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Elvis Presley’s longtime maid, Nancy Rooks, said the musician was a good boss who treated her like family. She enjoyed working at Graceland, despite some of the more frightening moments she endured. Rooks dealt with intruders on the property and snakes in the basement. On one occasion, she realized that Elvis had fired bullets into his toilet for a reason she could not comprehend.

Elvis Presley fired bullets into a toilet at Graceland

While Rooks was in the Graceland kitchen, she heard a loud noise from somewhere in the house. When she went to investigate, she found water pouring from the ceiling. 

“Thinking it was too loud to be a firecracker, I went running into the foyer, which is located just beneath his upstairs room, in time to see a fine mist of sheetrock dust, followed by a stream, at first, and, then, a deluge of water pouring from the ceiling near the front door above the foyer,” she wrote in the book Inside Graceland: Elvis’ Maid Remembers. “I ran down the hallway to a small closet where we kept table linens and such, and grabbed an armful of whatever was there and went back and threw them on the floor to try and help absorb the water.”

A black and white picture of Elvis Presley holding a gun. He sits in a car with the window rolled down.
Elvis Presley | Bettmann/Contributor via Getty

She ran upstairs to check on Elvis, whom she found in the bathroom with a “sheepish grin” on his face and a gun in his hand. Behind him, his toilet was blown to smithereens. 

“With my heart pounding I tried, as politely as I could, to ask him what had happened. (Of course, all I would have had to have done is to look at the shattered toilet, in a million pieces, to realize that he had shot the commode!) He grinned, muttered something about how he had never liked that toilet anyway, and walked calmly back into his bedroom where he sprawled out on his bed and began watching TV.”

Rooks accepted his lack of an answer, though she couldn’t help but wonder why he’d done it.

“I never found out what made him mad enough to blow the commode to pieces,” she wrote. “And, of course, I never asked him again.”

Nancy Rooks said visitors can still see the mark

Rooks said that Elvis’ Aunt Delta, who helped run Graceland, rushed to replace the shattered toilet. 

“Aunt Delta ended up getting Mike McGregor and Earl Pritchett to run to the local plumbing supply store, buy a new black commode, and install it as if nothing unusual had ever happened.”

Still, she said that, at least as recently as 2005, when she published her book, visitors to Graceland could still see a mark on the ceiling in the foyer.

“You can still barely see where the repair was made in the ceiling of the foyer as you first walk in the front door,” she wrote. “Look up and slightly to the right, near the entrance going into the living room.”

Elvis Presley caused further chaos when he tried to teach Priscilla to shoot at Graceland

Elvis unleashed further firearm-related chaos on Graceland when he tried to teach Priscilla Presley to shoot.

“Then there was the time that Elvis decided Priscilla needed to learn how to shoot a gun,” Rooks wrote. “I don’t think she had ever fired one before, but that didn’t matter to Elvis. When he decided something needed to be done, it needed to be done right then and there.”

A black and white picture of Elvis Presley sitting and holding a gun in one hand.
Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Elvis handed a nervous Priscilla a gun and told her to aim for the targets he set up. She missed by a long shot.

“Elvis spent a great deal of time trying to explain to her the proper way to hold it, how to take aim, and how to slowly but surely squeeze the trigger so as not to get a recoil,” Rooks wrote. “Having said all that, Priscilla pointed the gun toward the target, closed both eyes, jerked on the trigger, and sent a ricochet of brick flying towards all of us as her bullet completely missed the door to the well house and hit about three feet to the left of it.”

Priscilla continued to fire, causing the crowd of people watching to rush away in terror.