Did The Playboy Mansion Have Secret Tunnels For Celebrities?

As a Hollywood hotspot for decades, the Playboy mansion has inspired oodles of rumors over the years, and the features on its property are the stuff of legend: a zoo with monkeys and exotic birds, a hidden room for Prohibition-era boozing, and a guest room with a vibrating bed. But one feature that was only divulged recently was that Hugh Hefner, in the 1970s, built a system of underground tunnels that linked his house to the homes of celebrities (per Playboy Magazine).

Wait. Could that possibly be true? According to a 2015 Playboy report, when going through the storied magazine's archives, a staffer noticed photos of major construction around the property dated from 1977. They did a little more digging and found blueprints showing tunnels to the properties of "J. Caan," "J. Nicholson," "K. Douglas," and "W. Beatty." Coincidentally, the actors James Caan, Jack Nicholson, Kirk Douglas, and Warren Beatty all happened to live near the Mansion in the 1970s.


An April Fool's Day joke

...Well, look at the date of the Playboy article.

Playboy ended up fooling a whole host of reputable outlets with its article, in part because the "news" was initially released a few days before April Fool's (bad form, Playboy. Tsk tsk). Esquire, The Orange County Register, and Vanity Fair were among the distinguished publications taken in by the nudie mag's joke. Esquire eventually got confirmation that the tunnels story was a hoax from both Playboy and Hugh Hefner himself.

Don't be too disappointed though. There are plenty of crazy stories about the Playboy mansion that are actually real. For example: James Caan probably wouldn't have needed a tunnel to the Playboy mansion because during the 1970s he literally lived on site. And did you hear the one about how John Lennon put out a cigarette on one of Hef's Matisse paintings? You can't make this stuff up.