Dead Famous – Elvis Presley

elvis dead coffin post mortem skull illusion

What surprises me the most about this simple and rather grainy post mortem picture of Elvis Presley  is just how young he looks. I was only a small child when he died but I already knew him as the bloated Vegas crooner that he had sadly become.

How bizarre then that, photographed in his open casket, he appears less like the overweight, drug-addled man in the famous white jumpsuit and more the attractive young actor he had been years previously.

elvis presley dead coffin post mortem skull illusion

elvis presley alive dead coffin post mortem skull illusion
Elvis Aaron Presley. Jan 8, 1935 – Aug 16, 1977

EDITED TO ADD: click here for further discussion on this subject



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30 Responses to Dead Famous – Elvis Presley

  1. Damama says:

    I think that’s why a lot of people say that he’s not dead and that the young man dead in the coffin was a lookalike.

    • caroline upple says:

      i agree.begs the question why was photo taken in first place.this is not the Elvis that performed 6 weeks b4 he,s death

  2. bullet says:

    It might be the way the undertakers have made up the cadaver.
    Off topic, but wondered if you would have any knowledge of this. In New St Chad’s graveyard there is an iron board, about the width of two graves and about the length of one, perhaps a bit shorter. It sounds hollow when you walk over it. It looks like it used to have railings around it, which I presume came up in the Second World War. It’s larger than a manhole or draincover would be expected to be. Do you know of it and whether it would be something connected with burials, or whether it’s going to be something mundane like a sewage outlet?

    • Violet says:

      I haven’t seen it, but it sounds like it might be a cover over old graves? They’re not always fully filled in – there’s sometimes a void underneath the gravestone, down to the coffin.

      I’ll have a look next time I’m in town – whereabouts in the graveyard is it?

  3. bullet says:

    I am hopeless at remembering where things are in relation to other things, but as far as I remember it was very close to two graves for an ironmonger and clockmaker which had iron inscriptions and fairly close to the boundary with Claremont Hill. There is also a very triangular gravestone as well, a little south of it.

  4. Rusty says:

    I still recall exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard he had died. I grew up with all my parents old Elvis singles and I played them non stop. I was 13 when he passed away.

    If it was not for the fact that he was buried within 48hrs of dying, I would say that was a wax works left in his place and the real Elvis was privately interred at a later date. I guess the morticians were the best and they worked hard to make him look beautiful.

  5. Rick Thaler says:

    I have to reply to Elvis. I was born in 1970 and I have been a huge fan since I was 5 years old. Even to this day when I need inspitation I listen to Elvis Gospel. It helps.

  6. Rick Thaler says:

    I want Elvis Gospel at my funeral.

  7. john says:

    isnt it amazing -even on this web site that elvis is in the coffin both ways. one picture his head is at one end and the other picture – his head is at the other end

  8. john says:

    and by the way – both pictures with 2 diffenet coffins.

    • Violet says:

      Do you think? It looks like the same coffin to me. And I would assume that the reason that his head appears to be a different way round is down to the photo being ‘flipped’ during editing.

      Thanks for commenting, I’m always interested in readers’ opinions :)

      • johnny says:

        actually if you look at bottom casket has something going from the lid of the casket to the casket but the top picture does have it – still intersting. :-)

  9. crusty says:

    Some opportunistic plastic surgeon probably performed postmortem liposuction on the King.

  10. underabus says:

    The top photo of “Elvis” in the coffin looks very ….pencil drawing to me. Like everything surrounding his head was drawn in. And yes, the photo graphs have him facing different ways, and yes, the coffins are different. In the bottom one, you can see the lid, hinge, I guess you would call it, in the top photo, no such hinge. Plus, you’d have to be really naive to believe that either of these were real photographs of the dead, over weight and aged, Elvis. C’mon.

  11. Sydney says:

    He was never on drugs!He died of cronic constipation.The supposed drug use.Were perscription drugs that no doctor should ever prescribe.That’s because Coloniel Tom Parker rode along with it.The doctor lost his medical license.

  12. Karson says:

    He was a great singer/actor and role model.He came from nothing to being the most remembered singer in history.Everyone is on here bashing him.Shame on you.This wasn’t a planed post mortem like someone was hired to do it.It was just another paparazzi with a camera.Yes you can see the henge in the top picture.Because you can see the ruffled out line.May he rest in peace.

  13. Christiania says:

    He was a great singer/actor and role model.He came from nothing to being the most remembered singer in history.Everyone is on here bashing him.Shame on you.This wasn’t a planed post mortem like someone was hired to do it.It was just another paparazzi with a camera.Yes you can see the henge in the top picture.Because you can see the ruffled out line.He died of cronic constipation drugs had nothing to do with it.(so eat your fiber) The prescription drugs prescribed to him were prescribed in doses no doctor should ever prescribe.He lost his medical license.He was a great man may he rest in peace.

  14. Violet says:

    Hi Sydney/Karson/Christiana :)

    No one here is bashing anyone, you’re being rather harsh. The photo is on the Skull because whether it was planned or not, it is a ‘post mortem’ photograph.

    Regardless of whether or not the drugs Elvis took were legal, they certainly had major part in his tragic downfall.

    ‘Rest in peace’ is a term I think we would all agree is appropriate for this and all other post mortem photographs on the Skull. Thank you for taking the time to comment :)

  15. helen roberts says:

    Elvis,s distance cousin was paid by the national enquirer to sneak in and take the pic. It was a poor quality pic, but it seems to have been retouched over the years.

  16. Stephanie says:

    My father passed away 2 and a half months ago. He was very bloated before he passed. Even on his death bed he was bloated. After he was embalmed and laid out for viewing he not only lost his bloated appearance, but looked like the dad I grew up with. I’m 31 and my dad (other than the gray hair) had the same face as he did 15-20 years earlier. My dad had no plastic surgeon and nothing out of the ordinary done to look youger. I wish I had a picture of him at his viewing because he looked so good and I hadn’t seen him look so good in more than a decade.

    • Violet says:

      Aaw, I’m sorry you lost your dad. How fascinating, though! That really is interesting, because obviously there’s always the ‘but it can’t be Elvis because he hadn’t looked like that for years’ theory. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment :)

  17. Dixie says:

    It really does look to me like a different casket. The lid on one view is flat across on the inside while the other is not. Also, I don’t care how good an undertaker is, I can’t believe he could have erased all the weight and age on his face. I will never believe that is really him.

    • Stephanie says:

      It’s not necessarily the fabulous undertaker… It’s more the fact of how much of his weight was water water and built up fluid. If I had pictures of my dad when he was laid out for his funeral I would definitely allow them to be posted to prove a point. Before he passed his face and neck were very weighted. It was quite amazing the transition. I’m just stating my own personal experience to explain possibilities. :-) And Thank you violet.

  18. Pingback: Dead Elvis - The Skull Illusion

  19. Mommabeans says:

    Honestly, I don’t believe the top one is a photograph. It looks more like a charcoal drawing by a very good artist. But a drawing none the less.

  20. Mommabeans says:

    …Also, neither of these pictures falls in line with what one reporter saw that day.

  21. Iremember says:

    The image of Elvis is thought to be real originally it was with his head at the left as 99.9% of coffins do lie, over the years the image was flipped and retouched by people that made it look rather “sketched”. The National Enquirer published the post-mortem photo of Elvis Presley on September 6, 1977, supposedly taken by one of his “loyal staff” for some quick cash.

    By the time Elvis was found rigour had set in and he was found face down so you can imagine a bit of restoration work was carried out, his body was large that is why they had to fly in a coffin to fit him in. They even had his personal hairdresser attend the undertakers the hairdresser used mascara to get rid of the grey adding to the unnatural look. There was only ever one, VERY grainy image taken and made public. All of the images on this page are from that original the stay for the casket lid is in exactly the same place in each image as are all markers on the face the angle of the coffin has been adjusted in one image(top) as the original image was at an angle it is an obvious edit though and they didn’t do a good job of it.

    There are many first hand reports that state that Elvis appeared waxy some that saw him after death stated his face and neck area were bloated, some of the same people saw him at the viewing and stated it didn’t look like the same person which added to the rumours that he wasn’t dead. A few words from a disinterested reporter who had a short glimpse of their first dead person is very different to a lot of other first hand reports from personal staff, hospital staff, undertakers and morgue staff etc. One thing all that viewed his body do agree on is that he was a very large man ……. Elvis really did leave the building in a coffin and was viewed by thousands of people at least one of whom decided to make some fast cash out of his death and took an image that was then published to the world, that image is the one on this page.

    Cheers for the interesting articles, I don’t know how I missed this one.

  22. Herlinda says:

    so sad i really did not notice about that :( i lost my uncle he have a heart attack too elvis also died with a heart attack :(

  23. Camille says:

    I know a mortician; and they do drain a lot of bodily fluids from the corpse. My aunt was extremely heavy before death; and yet, in the coffin, she appeared as if her weight was normal. They are experts at making people look wonderful, even if they need to fit them with wigs, ect.

    • mommabeans says:

      Yes, they do drain off blood and fluid but as someone who has attended the funerals of several overweight people and they we all still as big as they were in life. They don’t drain fat.

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