Iain McLaughlin

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Curse of the Mummy

Imagination Theater radio play

LONDON, 1922...

A seance at a London museum is intended as an interesting amusement to serve as a backdrop for business dealings. Instead, it brings back a rage from thousands of years in the past, into the museum, where the cause of the fury is being echoed.

written by Iain McLaughlin & Claire Bartlett
directed by Larry Albert
first broadcast by Imagination Theater on 25th October 2009.

Curse of the Mummy is available as a single episode download here at Imagination Theater's website.


This was the second of our Hammer-influenced horrors for Imagination Theater, following The Heart of Frankenstein. We always intended to do a Dracula story as well... we had two stories worked out - The Cult of Dracula and Night of the Vampyre. Maybe we'll go back to them one day.

Having done Frankenstein, our choice was either to do a vampire or a Mummy story. I had already done a vampire story in a different medium, and I'm slightly obsessed with Egypt (which Claire often points out - apparently I'm obsessed with Egypt and Woolly Mammoths) so I was keen to write for the Mummy. I wanted it to be something a bit different, not set in Egypt or in a country house. Claire and I started talking about various other things, include maybe doing a story about a ouija board or a seance. We didn't think Imagination Theatre would go for a ouija board but a seance, set in the past... that took us to the 1920s, when spiritualism was big news. We'd also talked about the Mummy being set in the 1920s... so what if we did a seance in the Mummy story? What if that was how the Mummy manifested itself in the 20th Century? BOOM! There it was. That was the story. Details had to be added, characters had to be fleshed out but that was our frame.

What surprised us during the writing was just how much emotion we wrung out of it. 

When we were writing it, we cast it in our heads with Hammer stalwarts and wrote it with their voices in mind. Peter Cushing as Professor Wilton (Wilton was Cushing's middle name, by the way), Valerie Leon as the feisty daughter, Celeste (named after actress and singer Celeste Holm), looking to avoid a marriage to a villain based on... ach, that would be telling. If you ever hear it, try to work out who we had in mind for each of the parts.


On a stormy night in 1924, a group gathers in a London museum for the latest fad, a spiritualist seance to summon the dead.

Lord Carlisle is using the event to conduct some unscrupulous business dealings, but there is some much older business that needs to be finished...

...and the dead who are summoned have been waiting a very long time...

A new version of the horror classic.

Based on the Imagination Theatre radio play.

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