The Devil Did Her In
Well, this is interesting. There is a grave in a cemetery in Salt Lake City. Buried therein a woman named Lilly E. Gray. She was born in 1881 and died in 1958. That would make her, let’s see, 77 years old at the time of her passing from this vale of tears. Or, if we want to use the new common core math, um, she’d still be 77. That was a fairly ripe age back then, so it’s a reasonably safe bet that she died from old age, or that her advanced years at the least played a part in her death. That isn’t what her tombstone tells us, though. It says, very specifically, that Lilly was, and I quote, a “victim of the Beast 666.” What does that mean? Nobody knows. Are we meant to infer that the Devil LITERALLY killed Lilly? Was the headstone meant as some kind of warning? If so, it’s an obscure one. Was it an attempt at posthumous character assassination?
The early Christian Church, under fear of persecution from the Romans, put several of their missives in code–a numerical code, to be exact–so that, if they were intercepted, the Romans wouldn’t be able to read them. Among these coded documents was the final book in the Bible, the Revelation (not “revelations,” plural, as is so often stated) wherein is found the tri-numbered code, which was in fact a reference to the Roman Emperor, something that anyone familiar with the code would have been able to decipher. It may not be the actual number, though, as earlier drafts of the Revelation have since been unearthed which feature a DIFFERENT numerical reference. As these latest documents had not been unearthed in 1958, though, it isn’t surprising that Lilly’s tombstone features the more familiar number. Is the tombstone meant to imply that some long-dead Roman Emperor is to blame for Lily’s death?
The far more likely explanation is a little anti-climactic. It seems that Lilly’s husband, who survived her and who ordered her tombstone, was know to have some mental problems. In all likelihood, he wanted the inscription, and the company that provided the tombstone wasn’t going to argue with a paying customer. As to WHY Lilly’s husband believed the Devil (or some deceased Roman ruler) killed his wife, we will never know.
Curiously, it appears that Lilly married the man only three years prior to her death. Could this bizarre inscription, then, be some kind of confession on his part, that he had a hand in her demise, with him equating HIMSELF to the Devil? It’s distasteful to accuse a deceased person of a crime with no evidence, so let me stress that this is pure supposition. Lilly’s death was attributed to natural causes, and the record of her marriage could be fallacious.
So who WAS the “devil” who killed Lilly Gray?
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!