The Mummy

Posted By on April 23, 2011

This photo came from the Norman Prather collection. It was sent to me along with other pictures by his daughter Norma. It is quite possible that this mummified person is the real thing. Carnival and circus side shows in years past did exhibit animals and humans that were actual mummies. In later years it was outlawed and only a medical institution or museum could place them on exhibition. I do know for a fact that Pete Cortez had two mummies in his ten in one side show. A child from Mongolia and the other a South American Indian was displayed in the very back of show. Even then in the 1950’s, He was very careful where he displayed them. Mr. Cortez would only show them in certain towns where they would not be confiscated and in a private showing only……….. Much like an after show. Of course there was a charge.

Please read the comment that come in today.   10-26-13.


About the author

My name is Ivan M. Henry and I am the 4th generation of a circus/show business dynasty. I hope you enjoy the blog.


4 Responses to “The Mummy”

  1. Utah Showman says:

    The Mummy in the photo above, that was in the Norman Prather Collection is now on display at the Old Curiosity Shop in Seattle WA. He goes by the name of Silvester.

  2. Jeff Smith says:

    I am the author of Alias Soapy Smith: The Life and Death of a Scoundrel, as well as a great-grandson of Soapy Smith, the infamous con man of Colorado and Alaska. In my book is a photograph of this same petrified man taken between 1892-1895, as well as the details of what Soapy did with it while he owned it. He called it McGinty and you are right, it is a real human corpse, and I believe I know the identity of the deceased, also in my book.

    Jeff Smith
    Soapy Smith Preservation Trust

  3. Heather says:

    Hello Ivan,

    I am an associate producer a new documentary series about mummies, and one of our episodes is focusing on this exact mummy!

    I would like to contact you directly about potentially using this image (and other images displayed on you blog) in our film. Is it possible to contact Norma or anyone else from the Prather family to discuss permission to use the image?

    Please send me an email at at your earliest convenience. Thank you!

  4. […] who died when he was around 45 years old and was found half-buried in the Gila Bend Desert in 1895.  According to a picture card that was part of the Norman Prather Collection, Sylvester’s body likely traveled the […]

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