Elvis Presley’s Graceland may be the second most famous house in the United States (We think the White House deserves the #1 spot), and each year over 600,000 people from all over the freakin’ world make a pilgrimage to Elvis’s beloved Memphis home. Like all famous buildings and anything related to deceased celebrities, rumors, myths, and legends about Graceland abound. Does it have a secret tunnel? What’s hiding upstairs? So many questions! Don't worry, we're here to help...
A Few Quick Facts
- Elvis bought Graceland in March of 1957 for $102,500.
- Back then, the house was set on 13.8 acres with 10,266 sq. feet of living space. Today, Graceland is 17,552 sq. feet and features 5 sets of stairs and 3 fireplaces.
- The Presley family moved in on May 16, 1957, but Elvis was busy shooting “Jailhouse Rock,” so he did not spend his first night at his new home until June 26, 1957.
- Elvis had the iconic music gates installed on April 22, 1957.
Back in the day, Graceland may have also seemed more like a zoo than a house… By the 1960s, Elvis had a monkeys, several dogs, peacocks, pigs, and plenty of chickens roaming the grounds of Graceland. Friends and business associates reported that cars had to be repaired and repainted frequently from the chickens pecking at their reflections in the chrome and paint.
Is there a secret tunnel out of Graceland?
Those of you who want to believe Elvis is still alive tend to love this story… Legend says there’s a secret tunnel, a leftover from the Civil War and Underground Railroad, and Elvis may have used this tunnel to make his getaway. The problem? Graceland wasn’t built until 1939.
Sorry. No tunnel. No secret escape. (Unless, of course, there’s another tunnel we don’t even know about! Keep hope, conspiracy theorists.)
Who gets to go upstairs?
Well, pretty much no one. The upstairs of Graceland are almost the same as they were the day Elvis passed away. Although the blueprints are a matter of public record, the upstairs of Graceland still remains a mystery. A few pictures have leaked out over the years, particularly during his final months with Linda Thompson, but if you want to see the upstairs of Graceland, take a page out of Nic Cage’s book and marry Lisa-Marie. Even then, no guarantees.
As most hardcore Elvis fans know, he passed away in his upstairs bathroom, and if you look up when you walk in the main foyer, you’re looking at where the bathroom is. You can also see the bathroom window directly above the front door.
While you’re most likely never going upstairs, this article from Graceland has some great 1st floor “secrets” you’ll probably enjoy…
And, of course, you should plan your trip to Graceland on Roadtrippers.com. For a great Elvis-inspired road trip, try this “Tupelo to Memphis” trip featuring all the important Elvis spots between his two hometowns…