News & Opinion | August 17, 2021 12:59 pm

The Crypt Next to Hugh Hefner and Marilyn Monroe Is Available, If You’re Interested

Spend eternity with Hef and Marilyn for just $2 million

Marilyn Monroe's crypt at the Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery. Her grave is right next to Hugh Hefner's, and now the plot next to that is available to buy as of August 2021.
Ah yes, sexualizing and commodifying dead famous people. Nothing weird about that!
Douglas Keister/Corbis via Getty Images

There are many things one might find disturbing about Hugh Hefner. For some, the idea of a senior citizen courting a gaggle of 20-something blondes well into his 80s is enough to raise eyebrows and turn stomachs. For others, claims that the late Playboy founder used to ply women with Quaaludes — which he reportedly called “thigh-openers” — is particularly repugnant.

The thing that I, personally, have always found most disturbing about Hugh Hefner, however, is the fact that the infamous womanizer insisted upon being buried next to Marilyn Monroe, the woman whose nudes he purchased and published without her consent in the first-ever edition of Playboy, building his empire upon the body beside which he would later rest for all eternity. Hefner purchased the spot to the left of Monroe’s plot in the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles for $75,000 back in 1992, and was laid to rest beside the iconic Hollywood starlet after his death in 2017.

Now Hef himself faces a similar fate, as the resting place beside his own has recently become available to any crazed fan with $2 million to blow. The crypt previously belonged to Broadway composer and lyricist Jerry Herman, who purchased the tomb in 1997 but was ultimately laid to rest beside his mother in New Jersey. Herman’s family is now selling the high-profile grave plot.

“There’s Marilyn Monroe, Hugh Hefner, then Jerry’s [grave],” Herman’s goddaughter told the Wall Street Journal. “He’s next to the two sexiest people that were ever alive.”

And now, you can be too, if you’re into that — though whether or not Hugh Hefner should be considered one of the sexiest people to ever live is up for some serious debate, in my opinion. Regardless, the plot next to the late Playboy founder and his unwitting resting partner is open, and can be yours for just $2 million, though personally I find the whole business of wanting your corpse to rot next to the rotting corpse of a dead famous person highly disturbing.

Perhaps even more disturbing than Hefner’s lust to be buried next to Monroe is the story of the man who claimed the resting place above Monroe’s tomb, and reportedly requested to be buried face down. “He said, ‘If I croak, if you don’t put me upside down over Marilyn, I’ll haunt you the rest of my life,’” Elizabeth Poncher, the wife of businessman Richard Poncher, who died in 1986, told the LA Times in 2009. Poncher reportedly got his dying wish: “I was standing right there, and [the mortician] turned him over,” his wife told the Times.

Anyway, the posthumous sexualization and commodification of a dead famous person’s corpse seems pretty gross and disturbing to me, but if being buried near Marilyn Monroe and the man who leaked her nudes helps you cope with the terror of the great unknown that awaits us all, who am I to stop you from blowing $2 million on a glamorous grave plot?