For decades, fans have swarmed to their idols’ graves and taken liberties during the visits. Some have used the grave sites as locations to consume drugs, have sex and get drunk. Some have caused physical damage to the markings with lipstick and hand prints. Some have even absconded with the tombstones entirely.
Here’s a list of famous people whose fans just won't let them rest in peace.
Marilyn Monroe is buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, along with a who’s who of celebrity corpses such as Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin and Don Knotts. Limousine driver Benny Hill, who offers tours of celebrity graves, says that her crypt is not only the most frequently visited, but the most discolored from constant fondling. According to Hill, it's “the dirtiest one there. You look at the wall and there is lipstick, fingerprints, handprints.” (CantonRep.com)
Despite the sanitary concerns, the crypts adjacent to Monroe’s are highly desirable. Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner bought the one right next to hers in 1992, and the widow of Los Angeles businessman Richard Poncher auctioned off the crypt above Monroe on eBay in 2009, despite the fact that her late husband’s remains were still in it. She tantalizingly advertised the space as an opportunity to “spend eternity directly above Marilyn Monroe.” (BBC News)
Bon Scott was the first singer to grace the albums of the beloved Aussie band AC/DC. In February 1980, he passed out in a car after a night of heavy drinking and died at age 33 of pulmonary aspiration, better known as that old rock-and-roll standby, choking on vomit. He was cremated and his ashes were interred at Fremantle Cemetery in Western Australia. The band went on to make millions of dollars without him, with Brian Johnson as the new lead singer.
July 9, 2006 would have been Scott's 60th birthday, and someone chose that day to steal the National Trust of Australia brass plaque that proclaimed his grave site a heritage listing. Doug Thorncroft of the Western Australia Bon Scott Fan Club guessed that the theft was likely the work of some drunken idiot and went on to say, "They're possibly sitting at home now feeling terrible, which I hope they are." (9 News)
Morrison, the lead singer of the Doors, died on July 3, 1971 in a bathtub in Paris. There are conflicting reports as to the cause of his death, but what nobody disputes is that his grave site in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris is one of the most hopelessly and perpetually disrespected celebrity grave sites on Earth.
According to a 2000 article in the Los Angeles Times, the final resting place of the Lizard King has been “the site of drug parties, Black Masses and trysts with prostitutes,” and that’s not even counting the damage done to the various markers over the years. A bust of Morrison was put on the grave site in 1981, only to be defaced with graffiti and have its nose stolen, and finally be stolen in its entirety in 1988.
Actor James Dean was killed in a car accident at the tender age of 24. He was buried in his childhood home of Fairmount, Ind., and his headstone was vandalized numerous times. Fans chipped away pieces of it repeatedly, and the 400-pound memorial was even stolen, twice, in 1983 and again in 1998.
On the final occasion that it was pilfered, it was recovered on an Indiana country road when a sheriff’s deputy rammed into it with his car. "I guess somebody figured they couldn't do anything with it,” Lenny Prussack of the James Dean Memorial Gallery told the Chicago Tribune. “You can't exactly show it to your friends."
Duane Allman and Berry Oakley
Fans of interminable Southern jam rock have no doubt sparked up a doob and attained nirvana while side three of the Allman Brothers’ “Eat A Peach” noodled away in the background. Sadly, this ritual is bittersweet, as it’s impossible to engage in it without being reminded of the fact that both guitarist Duane Allman and bassist Berry Oakley are dead. This sad knowledge makes minute 12 of the Butch Trucks/Jaimoe drum jam nearly impossible to enjoy without shedding a psilocybin-engorged tear.
Grief-consumed fans make regular pilgrimages to the Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Ga., where both men are interred. All fine and good, but Candace Oakley, sister of the late bassist, told the Associated Press that she had seen visitors take nude photos on top of the graves, and leave peace symbols, lipstick kisses and carved initials on the marker.
She had also found such charming relics as empty beer cans, discarded joints, abandoned panties and used condoms. "This is paying your respects?" she asked. "I don't understand why people leave roaches and liquor. Do they think Duane and Berry get up at night and enjoy it?"
Alois and Klara Hitler
Alois Hitler was a 19th-century Austrian customs official who was never famous. However, he and his wife Klara had a son named Adolf, who aspired to become a great painter, like Matisse or Monet or Bob Ross. Sadly, the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna rejected him, and he became the dictator of Nazi Germany instead.
Both of the frustrated artist’s parents died many years before he rose to power, and they were buried in a small, unassuming plot in the Austrian city of Leonding. Unfortunately, the grave became a tourist attraction for neo-Nazis and white supremacists, who would leave flowers and Nazi slogans at the site, according to the New York Daily News.
In March 2012, the tombstone and the Hitlers’ remains were removed. Kurt Pittertschatscher, the pastor of the local parish, said that "the upkeep of the grave was becoming increasingly difficult as the years went by, and the grave ... kept being misused for gatherings of sympathisers." (BBC News)
Next: Scary Ghost Photos
Comedian John Belushi was only 32 years old when he died of a drug overdose in 1982, but he left a lasting legacy with his appearances on “Saturday Night Live” and in classic films such as “The Blues Brothers” and “Animal House.”
The public’s affection for him was so great that his original Martha’s Vineyard gravesite quickly became a hot tourist destination for admirers, well-wishers and whatever you call people who leave behind bras, empty liquor bottles and soiled prophylactics.
His widow responded by having his remains moved to an undisclosed location in the same cemetery. However, other rumors also persist that his remains are now buried in Illinois with his family.