Elvis loved ‘snake hunting’ at Graceland and in neighbours’ gardens ‘He got a real thrill’
Elvis Presley: Priscilla and Lisa Marie discuss singer in 2012
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Elvis collected firearms and sheriff badges. Years later, his ex-Priscilla said: “He had a love of guns and he had a collection of guns. I guess it was another way of feeling that power.” Many anecdotes are related to the star’s anger or frustration, but his family has also described in a new video how much fun Elvis had when he went shooting snakes at Graceland and in neighbours’ ponds. Even if, on one occasion he came a little too close for comfort to shooting his own cousin’s leg in the process.
In the Youtube channel Memphis Mafia Kid, Billy Smith – Elvis’ cousin and Graceland companion – shares memories of their time together, along with his wife Jo and sons Danny and Joey.
In the latest one, Billy said: “I tell you one thing he did like to do. When he bought Graceland, a lot of people got to know him around the area. One lady, her name was Miss Cook and her husband, had a pond.. and it was snake-infested.
“So we all went snake hunting and he got thrill out of that. Killing snakes.”
Billy described one time when he was sitting and there was a snake nearby.
He said: “Of course Elvis done most of the shooting. He actually shot a snake… I had my leg like that (Billy stretches his leg out) and he was right over here and he said ‘Don’t move’ and I was thinking, ‘you’re going to shoot and you don’t want me to move?’
“But he did, he shot it and none of the pellets hit me the way he shot it.
‘But I thought, ‘Well, here I go. I made him mad and he’s gonna kill me.”
Billy and Jo reminisced about how Elvis would also shoot at the creatures closer to home.
SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH BILLY SMITH AND HIS FAMILY TALK ABOUT ELVIS
They said: “We had lot of fun shooting snakes he loved to do that, even up to the front yard of Graceland…”
Others, close to The King have revealed that he had a particular hatred for snakes. A Graceland maid described a scene when Elvis chased a snake to the trunk of a tree where it had hidden. The star brought his rifle and began “blazing away” at the creature in an attempt to either drive it away or kill it.
He was also famous for letting off his firearms inside the actual house.
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In an interview with Barbara Walters, Priscilla was asked about Elvis’ notorious hair-trigger anger issues.
She said: “He did have a temper. He did. It was unpredictable. His temper was always bursts of frustration but I think because he had the power and money to destroy, he could just replace it like that.”
She was referring to the regular household things the star habitually shot at and destroyed – in particular televisions. Apparently, Elvis would regularly blast the TV if it was showing someone he didn’t like.
Priscilla added: “He’d just blow them off the air. It was that simple and the television was replaced just like that.”
Ginger Alden, Elvis’ final girlfriend and fiancee, also described chilling scenes involving firearms.
In particular, one night when she was asleep in bed at Graceland and the deafening boom of a gun being fired woke her up.
In her book, Elvis and Ginger, she wrote: “I bolted upright and saw Elvis standing at the foot of the bed, holding a 57 Magnum pistol in his hand.
“I risked a glance behind me and saw a bullet hole in the wall above the headboard. I looked back at Elvis, trying to wrap my mind around the idea that he really had just shot a hole in the wall.
“By way of explanation, Elvis said he had asked for yogurt again and I hadn’t responded. ‘It was an attention-getter,’ he said.”
Ginger described how she was “in shock and extremely hurt” by this but also accepted his apology, sensing “on a deep level, that Elvis honestly was sorry.”
Yet, soon afterwards, Elvis was so enraged by a running toilet in his bathroom that he “blasted it to smithereens.”
Terrifyingly, Ginger described the weapon he used as a “machine gun.”
Angry and afraid, Ginger ran out of the house and home to her mother. Once again, Elvis was remorseful and she went back to him.
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