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At the Temple of Arkam in Egypt, Yousef Bey is summoned by the High Priest, who tells him the 3,000 year old story of the forbidden love of Princess Ananka and Kharis, a commoner. At the same time, in a college classroom in Mapleton, Massachusetts, Professor Matthew Norman, an Egyptologist, tells his students how the tomb of Princess Ananka was removed from its burial place and became a prized possession of the Scripps Museum in New York. Norman also tells his students the story of Kharis, who was kept alive in a mummified state through the use of tana leaves and smuggled into the United States. Kharis killed all the members of the Egyptian expedition that uncovered Ananka's tomb, and later perished in a fire. Amina Mansouri, an Egyptian exchange student, is particularly unnerved by Norman's talk, causing her boyfriend, Tom Hervey, much concern. Back in Egypt, Yousef learns that Kharis still lives, and is dispatched to American to return both Ananka and Kharis to their rightful resting places in Arkam. Meanwhile, back in his laboratory, Norman brews nine tana leaves, unaware that their smell is attracting Kharis. As the mummy passes her home, Amina goes into a trance-like state and follows Kharis to the Normans' house. There, Kharis strangles the professor to death, then drinks the life-sustaining tea. While the sheriff quickly surmises that Norman's murder is the work of Kharis, having discovered mold around the professor's neck, he questions Amina about her possible involvement, as she was found unconscious just outside the murder scene. Although Amina has no memory of the night's events, she suddenly develops a gray streak in her hair. Yousef then arrives in Mapleton and revives Kharis during the next full moon. The two go to the Scripps Museum to retrieve the body of Ananka, but she disintegrates when touched by Kharis. At the same time, a frightened Amina awakes with a scream, and Yousef quickly assumes that Ananka's soul has been reincarnated. The next day, Dr. Ayad, the museum's curator, tells Police Inspector Walgreen that the tomb's hieroglyphics prophesy Ananka's reincarnation. The two then go to Mapleton, where, along with the sheriff, they set a trap for Kharis. Meanwhile, Tom proposes to Amina, and they make plans to leave for his family's home in New York the next day. That night, however, Kharis is led by a shaft of light to Amina's home. Awakened by his presence, Amina faints, so Kharis abducts the young woman and takes her to his hiding place, an abandoned mine shaft. Yousef's lust for the beautiful Amina overcomes his priestly duties, and rather than killing the young woman, he attempts to give her immortality using the tana leaves. Kharis realizes his treachery in time, however, and kills the priest. After knocking Tom unconscious, Kharis then carries Amina, who has now been transformed into the decaying Ananka, into the nearby swamp, where the townspeople watch as the two ancient lovers slowly sink into the mire.