Elvis Presley Was Originally Laid to Rest in a Public Cemetery But Then Moved to Graceland: Here’s Why

by Joe Rutland

Just days after his death, Elvis Presley was buried in a cemetery in Memphis, Tenn. Graverobbers, though, forced his body to be moved.

Presley, known all around the world for his music and movies, died on Aug. 16, 1977, at 42 years old. His death shocked fans and admirers, sending radio stations to only play Elvis records all night long.

He was buried on Aug. 18, 1977, at Forest Hill Cemetery next to his mother, Gladys. More than 80,000 people lined up along Elvis Presley Boulevard as “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” was laid to rest.

Family Of Elvis Presley Takes Action After Incident At Crypt

Unfortunately, graverobbers attempted to get to the 900-pound copper coffin inside its mausoleum. It failed. On Oct. 3, 1977, family members moved both Elvis and his mother’s coffins to Graceland, forming a meditation garden. Two years after Elvis Presley died, his father Vernon died and is buried next to his son and wife.

Fans were visiting the empty crypt before it was put up for auction in 2012. They would leave flowers and cards in memory of Elvis Presley. But the crypt was pulled from the auction before it even took place.

One person, though, didn’t want Elvis to even be in the meditation garden anymore.

Lisa Marie Presley Wanted Her Father’s Remains Moved

Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis’ only child and whose mother is Priscilla Presley, said in 1999 that she wanted her father’s body moved away from where people could visit him. She sought more privacy for her father’s remains.

But people who visit Graceland today can still go pay their respects to Elvis Presley. Thousands of people flock to Memphis, Tenn., each year around Aug. 16 for a candlelight vigil remembering him, his music, and his talent.

More than four decades after his death, Elvis is still popular and his music remains a staple on radio stations. Satellite music network SiriusXM even has an “Elvis” channel totally devoted to his music, whether it’s from records or movies to rarely-heard live concert performances.

Elvis Presley may be dead physically, yet his music remains alive in the hearts of fans both young and old alike.