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The Source:

Richard Felix et al:
"Ghost Tour of Great Britain - Merseyside Ghosts" (video)
Felix Films, no date.

Rob Gandy:
"Cheating the Devil"
in: "ForteanTimes", 2010

anon.:
"William Mackenzie's Tomb"
on: www.atlasobscura.com, no date

The Case

Yes... The very first time I heard about William Mackenzie was when I was watching a video from the delightful "Ghost Tour of Great Britain" series. I have not got the video within easy reach, so I guess I will have to trust my memory. As far as I remember, ghosthunter supreme Richard Felix informed us that within the pyramid shaped mausoleum there was a fully dressed dead gambler sitting at a table with his winning hand in front of him. The said gentleman was also known to put on his evening gear and wander around the neighbourhood at night. For local rumor had it that he had become a vampire. A rather unlikely story, but that is something most vampire stories seem to have in common.

Obviously there is no lack of people with a name like William Mackenzie. But when I found the one we need I discovered that he had been a brilliant engineer who had built railways all over Europe. So what about the stories of him being a notorious gambler ? According to Fortean Times there are two versions. One says the devil got his soul helping him win some high-stake card game. The other one says he had a game of cards with the devil himself and lost. Sadly there seem to be no documented evidence in support of the story that Mackenzie was a gambler.

According to Fortean Times the plot of land that the little cemetery is on has raised some interest from Project Developers. And as we all know, money rules the world. So it may be just a matter of time before the cemetery disappears and then perhaps we may find out what is really inside the Mackenzie tomb.

The Date:

William Mackenzie is reported to have died in 1851. However, the pyramid shaped tomb was not built until 1868. I have no idea of when the first reports on the haunting started so I will simply file this under 1868.

The Place:

I don't suppose there is anyone who will need assistance finding Liverpool on a map of the United Kingdom. The cemetery with Mackenzie's tomb can be found in Rodney Street.

Possible Follow-Up:

Trust me, it is not because I have a Mackenzie among my ancestors (it is true !) that I am feeding you this tale. To me it sounds like a nice urban legend. The Mackenzie story is all over the internet. You can find different versions of it. There is no lack of photos of the Mackenzie pyramid. So as always I will leave it completely up to you what you make of this story.

2014 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed December 2014

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