses whose shriveled faces offer a faithful peak thousands of years into the past. Looking at them in person, it is easy to imagine their chests rising with breath, and their dry eyelids peeling back from the hollow sockets. Mummies have featured in horror fiction since 1827, appearing in works by masters like Poe, Stoker, Lovecraft, Blackwood, Benson, Sax Rohmer, and Arthur Conan Doyle. They told tales of brutal curses, powerful possessions, undying love affairs, zombie mummies, reincarnated royalty, forbidden romances, and unhealthy obsessions with antiquities.
In this collection of tales, we present some of the most legendary and influential examples of Egyptian Gothic fiction, alongside some forgotten classics. There are stories of timeless love, of possession and reincarnation, of vicious curses, of humorous satire, of ghosts and demons and gods, of zombie mummies hungry for violence, of sleeping mummies dreaming of lost love, and of hair-raising adventures under the pyramids. They beckon you to leave the world of the living for the tombs of the dead, to journey to the land of the red sun and the white sands, to enter the domain of Ra and Horus, of Set and Thoth, of Osiris and Anubis, to follow the blue band of the Nile into the depths of high adventure – to come to Egypt.