It would have been a sad and unfortunate ending when Dorothy Eady tumbled down the steps of her home one day in 1907. Most people wouldn’t have survived such a fall, and Eady didn’t either: she was declared dead on the spot. But that wasn’t the end of her – when the doctor arrived an hour later, to the surprise of all, Eady was up and acting normal. Well, not normal; this wasn’t the same little Dorothy her family knew and loved.
Eady didn’t just come back from the dead; she came back with memories of a past life in ancient Egypt, bearing a remarkable and inexplicable knowledge of Egyptian culture that would befuddle her family, doctors, scholars, and even the world. This strange tale of the woman who returned from the dead will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew about past lives and what we might bring back with us from the other side – should we ever go there and have the chance to come back.
Eady Fell Down The Stairs And Died; Somehow She Came Back But She Wasn’t Herself
The doctor must have had the shock of his life when he returned to the house to find the little girl he’d proclaimed dead now up and about.
It was remarkable enough that this young girl had managed to survive such a fall, but there was something strange about Eady now. She spoke with an odd accent and kept demanding to be taken ‘home,’ which apparently she no longer felt was with her family. Things began to get even worse when her Sunday school teachers asked her not to attend class as she had compared Christianity along with a “heathen” ancient Egyptian religion.
She Found Her ‘Home’ In An Egyptian Exhibit
When she was four-years-old, her parents brought Eady to an exhibition at the British Museum in London, famous for its Egyptian antiquities collection. When she finally saw them, it was the most rapturous moment of her young life. She broke free of her mother’s grip and began running through the museum, kissing the feet of statues, crying in ecstasy, and shouting out “these are my people.” Not unlike the average child having a temper tantrum, when it was time to go home she started to yell and scream, refusing to leave.
Her parents finally got her home, but the trip to the museum only intensified her feelings about Egypt, and she began have strange dreams that felt impossibly real to her, like memories from a past life. Later on, she found a photograph of the Temple of Seti I, and realized that was the same building she kept dreaming about. Her dreams had begun to take root, and ultimately flowered into the obsession that dominated the rest of her life.
Eady Was Placed In Sanatoriums Because Of Her Visions
School was never Eady’s thing while she was growing up; in fact, she found it completely boring and not worth her time. There was so much more for her to focus on, like the dreams that came to her of the ancient Pharaoh Seti I, whom she said came to her and kept her company. When her class finally started studying ancient Egypt it gave her something to keep busy with, but soon it wasn’t enough and she’d routinely skip class to go to Egyptian antiquity exhibitions. It was one of these trips that she met the famed Egyptologist Wallis Budge, who urged her to study hieroglyphics. She took to them easily; she claimed that she was simply remembering them, rather than learning them from scratch.
Her unusual behavior began to concern her family more and more, and as her dreams became stronger and stronger with age, they worried enough for her health that she was confined in a number of sanatoriums. However, no treatment ever caused the dreams to go away, and no amount of doctors could convince Eady she was wrong in any way.
After Moving To Egypt, She Began To Worship Ancient Egyptian Gods
At the age of 27, Dorothy married an Egyptian Londoner named Emam Abdel Meguid, and together they moved to Cairo. Together they had a son, and Eady named him Seti after the Pharaoh who visited her in her dreams. As was customary in Egypt, women were often called by their son’s names as a matter of respect. Thus, she became Omm Sety (Omm meaning “Mother of”) and for the rest of her life many local Egyptians as well as famed Egyptologists referred to her as such. The BBC even released a number of documentaries which referred to her as Omm Sety, as a matter of precedent over her given name, Dorothy.
Sadly, her marriage barely lasted two years – he was forced to move to Iraq, and she was adamant about staying in Egypt. That, coupled with the facts that his family never approved of her, and her obsession with Egypt became more than he could handle.
She Claimed To Have Been A Priestess And Mistress To A Pharaoh In A Past Life
No doubt one of the major issues that broke up Eady’s marriage was the fact that she insisted she was still being visited by Pharaoh Seti I in her dreams every night. This alone was a lot to digest, but she went on to claim that she was even visited by the ancient Egyptian god Ho-Ra (Horus). Horus recounted her past life to her in great detail.
He told her that she used to be a woman named Bentreshyt, which meant ‘Harp of Joy’, and she had lived in the temple Seti I had built. Bentreshyt was the daughter of a soldier and a vegetable vendor, and was given to the temple when her mother died. There, she was raised to be a priestess. However, she and Seti I met when she was just a teen, and they became secret lovers. She eventually became pregnant, which carried severe repurcussions as she had taken vows of celibacy, thus her pregnancy was an offense to the goddess Isis. In order to keep Seti I from being publicly humiliated by their actions, Bentreshyt committed suicide.
She Pinpointed The Location Of A Long-Buried Garden In ‘Her’ Temple
In her dreams at night, Eady often came to Seti I with questions, which he happily answered. One of them was the location of the tomb of Nefertiti. When she was asked for its location, she noted that Seti I told her it was near Tutankhamun’s tomb, but didn’t exactly pin-point it for her. Not because she didn’t know, but because she didn’t want Nefertiti or Akhenaten to be revered – she disliked their family because Akhenaten was vehemently against the old religious ways.
Despite the lack of exactness in the prediction, many believed her because years prior she had claimed that a garden existed at the Temple of Seti I, which no-one thought existed. Yet when an excavation dug one up exactly where she said it would be, many had no choice but to realize that Eady possessed an inexplicable yet miraculous insight into ancient Egypt that couldn’t be dismissed.
She Could Describe Artifacts Kept Secret From The Public
At the age of 52, Dorothy moved to Abydos, close to the Temple of Seti I, to continue her work as the first female draughtsman for the Department of Antiquity. But it wasn’t her first time there; she had previously visited the Temple of Seti I to revel in her ancient memories, and also help others by using her vast knowledge of Egyptian history. It was during one of those visits that she was ‘tested’ by the resident chief inspector – he knew her reputation and wanted to verify her authenticity. He had her stand near artwork and paintings in the temple without any light, and asked her to identify them. He was absolutely astounded when she recalled them easily and accurately, despite the fact that the paintings were not publicly known at the time. She continued to work there for the rest of her professional life, and helped many Egyptologists translate enigmatic and difficult hieroglyphs and writings.
Long after her retirement, her son Sety, who had since moved to Kuwait, offered to have her live with him, but she refused; she was dedicated to the Temple of Seti I. She spent every morning and evening praying in reverence to the gods of Egypt; there was no world for her beyond that country. On April 21st, 1981, Eady, also known as Omm Sety, died at the age of 77 in Abydos, Egypt.
She Was Instrumental In The Study Of Ancient Egyptian Ruins
Through both her dreams and dedicated studying, Eady became highly skilled and knowledgeable in many way regarding ancient Egypt. In fact, her ability to translate extremely difficult Egyptian hieroglyphs and writings was highly valued among many Egyptologists of her day.
She first worked for Selim Hassan as his secretary and draughtsman. Dorothy’s contributions to his passion project Excavations at Giza earned her a special mention and heartfelt thanks in a number of its volumes. This led to her being employed by Ahmed Fakhry, another renowned archaeologist. Over the years, her work on ancient Egypt became so well-honed that many other archeologists came to her for help. In her book Breaking Ground, author Barbara Lesko had this to say about Dorothy Eady:
She was a great help to Egyptian scholars, especially Hassan and Fakhry, correcting their English and writing English language articles for others. So this poorly educated Englishwoman developed in Egypt into a first rate draughtswoman and prolific and talented writer who, even under her own name, produced articles, essays, monographs and books of great range, wit and substance.
Eady Was Highly Respected Among Seasoned Egyptologists
Eady was very well loved and respected by almost all of the scholars, archeologists, and Egyptologists that she met. Not only did many of them speak highly of her passion and knowledge, but of her helpfulness towards their pursuits as well.
She was so valued for her insight that she was asked to be in a number of documentaries and films to showcase her expertise. The BBC even filmed and released a documentary about Eady herself – Omm Sety and Her Egypt. And the last documentary she was in, Egypt: Quest for Eternity, was filmed the year of her death, and you can watch it on YouTube here.
Eady Wasn’t Allowed To Be Buried In Regular Graveyards Due To Her Faith
Eady fully embraced ancient Egyptian religion, and was ostracized for it. Because she had left Christianity earlier in life, and because Muslims believed she practiced a “heathen” religion, she wasn’t allowed to be buried in any of their graveyards. So she did what she felt was most natural – she made her own tomb right where she lived.
However, the city did not allow her to be buried in her tomb for safety and health reasons. Instead, she was sadly buried in a grave out in the desert, marked only by a pile of stones. An unfit end for the wise old Omm Sety of Abydos.
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