The ‘dead’ (mwtw) play an important role as causers of illness in ancient Egyptian healing practices. The manifestations of the ‘dead’ in the bodies of living humans fall into two main categories, either as an injection of harmful fluids working from the inside out, or as a direct attack on the surface of the skin. These two modes of manifestation are associated with different indigenous classifications and manners of treatment, and it is argued that they correspond to two different, fundamental phenomenological ways of experiencing one’s own body (as container and surface). Occasional clues in the healing texts show that the identity of the ‗dead’ could be of importance when fighting them off, and this implicates a much wider relevance of the social context of healing practices than is usually taken into account when the ‘dead’ are regarded as an abstract and anonymous pathogenic principle.