When you think of Las Vegas you likely think of drinking and gambling, among other things. But….do you ever think of ghost stories? Turns out, Las Vegas has more than it’s share of spirits. I’ll be sharing stories from all over the area and will be including maps in the event you want to plan a spooky trip yourself…let’s get started!
Downtown & The Strip
Luxor Hotel and Casino
While I was looking into some of the most haunted places in Las Vegas, I saw the Luxor come up more than a few times. I figured that it had to do with the Titanic exhibit and didn’t give it too much thought at first. However, it turns out the Luxor was haunted on its own before the artifacts made their way there. The hotel and casino are actually rumored to be cursed.
The Luxor’s shape was modeled after the Great Pyramid (it’s ¾ scale) and it once housed many replica artifacts. When they were building the hotel they naturally included the very recognizable sphinx. However, they only included one which may be the reason for the curse. Legend says that you have to have two sphinxes, one facing east and one facing west, for protection. I always thought that there was only one in Egypt, but it turns out there were actually two originally, but only one survived the elements. Because there is only one sphinx at the hotel, it’s left the hotel open to darkness on the other side. This darkness has included several deaths (two falls from balconies into the hotel, an assault/murder, a bomb in the parking garage, and a fight that lead to one person’s death as recently as 2010), financial setbacks during construction, and many injuries during construction as well as the death of a construction worker. He and the two victims that fell are often reported to be seen throughout the hotel lobby. Maybe they need to add another sphinx…
Titanic Exhibit at the Luxor
Places can be haunted by the spirits left in the wake of a tragedy, right? What about when you disturb someone’s final resting place?
Well, what happens then when you disturb the final resting place of some 1,500 people due to one of the greatest tragedies to ever occur? While it is fascinating to see artifacts brought to the surface from the Titanic shipwreck site, it seems that this has caused the locations housing these artifacts to experience hauntings.
The Titanic Museum in Belfast is haunted by a spirit that is said to have told one woman, “It’s okay,” in an attempt to comfort her as she became emotional listening to the distress call from the ship. The Georgia Aquarium housed a Titanic Exhibit at one point, where they heard voices calling, “No, please wait!”
What about the exhibit at the Luxor?
Many who visit experience phantom hands touching them as well as the feeling of being watched; some even feel people tugging at their clothes. One of the employees has said he has heard music playing. Perhaps these are the musicians that played that night up until the end?
Two replicas seem to have drawn spirit energy as well. The grand staircase is haunted by a woman dressed in black who walks up and down the stairs. The promenade is haunted by the spirit of the lookout who, while he survived the wreck, continued to be haunted by guilt before ending his own life. He’s believed to come here and continue to keep watch.
Many of the spirits seem to show their discontent with Bruce Ismay (if you’ve seen the movie, he’s the man who encourages the captain to go faster which caused them to hit the ice burg). Employees of the exhibit came in one morning to find his photo on the floor, though still propped against the wall; meaning it had to have been placed there by someone. When they watched the security footage they were shocked to see it shake before falling to the floor on it’s on. Perhaps it is a passenger that holds him responsible for their death?
As with most haunted locations there are also many shadows in photos, orbs and EVPs (likely comparable to the one caught in Atlanta).
Flamingo & Koval
It would be fair to say that most haunted roads are off the beaten path, right? Older back roads, sometimes unpaved, usually in the middle of nowhere? I guess my point is that you don’t expect them to be a busy intersection just off Las Vegas Boulevard, aka the Strip.
About three blocks from the Strip sits the intersection of Flamingo and Koval. Many know this as the place where Tupac was fatally shot in September 1996. While who shot him has never been determined, there are many theories over the years. A sudden, tragic death that continues to be unsolved seems to create the circumstances for a haunting. According to the story, Tupac himself is still looking for the shooter, because he is said to haunt this intersection while looking into cars to find the person that shot at him. He is always described as wearing the same clothes he was the night he was murdered.
The hotels and casinos in Las Vegas often change ownership and therefore names, which made this story a little confusing to research at first.
The MGM Grand once stood here, but then became Bally’s and is now the Horseshoe. This building is haunted due to one of the worst disasters in hotel history back when it was still the MGM Grand. Back in November 1980 there was an electrical fire that was “the second largest life-loss hotel fire in US history.” Of the 85 people that passed away, 79 were due to either smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide which in some instances filled their hotel rooms from the vents. The Emerald Tower of the hotel is where the tragedy took place; room attendants in the hotel report seeing “shadowy figures” on the beds. Many guests also report floating apparitions in the casino as well.
According to the book I read, the Flamingo Hotel & Casino is supposed to be one of the 10 most haunted sites in the US…I couldn’t find anything online to confirm that but it still seems to have its share of ghostly activity.
The history of the Flamingo is pretty wild for those who don’t know. The original hotel was a project for the mob, started by Ben “Bugsy” Siegel specifically. He was looking to build a luxury resort in Las Vegas as there weren’t any at that time.
While the hotel would EVENTUALLY be a success (and kick off the start of the Strip as we know it today) it was not so successful in Siegel’s lifetime. It actually lost a lot of money which…wasn’t good news for him as far as his associates were concerned. He was murdered in California (a case which is still unsolved) but he seems to have returned to his beloved hotel to make sure things are running smoothly.
This isn’t the original hotel, it was torn down and this new one was built, but that hasn’t stopped Siegel from checking in. Before it was torn down, he was often spotted in his original suite. Now, he’s often seen in the garden where there is a plaque for him. There was a story from one couple waiting in the garden when they saw him standing by the fountain; apparently they watched another woman walk right through him, not realizing he was there!
While he was known to have a temper in life, he seems to have relaxed a lot as his ghost is often described as being “cordial.”
One of the prettiest hotels on the Strip holds one of it’s haunted locations. The Venetian is home to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum which is rumored to be haunted, though not from anything that has happened during the Venetian’s time.
The Venetian was built where the Sands Hotel & Casino once stood; the museum is where the Copa Room used to be, where there were many live performances from some of the best acts at the time. The room seems to have some residual energy, with many people claiming to hear voices or see random apparitions. The most common occurrence though seems to be laughter.
Random voices and laughter in a wax museum? No thank you.
The Westgate, formerly known as the Las Vegas Hilton, is haunted by none other than the king himself, Elvis Presley.
While it may make more sense to some that he would haunt his beloved Graceland in Memphis (with famous spirits we have to take hauntings with a grain of salt…) this hotel is where he set many attendance records and enjoyed great success. Many of those attendance records still stand today.
It would make sense for him to come back to where he may have been super happy in his career. He has been spotted all over the property, from his former penthouse, to the backstage area, to the parking garage in an apparition of his car. He has even been spotted by other celebrities, with one story involving Wayne Newton.
He said that during one of his performances of an Elvis song he was singing when he saw Elvis checking out his performance from one of the balconies before disappearing.
The Mob Museum contains, you guessed it, artifacts and exhibits related to true crime. This includes a portion of the wall from the Valentine’s Day Massacre. The building itself used to be a courthouse where many of these criminals were convicted. It would make sense then that their spirits are drawn back to this place.
The courtroom on the second floor has a tendency for cold spots, while the hallways seem to hold apparitions and shadow people. The wall I previously mentioned seems to hold the most activity, with one writer describing that it “radiates a negative, uncomfortable aura.”
Las Vegas Area
We didn’t visit any of these locations so there will not be any pictures, but I will continue to show maps so you can get an idea of where they are at in relation to the downtown/strip area since that is where most people stay!
Fox Ridge Park
This park has one of the creepiest stories attached to it that I think I’ve ever heard. There is a swing that is said to be haunted, beginning to move on it’s own after midnight. While that sounds fairly innocuous, there’s another sinister layer to this story.
The swing doesn’t always move with an invisible force, some claim to see a white mist or even the apparition of a little boy sitting on the swing. Again, not too scary, until you get closer to the little boy that is. It doesn’t seem that he wants anyone to play with because as you get closer to him his face turns into something else entirely, from little boy to something almost demonic.
One paranormal investigator describes having been yanked off the swing by her jacket. Previously, she had asked if the boy liked them being there. When she listened back for EVP she heard a very clear, “No.”
Craig Road Pet Cemetery (trigger warning for animal cruelty)
Some people believe the spirits of animals come back as well. I believe it’s the Whaley House in San Diego that is said to be haunted by the family’s former dog and cat. The Davenport House in Savannah is also allegedly haunted by a cat.
Have you ever heart of a ghost elephant though?
Stoney the Elephant once performed at the Luxor (again with this place…) where he was unfortunately horrifically abused by his owners. He hurt his leg performing and when they tried to get him to move so he could be seen by a vet he put too much weight on another leg and broke his femur. My. Heart.
Due to the broken leg he was euthanized and was buried here at Craig Road Pet Cemetery. It seems he has a more peaceful afterlife, with people often spotting him walking and grazing in the cemetery.
La Palazza Mansion
This home was compared to Amityville in New York in terms of hauntings. I’m not sure if the author knows a lot of people now think Amityville was a hoax, but anyway, what happened here is horrifying.
The book I’ll include as my reference at the end of this post described one former owner’s experience in the home. His girlfriend often heard vulgar comments coming from disembodied voices, particularly when she was in bed or in the shower. The owner himself was said to undergo an aggressive personality change. He was also once attacked by one of the spirits, with an invisible force grabbing him around his neck, not letting go until he managed to get outside.
“This was the first time when I realized that what you can’t see can still touch you.” AHHHH!
When a psychic came to the home she made a connection with a dark spirit who was a murderer in his lifetime (more on that in a moment…). The psychic asked why he stayed “in the wretched, haunted house.” His reply was, “We suit each other.”
So, why so darkly haunted? The owner I previously mentioned found a hidden room. When I was first reading the lines I was thinking to myself, “Oh, ok, for bootlegging.” Not at all. It was a literal murder room, with white tile and a sink that when they moved it they found “blood, a lot of it caked in there.” This is one of the scariest stories I’ve ever heard.
Dell H. Robison Middle School
Starting out at a new school can be hard. But a haunted school? That might not sound so bad a first; after all, you get to leave at the end of the day. But, one spirit is said to follow new students home.
An apparition with the appearance of a janitor is often seen by new students and when he gets closer they see his bloody hands. They often report running home, with the janitor never far behind even though he’s only walking (he’s giving me Michael Myers vibes…). He continues to haunt their nightmares, only stopping when they go to church.
This story was a little hard for me to follow at first, but here’s what I got from it:
Back in 1884, a man named Archibald Stewart was infuriated when he heard from his wife what was being said about her around town by a former ranch hand. With it being the 1880s, Stewart decided to go over to the Kiel Ranch where the man, Schuyler Henry, was now working. In addition to being angry, he was also armed. Henry ended up killing him in what was deemed as self defense. Archibald’s wife, Helen, often thought that Conrad Kiel also had something to do with his death but there wasn’t any way to prove that.
Now, let’s jump ahead to 1900.
Edwin and William Kiel, the sons of Conrad, were found dead on their ranch. Their bodies were discovered by Hiram Stewart, son of Archibald Stewart. Per the coroner, Edwin killed William before ending his own life. No one in the family ever believed this though, believing instead that they were killed by Hiram in revenge for his own father’s murder. They were never able to prove it though, much like Helen with who killed Archibald.
Until, 1975 that is.
The brothers were exhumed and it was determined that they were both murdered. They’re both said to haunt the property still, seeming to be running scared from someone.
There are a few reasons this haunting could be occurring. There’s the obvious, the sudden, tragic and unsolved murder. But you also need to take into account that while the exhumation did solve the mystery of whether or not both brothers were murdered, the Kiel family never agreed to the exhumation. Worse than that, the bodies just stayed in the morgue for thirty years rather than be returned to their resting place. It’s also said, “When Archibald Stewart was shot and killed boy Schuyler Henry in cold blood, it started a curse that would last more than a hundred years.”
I’m not sure if it was a curse or trauma that doomed these families to make the same mistakes, but it’s a haunting story regardless.
Sections that were not immediately followed with a reference linked used this book as a reference: Haunted Las Vegas by Paul W. Papa
Prints from my Las Vegas trip are available here: Las Vegas Prints
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