The Mummy's Foot by Theophile Gautier and Varla Ventura - Read Online
The Mummy's Foot
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Varla Ventura, fan favorite on Huffington Post’s Weird News, frequent guest on Coast to Coast, and bestselling author of The Book of the Bizarre and Beyond Bizarre, introduces a new Weiser Books Collection of forgotten crypto-classics. Magical Creatures is a hair-raising herd of affordable digital editions, curated with Varla’s affectionate and unerring eye for the fantastic.

Theophile Gautier's gothic tale of a man's magical adventures when he serendipitously walks into a Parisian curiosity shoppe to purchase a bauble, and becomes owner of a 3,000 year-old ancient Egyptian princess' mummified foot.

Published: Red Wheel Weiser on
ISBN: 9781619400627
List price: $0.99
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The Mummy's Foot - Theophile Gautier

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Hand and Foot Disease

In the wonderful genre of horror fiction, there are a few revolving elements that lay the groundwork for the plot. There is the haunted house (or place); the haunted person (the ghost or poltergeist follows them/they are cursed or possessed); and the ever enchanting haunted object. You'll find this trick o' the trade in stories across time, from Aladdin's lamp to W.W. Jacob's The Monkey's Paw.

A haunted object story needs certain things to make it work. It needs the seeker—ideally someone who is a bit desperate. Maybe they have suffered a recent loss of a loved one, or perhaps they are on the losing end of an unrequited love affair. The seeker then needs to happen upon the object. Ninety-nine percent of the time it is found among the dusty shelves of some antiquarian dealer's shop. Or it is sitting in a window, innocently waiting for the protagonist to stroll by. It may be given as a gift or could be found on a long ambling stroll, but generally there is a hag-like woman or a troll-like man who acts as the conduit to pass the object along to the unsuspecting seeker. This exchange should be accompanied by a knowing wink or a mischievous cackle, and the seeker should be overtaken with a feeling of uneasiness/time travel/psychic hit immediately upon becoming the owner of said object.

The Mummy's Foot has all of these elements, masterfully combined from a somewhat surprising source. Théophile Gautier, who wrote this story in the late 1800s (this particular version was