Michael Jackson Attempted to Buy the Elephant Man’s Bones

In 1×18 The Third Lorelai arrives in Hartford. Known loving as Trix, the “reigning Lorelai” offers to set up a trust

Trix proposes a trust fund for Rory to pay for her education

fund for Rory. Given her grandmother’s vast wealth, Lorelai is worried what this large inheritance will do to her 16 year old daughter. While discussing this with her friend Sookie, Lorelai states “I don’t care if she buys a house, or a boat, or the Elephant Man’s bones.”

Lorelai isn’t mentioning hypothetical frivolous expenditures, but the very real attempt that Michael Jackson made to buy the Elephant Man’s bones from the London Hospital in 1987.

More than a hundred years after Joseph Merrick’s death, Michael Jackson attempted to buy his skeleton. Jackson was known to spend exorbitant amounts of money to get what he wanted, as demonstrated in the video below. However, the London Hospital, which cared for Merrick for the latter portion of his life, denied Jackson’s offer of $500,000. The hospital continues to keep Merrick’s remains for medical research purposes.

Born in 1862, Joseph Merrick developed physical deformities which affected his entire body. At this time it was common for people with abnormalities to become exhibitions in human oddities shows, this led to his moniker as The Elephant Man.

Merrick has been the subject of numerous plays, books and films which show his yearning to be “normal.” Joseph’s deformities, particularly his large head, caused great stress on his body, and required him to sleep standing up. Unfortunately, it is believed that Merrick’s death in 1890 was a result of him sleeping laying down, causing his head to suffocate his body while he slept.

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16 Comments

  1. I’m so happy you are writing a blog about Gilmore Girls! Given my age when the first couple of seasons aired, there were many pop culture references that went directly over my head. It’s nice to have some of the more obscure ones explained, finally 🙂

  2. I didn’t know MJ actually tried to buy the Elephant Man’s bones. This was a really good read. I love the topic as well. Cant wait to read future posts.

  3. While I’ve never watched Gilmore Girls, the Elephant Man is both a creepy story (due to Jackson trying to buy the bones not Joseph himself) and fascinating one. Such an interesting read!

    1. Honestly I have no clue. However MJ liked to have one of a kind items and to show off his wealth. I also didn’t realise there’s a lyric regarding this in the Barenaked Ladies’ song “If I Had a Million Dollars”

    1. I didn’t hear any reason for this. However, the popular film The Elephant Man was released a few years before he attempted to buy his bones.

  4. Definitely an interesting topic to blog on! The topic is totally new to me but trust me, after reading the blog, I have searched nail and tooth to learn more! Way to go! 🙂

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