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The unusual final resting place stands 15-foot-high and is located at St. Andrew’s Church on Rodney Street. Tales of how and why this monument, belonging to William Mackenzie, a civil engineer came to be has been passed down for generations.
Some say that the 57-year-old, who died in 1851, lost his soul in a game of poker against the devil and as a result, was entombed holding a winning hand of cards whilst sitting upright at a table.
However, Mr Mackenzie believed that he could hoodwink meeting with the devil by never being buried, meaning his spirit could never be claimed.
Sightings of a man dressed in clothes from the 19th century walking around the graveyard have been reported over the years.
Residents believe this to be the restless spirit of William, who was denied entry to heaven for this dark incident.
Born in 1794, the 57-year-old was from Nelson, Lancashire, and the oldest of 11 children, before beginning work as an apprentice weaver.
He then switched his profession to becoming a pupil at a lock carpenter on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in 1811.
This change of career proved successful, as Mackenzie went on to make his fortune by working on canal and railway projects in France, Spain and Belgium.
After he passed away, his estate worth £42 million in today’s money was left to his youngest brother Edward.
It was Edward himself that had the pyramid made and paid for in memory of late brother, 17 years later.
Visitors to the churchyard today can still see the 170-year-old tomb but is gated off to preserve the structure.
The inscription on the tomb reads:
“In the vault beneath lie the remains of William Mackenzie of Newbie, Dumfriesshire, Esquire who died 29th October 1851 aged 57 years.
“Also, Mary his wife, who died 19th December 1838 aged 48 years and Sarah, his second wife who died 9th December 1867 aged 60 years.
“This monument was erected by his Brother Edward as a token of love and affection A.D. 1868. The memory of the just is blessed.”
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