According to KPTV
, Hilary Lester inherited a mummy from her father, who had obtained the remains in the late 1970s. However, Lester believes the mummy might date back to the mid-19th century.
reported scientists from National Georgraphic's Mummy Road Show
will be visiting Lester later this month to inspect the mummy, which Lester had named "Gretchen."
Lester recalls her father received the artifact as a bonus when purchasing a music machine.
"I remember him telling me it was from P.T. Barnum and it traveled around in front of circuses to get everybody interested," Lester told KPTV. Family records indicate the mummy may be made of sheep and dog bones.
Oregon Live reported records noted it was one of several "faux" mummies on view at the Cliff House and Sutro Baths Museum in San Francisco for seven decades, along with other Barnum memorabilia.
"It has been really exciting to delve into 'Gretchen's' history," Lester told Oregon Live. "Some people think it's creepy, but I find it fascinating." Originally, Lester planned to sell "Gretchen", but is having second thoughts.
The scientists intend to do CT scans and figure out exactly what is inside the mummy.
"Is there a chance it could be real? I hope not," Lester laughed.
Results should be known on Apr. 12.