It doesn't take an Egyptologist or Brendan Fraser super-fan to know that messing with mummies will bring you bad juju, and that you should let them rest in peace. Unfortunately, that nugget of wisdom must have escaped a certain vandal in Ireland, who just broke in to a historic church and snatched the head off an 800-year-old mummy lying in its crypt.
Surely, there are better ways to bring a curse onto oneself?
Over the weekend, there was a break-in at Dublin's St. Michan's Church, and whoever pulled it off managed to do serious damage to the historic site's famous crypt, specifically to three different mummified bodies resting there. The most disturbing detail of the whole incident, though, is that they appeared to intentionally decapitate the crypt's most famous occupant -- a 13th century corpse known as "The Crusader" -- and took its head with them for reasons unknown.
“His legs were pushed up into his torso, his arms were moved to one side and his head has been decapitated,” the Reverend David Pierpoint, vicar of St. Michan’s, told the Times. “His head is gone.”
St. Michan's, which dates back to 1095, is a popular tourist destination in Dublin and attracts nearly 30,000 paying visitors every year, many of whom come to tour its historically significant interior and check out the mummified bodies it keeps in open coffins, according to The New York Times. Apparently for many years, visitors were even allowed to "shake" the Crusader's leathery hand, which was thought to bring good luck. Now, the site is in shambles.
The break-in appears to have been a professional job and not some random act, since whoever did it came prepared with the tools necessary to dismantle solid iron and steel slabs from in front of the crypt, according to Pierpoint. That said, church officials don't believe there's a commercial market for mummified heads like this one.
"The actions of these people are devastating and sacrilegious. We are upset at the amount of damage that has been caused," Pierpoint said in a statement, per CNN.
Incredibly, this isn't the first time the corpses in St. Michan's crypt have been targeted. Back in 1996, a group of teenagers broke in and shockingly "dragged corpses into the churchyard and played football with the head of a little girl," according to the Times.
While there aren't any leads pointing to who may have nabbed the Crusader's noggin just yet, there is apparently some CCTV footage of the incident, and investigators are also conducting forensic tests. Still, they're hoping whoever did it gives the head back soon, since it'll likely decompose rapidly now that it's been exposed to air with normal moisture.
h/t The New York Times