Monday, July 4, 2022

Something About the Curse of the Obelisk

On pins.

I mentioned the obelisk flanked by two sphinxes along London's Thames embankment a year or so ago, and how these were similar to a decorative element seen in Bellairs's The Dark Secret of Weatherend (1984):
The granite obelisk in London was presented to the United Kingdom in 1819 but originally stood in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis around 1450 BC.  Although an Ancient Egyptian obelisk, it has no connection with the Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and was already over a thousand years old in her lifetime.
The Haunted Palace blog recently featured the supposed curses regarding the obelisk and site:
Cleopatra’s Needle has developed a strange reputation. A reputation which probably stemmed from the idea that Egyptian objects are by their nature cursed and the tragic story of its journey to Britain.

For some unknown reason the site of Cleopatra’s Needle has become a popular suicide spot. On two separate occasions, a policeman was approached by a distressed woman urging him to come to the banks of the River Thames to prevent someone from jumping into the water. As the policeman reach the area of the needle, they see the same woman, who had just stopped them, leap into the river.
The site also touches on the sphinxes and their curious pose.
Logically, they should have been facing outwards, symbolising protection for the obelisk, but maybe the sphinxes were positioned correctly. Maybe their role was not to stop harm from coming to the obelisk but rather to prevent anything from getting out!


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