Monday, October 7, 2013

An Englishman's Mummy Haunts Historic School

Jeremy Betham, a law reformer, scientist, and philosopher, was a founding force for University College in London, a place he still calls home long after his death in 1832.

Bentham, fascinated with mummification, decreed in his will that his body should be preserved in such a fashion (an "auto-icon" as he termed it) and put on display at the school, obviously to the satisfaction of an undoubtedly powerful ego.

While most of his body remains intact, he head began to decompose at some point and was replaced by a wax one fashioned by French artist Jacques Talrich.

It is said that Bentham's ghost leaves the glass case his body calls home on a nightly basis to explore the school. The tapping of his cane has been reported as echoing down the darkened halls and in other reports he raps upon the glass of his case.

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