Elvis and Priscilla Presley Saw a Dead Baby — Here’s How They Reacted

Elvis and Priscilla Presley had some unusual experiences — including coming face-to-face with a deceased child. It all started with a classic horror movie. Afterward, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll decided to take his wife to a very morbid place.

Elvis and Priscilla Presley Posing near Airplane
Elvis and Priscilla Presley | Bettmann, Getty Images

This classic horror movie inspired Elvis Presley to do something macabre

Firstly, a little background. According to Priscilla’s memoir, Elvis and Me, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was a deeply spiritual man. He read classic spiritual books like Siddhartha, The Prophet, and The Impersonal Life to help him cope with feelings of despair. In addition, he was a major movie fan. He would spend evenings discussing spirituality before watching scary movies. At one point, he and Priscilla watched one of the most acclaimed horror/thriller films of the 1950s: Les Diaboliques.

The famous French film has a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is widely considered one of the most terrifying films ever. It might not seem to be the sort of movie the artist who sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” would view, but it was. In fact, Priscilla revealed her husband would watch horror movies often.

A trailer for Les Diaboliques

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While viewing Les Diaboliques, Elvis asked Priscilla if she was feeling daring. He promised to take her somewhere that was truly scary. After the film was over, they got in a limo. Elvis asked the driver to go to the morgue in Memphis, Tennessee.

How Priscilla Presley reacted to being inside a morgue

Elvis was aware he wasn’t supposed to go inside, but he used his fame to convince someone to let him in. Priscilla said “his fame was his passkey.” Priscilla was initially scared to view bodies but her husband assured her the experience was not so frightening. Priscilla was shocked by how still and churchlike the atmosphere was. 

“Crying in the Chapel”

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How Elvis Presley reacted to seeing a dead infant

Then, the couple saw the body of a deceased infant. Firstly, Priscilla looked at the corpse in silence. Afterward, she burst into tears. She wanted to know why a child with no scars had died “I don’t know,” Elvis replied. “Sometimes God works in strange ways. I guess it was just meant for the little fellow to be with his.”

Priscilla wrote “We both took the infant’s hand and Elvis said a prayer. A few minutes later, we stood over a middle-aged woman who had just been embalmed. I looked away.” 

“How Great Thou Art”

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Priscilla recalled her husband saying “This is good for you. You have to see things like this sometimes. This is the hard cold fact — reality. When you look at a body, you realize how temporary it all is, how it could end in a matter of minutes.” These words are especially notable given that the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll died at the age of 42.