The Mitchell-Hedges Skull or the Skull of Doom

The Mitchell-Hedges skull is a clear quartz crystal skull that weighs about 5 Kilograms. The skull is very realistic and even has a detachable jaw.

The occult story goes this way: “The Skull of Doom” was found by then 17 year old Anna Mitchell-Hedges in the 1920’s in the Mayan City of Lubaantun in Central America. Young Anna had accompanied her adaptive father F.A. Mitchell-Hedges who was there searching for the ruins of Atlantis.

The Mitchell-Hedges, both father and daughter, make many claims about the skull. They say that the skull is over 3600 years old and was used by The High Priest of the Mayas in secret and arcane rites. The High Priest could literally will people to death with the skull. They claim that it took 150 years to carve and polish the skull. The pair also called the skull evil.

In 1970, Anna allowed the skull to be examined and several more interesting properties were supposedly discovered. These include that it could be used for srying, or remote viewing, and the skull also emits different lights and sounds based on the relative position of the planets.

The real story is somewhat different. There is no evidence that Anna was even in Belize in the 1920s. It seems that Mitchell-Hedges himself said he had found the skull in the 1930s, not that Anna had found it in the 1920s. In fact, none of Mitchell-Hedges’ writings even mention the skull before 1943, some twenty years after its supposed discovery. It is also clear that the elder Mitchell-Hedges actually bought the skull at a Sotheby’s auction in 1943 for £400.

Over the course of writing two books and giving newspaper interviews the story changed somewhat and also grew in the telling. It wasn’t until 1964 that Anna made the claim that she had actually found the skull in 1928.

Recently Jane MacLaren Walsh of the Smithsonian published an article in the online version “Archaeology” in which she states categorically that she closely examined the “Skull of Doom” including using high powered microscopes and a CT scanner and she concluded that “the skull is not a Maya artifact but was carved with high-speed, modern, diamond-coated lapidary tools….It is not unreasonable to conclude that the Mitchell-Hedges skull, which first appeared in 1933, was also created within a short time of its debut.”

The story of the ‘Skull of Doom” is an excellent example of how a good story will fly in the face of all scientific evidence to the contrary.


Joe Nickel, with John F. Fischer, “Secrets of the Supernatural: Investigating the World’s Occult Mysteries”, (New York: Prometheus Books, 1991).

Jane MacLaren Walsh, “The Skull of Doom” features/mitchell_hedges/


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