The Great Lafayette

Man of Mystery
Birth Name:
Sigmund Neuberger
Birth Date:
February 25, 1891
Birth Place:
Munich, Germany
Death Date:
May 9, 1911
Place of Death:
The Empire Palace Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland
Cause of Death:
Theater fire
Cemetery Name:
Piershill Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
Other Entertainers
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.

Fun Fact

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.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Piershill Cemetery

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

55.955456, -3.138747



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