The mansion was once Howard Carnahan’s but had been bequeathed to Evelyn Carnahan after Howard’s death. The estate was large and was decorated with many priceless Egyptian artifacts that Howard himself had found.
Around 1927 A.D Evelyn had renounced her position as curator of the Cairo Museum of Antiquities, married Rick O'Connell and moved to the mansion in England, where their son, Alex O'Connell grew up. In the time that Evelyn lived in the mansion, she had decorated the home with many more artifacts from Egypt, all of which she had found.
One July, when the family had left their home for Egypt, Evelyn’s brother Jonathan Carnahan had been asked to house-sit while the family was away: Jonathan had used the house to impress female callers and claimed that it was his. Upon returning to their home, the O'Connells had brought an ancient chest containing the Bracelet of Anubis with them from Egypt for further study, though Alex had opened the chest and put on the Bracelet, being unable from that point to take it off. Evelyn declared to Rick that they must return to Egypt and find the Oasis of Ahm Shere, and she began planning their trip, unaware that a cultist group had infiltrated their home led by Baltus Hafez, curator of the Egyptian wing of the British Museum of Antiquities.
Hafez, along with his armed underlings and his associate Meela Nais, believed that Jonathan, who was entertaining a showgirl at the time, was O'Connell himself, and forced him into an armchair where they demanded to know where the Bracelet of Anubis was. Meela used a venomous Egyptian Asp to coax the truth out of Jonathan, but Jonathan, being honest, had no idea what they were talking about, and before the snake could bite Jonathan, Rick entered the room and confronted the cultists, believing them to be Jonathan’s house guests. Before Rick could say much more, Meela threw the asp at Rick, expecting him to be bitten, but Rick, catching the serpent threw it right back at one of the armed cultist thugs. Another cultist pulled out a machine gun and opened fire at Rick and Jonathan but they were quick to escape through a nearby bathroom window.
Meanwhile, Evelyn and her son Alex were confronted by another cultist, Lock-Nah and his thugs, who demanded the chest that contained the Bracelet of Anubis. Evelyn drew out a sword and confronted the intruders, being joined in the fight by the Medjai warrior Ardeth Bay, who had followed the cultists to England. The cultists dueled with Evelyn and Ardeth and the two were soon overpowered with Evelyn being knocked out by Lock-Nah's friend and Ardeth being wounded by Lock-Nah’s sword.
The cultists, having the chest and Evelyn as a hostage, rushed out to their limousines outside and sped away, opening fire on Rick and Jonathan as they tried to chase after the speeding cars: Rick met up with Ardeth and angrily confronted him for being at their home, stowing his anger long enough to ask who the armed men were and where they took his wife. Ardeth replied that he did not know, but provided a photograph of the lead culprit stating that wherever he was, Evelyn would be. Alex recognised the man as the British Museum curator and with that the four left the manor to reach the museum.
Evelyn had been retrieved from the cultists, but the cursed mummy Imhotep had been brought back as the cultists had intended and Alex O'Connell had been taken hostage by the cultists, who were bound for Karnak, Egypt. Rick then knew that they would need to reach Karnak and so had the four of them return to the mansion to pack up their things and leave in fifteen minutes.
In 1947 A.D, Alex O'Connell had since moved out, leaving his parents to live out their retirement, though an agent of the British Foreign Offices named Benjamin Fry had approached the O'Connells to offer them a final assignment of couriering an artifact known as the Eye of Shangri-La to Shanghai. The O'Connells accepted and left for Shanghai.
Behind the Scenes
The scenes filmed of the O'Connell manor were filmed in the Shepperton Studios offices, where the 1976 horror film The Omen was shot.
Actor Brendan Fraser initially wanted the O'Connell family to live in an apartment, but the decision was made to have them live in a mansion so that the fight scenes could be shot.
The scenes in which the cultists and O'Connells fight in the manor were initially intended to take place in a casino that Jonathan owned, but budget constraints made this impossible.