Victim of the Beast 666

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Victim of the Beast 666

Victim of the Beast

Salt Lake City is the heavily populated capital city of Utah.  It’s history is well known as having been established by Brigham Young and other Mormons in 1847, who irrigated and cultivated the valley.  It therefore became headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the LDS Church, and is historically considered a holy city by church members.

Just two months after Mormon pioneers settled in the area, the first death of the members occurred.  After burying the child in 1847, the city leaders quickly located a site for their town cemetery.  In 1849, some twenty acres were surveyed as decided as the town’s last stop for the deceased.  In 1851, the cemetery was officially incorporated and became known as Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Victim of the Beast

(image: Dean Larson/flickr)

One Canadian woman, Lilly Edith Gray, born on June 6, 1881 probably had no idea what a stir her death would create in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.  Walking amongst the dated, but well-maintained cemetery, one headstone stands out among the rest, located in the “holy city.”  The gravestone is sure to stop you in your tracks after reading the morbid lines.

“Lilly E Gray.  June 6, 1881 to November 14, 1958.  Victim of the Beast 666.”  Many have been interested by the strange inscription but have never been able to pinpoint the story.  Her obituary only states that she died of natural causes at age seventy seven.

Utah’s dynamic has changed substantially since the time of being named the holy city.  Some blame the religious extremists for the outpour of support for demonic or satanic worship in the community.  Organizations like the Church of Satan, the Redeemer Church of Satan, the Luciferian Satanic Church, the First Satanic Church, the Salt Lake Pagan Society, and the Satanic Temple have made quite the impact on religious following.

Some blame these churches and temples for the creepy inscription.  Some stories that have erected since the woman’s death involve numerology, religious persecution, sacrifice by a satanic cult, devil worship, witchcraft, a Salem-style witch hunt, spousal abuse, or a spouse with serious mental ailments.  The latter seems to be most likely the cause of the curious inscription, but some skeptics still don’t buy the story.

One of the most interesting revelations in the study of the curious stone revolves around the Criminal Pardons Application of Lilly’s husband, Elmer L. Gray.  Although unclear as to the cause of his need for a pardon, in the application, Elmer refers to his wife being kidnapped.  He goes on to refer to his arresting officers and prison officials as kidnappers.  Elmer Gray appeared to blame the law for the death of his wife.  His conspiracy theories of the law revolved around kidnapping, imprisoning, and murdering innocent citizens without cause.

It seems no one will ever the know the cause or the curious source of the stone’s closing.  Salt Lake City has evolved and changed since the time of Young and his followers.  Just like the outpour of a new religious upbringing, it seems this gravesite is another black sheep, changing the history of the quiet Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Megan Borchert
Megan Borchert
Lover of all things unusual, Megan is a staff attorney for the state of South Dakota. When she's not stuffed in an office writing case synopses, you can find her at home with her army of Schnauzers, snuggled up with some strong wine and a good book.

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