The gravestone of John Laird McCaffrey in Montreal, Canada, bears a hidden message. Last week I had the chance to go on site and take a look at it.

Gravestones bearing steganographic messages are very rare – only two of them are mentioned in the literature known to me. Over the last few days I had the chance to visit both of them. So, I decided to write a two part report about my expeditions to steganographic gravestones. Here is part 2.


The grave of John Laird McCaffrey

The more famous of the two gravestones bearing a hidden message is located in the Notre-Dame-des-Neige Cemetery in Montreal, Canada. When last week I attended an exhibition in Montreal


… I took the chance to visit this cemetery.


It goes without saying that this gravestone is mentioned in my Cryptologic Travel Guide (I introduced it in my last blog post; the page was made by Christian Baumann).


The Notre-Dame-des-Neige Cemetery is one of the largest in Canada. When I went there last Monday I had wonderful fall weather.


The grave I was looking for is located in section C, lot 01369 (date buried: 14/08/1995). Without this information it is as good as impossible to locate a particular grave in this huge cemetery.


Here’s the grave I was looking for – the one of John Laird McCaffrey. It doesn’t look very special …


On the front side not much can be seen:


The hidden message is encoded on the rear-side of the gravestone:


The hidden message

I hope you can see the message on the following picture:


The following picture is the proof that I was actually there:


As you see, it doesn’t take much to create a gravestone that stands out among thousands of others – at least if one knows what is special about it.


Shortly before I finished this article, I discovered a website mentioning a similar gravestone, which is located in a cemetery in Hollywood. Now, my collection of steganographic gravestone has grown to three.

Further reading: How a blog reader solved the Tengri 137 mystery


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Kommentare (9)

  1. #1 robsn
    30. Oktober 2017

    Has anyone ever examined the butterfly? I am not into steganography but the wings seem quite irregular.

  2. #2 tomtoo
    30. Oktober 2017
  3. #3 George Keller
    30. Oktober 2017

    Great idea, maybe I will have mine done in Morse Code (DIT DIT DAH DIT — DIT DIT DAH)



  4. #4 Piper
    3. November 2017

    And whats the story behind that gravestone?

    His friends didnt like him very much, eh?

    Or is there something more?

  5. #5 Piper
    3. November 2017

    Ah, yes, found it 😛

    Looks like he wasnt such a nice guy 🙂

  6. #6 tomtoo
    5. November 2017

    Who knows ?
    If you do extreme sports. People give high five and say “fuck you”. Something like in Germany “Hals und Beinbruch” ?

  7. #7 Piper
    8. November 2017


    i somehow doubt that, just click on that link i posted and read:

    “This guy’s ex-wife and mistress came in together and ordered the stone. They said the message represented him. It was a thing between the three of them.”

    Or in german:

    Seine Ex-Frau und seine Geliebte erschienen zusammen und bestellten den Stein. Sie sagten, der Text zeigt, wie er war. Das war eine Sache zwischen diesen drei Personen.

    Noch Fragen, tomtoo? 😛

  8. #8 Alex
    23. November 2017

    Brilliant! Ich überlege mir stark ob ich mein Grabstein auch ähnlich gestalten lassen soll. 😀

  9. #9 Karl
    7. Oktober 2018

    Diese beiden Frauen scheinen sprachliche Naturbegabungen als auch in der Emblematik bewandert zu sein, z. B. die Assoziation ‘Butterfly’ zu ‘POWERFULL WINGS’, oder das verwaschene ‘A’ (KICK YOUR FEET UP IN THEIR). Der Buchstabenschreibung gemäß scheint es sich bei John außerdem um einen echten Großkotzbrocken gehandelt zu haben, und es gibt bestimmt noch die eine oder andere Anspielung mehr auf Johns Charakter in dieser Grabschrift. Ein steganographisches Meisterwerk, jedoch bezweifle ich, dass jemand so eines auf seinem Grabstein stehen haben möchte. Genial ebenfalls, es auf der Hinterseite des Grabsteins zu platzieren. Da ist John wohl jemand in den Rücken gefallen.