In the Victorian era there was a great passion for everything that came from ancient Egypt. The interest went from the mysterious pyramids to the mummies through the mortal concoction that ended the life of Cleopatra and whose formula (found in excavations in Cairo) was proposed in a parliamentary session by Sir Quincey Fitzpatrick as the national drink instead of tea, whose bitter taste he personally detested. Especially mummies exercised a powerful fascination over the English imagination of that time. In every castle or mansion of the high society, old-fashioned medieval armor had been cornered in the attic in favor of an imposing Egyptian mummy. In the market there were so many mummies for sale that one did not know what to do with them, and all kinds of products made with mummy powder began to be commercialized: medicines, aphrodisiacs, beauty ointments and it was even marketed as an exotic spice for season the most exquisite dishes.
Naturally, the Society for Psychical Research was not immune to this fever and many parapsychological experiments with mummies were carried out. It was tried with them telepathic communication, hypnotism, psychokinesis, precognition, telekinesis… But the experiment that was most successful was levitation. It seemed that the mummies had a special talent to levitate. Anyone could make them rise from the ground with the sole imposition of their hands and many even managed to make them move through the air, so that there were many mummies circulating in the sky of London. But having no remote control, there were many collisions and many broken mummies ended up in the mortar turned into that gray dust that was used to make beauty ointments as well as for seasoning game dishes or to fill snuff boxes. In fact, the snuff was considered to be low-spirited, and elegant people preferred to sniff mummy powder, which caused a euphoric effect and an irrepressible desire to sing that beautiful song called «Digging Ditches».
The mummy steak was very popular in taverns and inns. But it was also served in the form of stew or broth, and there were even those who ate it raw despite detecting unwanted side effects such as death. Apparently, the mummy was addictive and several detoxification clinics were opened in the outskirts of London. The upper classes no longer wanted to be buried in family pantheons and preferred mummification. Instead of portraits of ancestors, the mummies of ancestors became fashionable. The elegant people unearthed the mortal remains of their ancestors to turn them into mummies with which to decorate the halls or the staircases of the stately homes.
This same kind of people went out for a horse-drawn carriage ride with the mummy at their side, showing their illustrious mummified ancestor off to provoke the envy of the less privileged classes who could not afford to mummify their dead. Even a respected member of the Society for Psychical Research (whose name I refrain from revealing) wanted to be mummified while alive, but paradoxically he died shortly after getting it.