Making A Deal With The Devil On The Poker Table

By Christine
October 18, 2022

The world of poker has more than its fair share of ghost stories. But none is quite as chilling as that of William Mackenzie.

It might not be as well known as the tale of the Dead Man’s Hand, but this story will surely leave you with goosebumps…

And if you’re brave enough to play a few hands of poker yourself after reading this tale, make sure you use this bet365 bonus code if you’re a new player.

The early life of William Mackenzie

Before we delve into the spookier aspects of William Mackenzie, let’s take a look at his early life. William was the son of Alexander and Mary Mackenzie. His father was a Scottish contractor and William was their eldest child. He was born in Nelson, Lancashire and he had 10 brothers and sisters.

Originally, his goal was to become a weaver. However, he abandoned his apprenticeship to switch paths to work in civil engineering. In 1811, this saw him take up an apprenticeship with a lock carpenter on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

It turns out that this was the exact right career move for this man. By the 1840s, William Mackenzie was one of Europe’s leading contractors.

A deal with the devil

But apparently business wasn’t his only interest… He was also an avid gambler and would do literally anything to win at the card table. Including, making a deal with the devil.

He made a deal to swap his soul for an incredible lucky streak that would stick with him until the day he died. The But William Mackenzie had no intention of really parting with his soul. Instead, he would cheat the devil out of the prize of his soul, if all went according to plan.

He asked that when he died, he wouldn’t be buried under ground. Instead, he would be placed sitting upright in a big pyramid-shaped tomb made of granite in St Andrew’s Church, Rodney Street, Liverpool. He would sit at a table, holding a royal flush for the rest of eternity.

He died in 1851. But did it all go according to plan? Absolutely not. The devil didn’t get his soul. However, without a proper burial, his soul couldn’t rest. As legend has it, William Mackenzie’s soul now wanders Rodney Street in Liverpool, wearing a large top hat and cloak.

Is this story true?

Whether or not you believe in ghosts, it’s interesting to tease out how much of this legendary story can actually be verified. Now, it seems that William Mackenzie was in fact buried in the ground, like a regular dead person of the 1850s. And, it seems that the giant granite pyramid was erected long after Mackenzie died, in fact, it was 16 years after the fact. So it doesn’t seem very likely that he was placed sitting up at a table above ground.

But that’s not to say Liverpool locals and ghost tourists alike haven’t noticed spooky goings on on Rodney Street late at night…

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