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Sigmund Neuberger (aka The Great Lafayette) was a master illusionist and one of the most highly paid entertainers in the world in his era. Sadly, on May 9, 1911 a devastating fire broke out at the Empire Palace Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland. Performing to a sell-out crowd when fire erupted on stage, with the fire safety curtain descending to the front of the stage and all the backstage exits locked to prevent freeloaders, all 3000 members of the audience escaped unharmed. However, those on stage and behind the scenes were less fortunate. The Great Lafayette perished along with 9 members of his troupe, his horse and his lion.
In an ironic twist of fate, the corpse of The Great Lafayette’s stunt body double was initially mistaken for the magician’s as he was dressed in his satin robe as part of the performance. The remains of the real Lafayette were found the next day under the stage of the wrecked theatre. Huge crowds gathered in Edinburgh to see his funeral procession as it traveled to his final resting place. Lafayette is buried beside his beloved dog Beauty (who passed on just days before the Empire Theatre Fire) in Piershill Cemetery.
Final Resting Place:
196/8 Piersfield Terrace
Edinburgh, , EH8 7BN
Grave Location Description
Piershill Cemetery is located on Portobello Road between Edinburgh and Portobello Beach. The gravesite is easily recognized. You can spot the white marble headstone about 75 feet from the entrance on a small hill.
Grave Location GPS
Read More About The Great Lafayette:
Videos Featuring The Great Lafayette:
Very rare video showing fireman digging through the Empire Palace Fire
History’s Most Legendary Magicians
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