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Tales From the Crypts: Elvis, Jim Morrison, John Lennon & More

Celebrate your Halloween with spooky, bizarre and unexplainable facts from five rock star graves

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Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison's grave in the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, France on 15th January 2013. Morrison was singer with American r
Mick Gold/Redferns

Jim Morrison's Paris grave has been the site of looting, remodeling and even a ghost sighting since the Doors singer died July 3, 1971. 

What was originally an unmarked grave in Pere Lachaise Cemetery soon became overrun with fan letters and flowers alongside graffiti and trash. To commemorate the 10-year anniversary of his death, Croatian sculptor Mladen Mikulin constructed a stone bust of the Doors' singer laid at the site. The bust, along with the surrounding headstones, were defaced and graffitied throughout the years...until the sculpture was stolen in 1988. 

In the early '90s, a proper headstone (that has yet to be stolen!) was placed at the site you see above. It sports the Greek phrase: "ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ," which means "against own self-daemon." See a visual timeline of the grave here.

And if you're looking for a spooky story for your Halloween, look no further. In 1997, rock historian Brett Meisner traveled to the French site to honor the music hero, only to find that Morrison had photobombed him! That is, if you believe in ghosts. 

See the photo below with the floating shape of the Lizard King's distinct skinny frame that, years later, researchers have still been not able to figure what exactly it is—a trick of light has been ruled out.

Even spookier, after that picture was released, Meisner finds strangers coming to his home at all hours of the night, claiming to have messages from Morrison. "Part of me wishes that I never stepped foot into the graveyard in the first place," he told a UK newspaper in 2009. See the photo in the video clip below.

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Buddy Holly

LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 08: The headstone of Buddy Holly at the City of Lubbock Cemetery on November 8, 2008 in Lubbock, Texas
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The entire country knew Buddy Holly's name, so why is there a typo on his headstone?

Sike! The rock and roll pioneer's real name is Buddy Holley! It was misspelled on a 1956 record deal and the error remained throughout his professional career. After Holly died in a plane crash with singers Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper on February 3, 1959, at age 22, his parents Lawrence and Ella Holley used his birth name. The couple is also responsible for that near-perfect guitar replication on the headstone, bringing their son's signature instrument for to the maker to replicate.

But why such a modest marker for the music great? At the time, an ordinance in Lubbock, Texas didn't allow upright monuments in the city cemetery. Today, fans visit and outfit the site with flowers, records, rosaries and, of course, guitar picks to honor the rock hero.

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Elvis Presley

Gifts left by thousands of Elvis Presley fans left on his grave August 16, 2010 at Graceland Mansion, his residence in Memphi
Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Elvis Presley's Nashville grave site at his Graceland mansion is visited by more than half a million people annually and is a must-see stop for music fanatics. (Fuse joined Jake Bugg for his first visit.) But it isn't where the King of Rock and Roll was was first laid to rest.

When Presley died on August 16, 1977, he was buried in a Memphis mausoleum. Shortly after, there was an attempt to rob the 900-pound coffin, with the fugitive allegedly planning to hold the singer's remains for ransom. After the attempt, the city OK'd a move and the King was re-buried at Graceland two months later for his final resting place.

Twenty-five years later, an FBI informant alleged a bizarre twist to the grave-robbing story, claiming that the Presley family themselves planned the heist. The Graceland mansion was not zoned for burials at the time and the city of Memphis refused the family's pleas to bury the rock star there.

Graceland makes more than $15 million a year for Presley's estate.

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John Lennon

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: (ITALY OUT, NY DAILY NEWS OUT, NY NEWSDAY OUT)  Flowers and a photo of musician, John Lennon, lie at
Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images

To those hoping to visit John Lennon's grave site, well sorry... you can't. Unless you're really, really, really tight with Yoko Ono.

Two days after his December 8, 1980 murder, the 40-year-old was cremated at a cemetery in Hartsdale, NY, 20 miles north of New York City. The ashes were given to his wife, Ono, who decided not to hold a funeral. 

In a quiet 2.5 acre section in New York City's Central Park, Strawberry Fields has become the de facto memorial for Lennon; a place for fans to gather at the peaceful site and pay tribute.

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Frank Sinatra

Mike Carrillo/Getty Images

Frank Sinatra's legacy as the suave, sophisticated leader of the Rat Pack continues even in his grave. On May 14, 1998, the singer/actress was buried in Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, Calif., with a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey and a pack of Camel cigarettes tucked into his suit. 

His headstone reads "The Best is Yet to Come." It's a track off his 1964 LP It Might as Well Be Swing, but we think it might refer to Sinatra still having a swingin' good time wherever his spirit is today.

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