The grave of the Great Lafayette and his faithful companion (6 photos)

Category: Nostalgia, PEGI 0+
21 June 2024

And even death could not separate them...

A magician and his beloved dog were buried together, passing away one after the other due to a tragic twist of fate, in a cemetery on the outskirts of Edinburgh. This story is too incredible to be true, but it is true.

Sigmund Neuberger

"The Great Lafayette" was in reality Sigmund Neuberger. Born in Berlin in 1871. He became one of the highest-paid entertainers of his generation, drawing crowds and receiving fees rivaling those of his contemporary and friend Harry Houdini. According to some sources, his annual income was estimated at $4 million in today's money. The ray of light for the magician was the terrier Beauty, the beloved dog that Houdini gave to Neuberger in 1899.

With my favorite Beauty

The dog lived in luxury and took part in the owner's performances. At home she had a special private room and five meals a day, as well as a set of diamond-encrusted collars.

Unfortunately, on May 5, 1911, Beauty died, having lived, with care and attention, to the ripe old age of 15 dog years. The upset Great Lafayette ordered his beloved to be buried in Piershill Cemetery in Edinburgh, having previously agreed with the authorities that he would be buried in the same place when he passed away.

Surrounded by the artists of his group

On the night of May 9, the Great Lafayette performed his famous number "The Lion's Bride" at the Empire Theater in Edinburgh. During the performance, a lantern fell onto the stage. The props caught fire. Because the Great Lafayette suspected that outsiders were trying to find out the secrets of his illusions, he locked the fire exits. This did not allow him and 10 stage workers to escape the fiery hell. Fortunately, 3,000 spectators, who at first thought that the fire was part of the performance and watched the deadly disaster in fascination, were able to escape.

It was because of this tragedy that a law called the Lafayette Bill was introduced. Before each performance, the curtain must be raised and lowered to check its operation. Because on the night of the tragedy, the drapery rods failed, adding to the chaos and confusion.

Funeral ceremony

The body, believed to be that of the Grand Lafayette, was sent to Glasgow for cremation. However, another body was later found, which was identified by the rings on the fingers as the real Great Lafayette. The first corpse was a double dressed up for the show.

As fate would have it, both owner and pet were buried in the same plot.

They stayed together forever

The Surgeon's Hall Museum, located just across the street, was responsible for embalming the dog and placing it in a glass coffin. It was reported that around 250,000 mourners lined the streets of Edinburgh to pay their last respects to one of the world's greatest entertainers.

Rumor has it that the roars of a lion that died in the fire can still be heard in the theater, as well as the screams of the magician himself - a figure who remains a mystery even after death. There have been several recorded cases of a tall ghost in a tailcoat appearing in the auditorium after hours. This is understandable: a great artist will always find a way to remain on stage and in the hearts of the public.

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