Creepy Tales Of Haunted Las Vegas

With most tales of haunted places, there is often a dramatic moment that leads to psychic scars and spectral remnants lingering for generations on end. The inciting incident may be a tragic car accident, a violent misunderstanding, or simply a chaotic turn to the world. Arguably, it's only a matter of time. Put enough people in one place and, sooner or later, you'll get a whole bunch of ghosts. At least, you'll get some ghost stories.

How many cities in the United States can lay claim to the combined spectacle of glitzy drama and seedy underbelly in Las Vegas, Nevada? If you look into the history of the area, you'll learn that there's a lot more to Vegas than gambling and stage shows. The people of the city have dealt with mobsters, serial killers, nearby atomic bomb testing, and more. This place isn't called Sin City for nothing, it seems.

All that, and Las Vegas still has room for a few ghosts. Perhaps it's the place's dramatic history coming home to roost. Maybe it's merely the product of the human imagination, gone amok in a chaotic city in the desert. Either way, tales of the supernatural abound in Las Vegas. If you're the superstitious type, perhaps it's best to prepare yourself before a visit to Sin City. You may need to be on the lookout for forces that are beyond our normal existence.

The Flamingo might still be hosting a very special mobster

The genesis of Sin City is deeply tied to organized crime, says History. Without the mafia, chances are good that Las Vegas wouldn't be much more than a dusty backwater in the Nevada desert. One of the most infamous mobsters of the era was so central to the city's rise that he could still be there more than 70 years after his death.

Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was one of the most charismatic and dangerous mobsters of his time. After making his mark as a bootlegger during Prohibition, Siegel turned to gambling and traveled to Las Vegas to finance some of the first casinos in town. He took over a hotel from a struggling developer and reopened it in 1946 as the Flamingo Hotel. The Mob Museum maintains that Siegel financed much of this development through criminal enterprises. Six months after the opening of the Flamingo, Siegel was in the Beverly Hills home of his girlfriend when he was shot to death through a window. The killer was never identified, reports Los Angeles Magazine. From who did it, to why, there are still plenty of questions surrounding Siegel's untimely end. 

But did Bugsy ever really leave Las Vegas? Haunted Las Vegas says that visitors to the Flamingo sometimes report seeing a man dressed in 1940s garb. On one tour through the city, a group even claims that Siegel himself appeared and rode along with the group for a while, only to correct the guide and then vanish.

Is Liberace still in Las Vegas?

Liberace, the famous and flamboyant pianist, was so dazzling even amongst the lights of Las Vegas that he simply couldn't be forgotten. Beyond his formidable skills at the keyboard, fans also loved Liberace for his striking appearance. He loved to make an entrance on stage in bejeweled capes, hands weighed down with rings, and a candelabra almost always placed on his grand piano.

Yet, Liberace felt he had much to hide, including his sexuality, says the Online Nevada Encyclopedia. Even Las Vegas, where he eventually settled into routine stage shows, couldn't handle letting him out of the closet. What might that sort of lifelong suppression do to one's spirit?

Whatever the reason, many believe that Liberace is sticking around in a few places. At his mansion, reports the Las Vegas Sun, flickering lights and a difficult-to-describe presence are attributed to the showman's ghost. Some of the most dramatic stories of his ghost, according to Las Vegas Ghosts, come from the nearby Tivoli Gardens restaurant once owned and operated by Liberace. One employee reported seeing the flash of a sequined cape near the piano, while others swear that the silverware moves on its own.

The Titanic comes to Sin City

What could possibly go wrong when you publicly display objects from one of the biggest ocean tragedies in history? When pieces from the 1912 sinking of the Titanic were put on display at the Luxor Hotel and Casino, it wasn't long before visitors said they saw Edwardian-era ghosts haunting the space. As reported in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, visitors and employees alike claim that "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit" has a deeply unsettling feel. One professional says he's been grabbed and heard ghostly music playing long after exhibit equipment has been shut off.

The exhibit features pieces of the ship and objects taken directly from the wreck at the bottom of the ocean, says Las Vegas Ghosts. After a while, it all starts to sound like the setup for a horror movie, doesn't it? The 25,000 square foot space even includes a replica of the Titanic's grand staircase, where, of course, a few people have reported seeing a mysterious woman dressed all in black. She always disappears before anyone can corner her. 

In some places where the exhibit tries to recreate the interior of the ship, you might even hear disembodied footsteps. In 2020 the exhibit added 108 new artifacts, reports KTNV Las Vegas, so one wonders if the stories of lingering spirits will increase as well.

Haunted artifacts in the Luxor keep the frights coming

The Luxor hotel and casino has a long history of tragedy that make some believe it's one of the most haunted places on the strip. It's also one of the most recognizable buildings in Las Vegas. The Luxor is a 30-story, glass-clad pyramid with one of the world's brightest spotlights known as the Skybeam, says The Telegraph. The hotel and casino opened in 1993, during a relatively short phase in which Las Vegas attempted to create "family friendly" resorts that leaned on theme park-style experiences as much as gambling.

Las Vegas Ghosts claims that rumors abound over the deaths of construction workers, some of whom might be glimpsed by guests on the Nile Riverboat ride. Other incidents, like a fatal 2012 outbreak of Legionnaires Disease as reported by Scientific American, have made some wonder if the place is cursed. 

Sure, it might be a critical mass of people generating its own trouble, but some wonder if the showy version of Ancient Egypt has gotten some real ancient spirits mad. Or is it that dark energy gathered up by the pyramid itself, as Haunted Las Vegas suggests? Could there be a hush-hush burial ground for mob victims beneath its foundations? Wild as these rumors may be, we may never know for sure.

The Little Choo Choo Daycare lives on as an urban legend

This may very well be one of the creepiest places in all of Las Vegas. That is, if anyone can find it. The Little Choo Choo Daycare is one part ghost story, another part urban legend. It's also tough to pin down what happened there. Most variations of the story, such as the one told by CBS Las Vegas, center on two unfortunate deaths at the daycare. One was that of a despondent teacher who took her own life, while the other is said to have been a young boy who was run over by the daycare center's namesake ride-on train.

Supposedly, visitors to the vacant lot where the daycare is said to have once stood can still see the spirits of the boy and the teacher. Sounds pretty convincing, except no one's been able to find any records of deaths at the site.

That is, if there ever was a daycare at the location at all. The Living Las Vegas blog notes that the address frequently cited in other sources is in an industrial area. That's a very odd location for a daycare. Do ghost hunters have the address all wrong? For some, that's not the point. A few whispered stories and rumored sightings are enough to build a supremely creepy legend.

Bally's Hotel and Casino can't forget tragedy

Unlike some ghost stories that are probably based on little more than urban legends, the tragedy of the MGM Grand Hotel is indisputable. A large fire broke out there on November 21, 1980, due to a faulty electrical system in one of the hotel and casino's restaurants, says the Clark County, Nevada Fire Department. A total of 87 people died, while more than 700 more were injured.

On the somewhat brighter side, the MGM Grand fire led to extensive reform in Nevada fire codes, the L.A. Times reports. The hotel was repaired and eventually sold to Bally's Entertainment, who changed the name of the establishment to Bally's Las Vegas.

But, for all the changes made in the aftermath of the fire, some contend that the tragedy left spirits that still linger on the site. Despite the name change, much of the structure that experienced the worst of the deaths remains standing and in use today. If you care to believe the stories about the MGM Grand in Haunted Nevada, visitors can still hear the cries and coughing of those who died in the fire. Head on down to the casino floor, they say, and you may even spot a spectral gambler who just can't move on from the betting tables.

The Hoover Dam provides electricity and scary sights

Located a quick drive out of the city, the Hoover Dam supplies hydroelectric power to millions of people in Las Vegas and beyond, not mention being one of the biggest tourist attractions in the region. It's also said to be home to many ghosts who met their ends at the famous structure.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says that the "official" number of fatalities during construction was 96, yet also admits that the records are unclear. Deaths attributed to health problems, like heat stress or heart attacks, aren't included in that number. We do know that some workers met their fate in harrowing industrial accidents like rockslides and falls from the steep canyon wall. 

With that kind of history attached to the place, it's no wonder that some people have started thinking about all the ways a spirit could linger at the Hoover Dam. A few have even claimed to see apparitions of men in 1930s-era work clothes, according to The Haunting of Las Vegas. Others say they can still hear the howling of a little black dog who befriended and protected the workers. The story goes that, even after the dog was accidentally killed by a truck, the mutt stayed and still makes his presence known to the dam's visitors.

Circus Circus shows that clowns aren't the only scary thing inside its walls

Saying you hate clowns is a bit of a given. Of course, they're creepy. It's so embedded in modern culture that to say it out loud is just a way of slowing down the conversation. But even if that's obvious, you have to admit that the whole vibe of the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino really is terribly unsettling, thanks in part to those clowns. It opened in 1968 as one of the first "family friendly" casinos on the strip, said the Las Vegas Sun at the time of the opening.

Inside, there was a gambling area on the first floor and a second floor dedicated to children's games. The building's developers leaned hard into the theme. Even today, the famous "Lucky the Clown" marquee leers over the entrance, endlessly brandishing his lollipop at passers-by.

If this weren't all a bit too much, there are also legends of hauntings in the place. In the hotel, room 123 is said to be still inhabited by the spirits of a mother and son, says Haunted Las Vegas. Living folks say they've heard furniture moving around in the room and even interacted with the ghostly pair, who sometimes ask for a "Robert" and then vanish before the shocked guest's eyes.

Hotel Apache holds a wealth of haunted history

After almost 90 years in Las Vegas, it would be surprising if the Hotel Apache didn't have a ghost or two in its ranks. Hotel employees and ghost hunters alike have reported being touched by spirits, seeing shadowy figures, and even hearing messages from beyond.

The Reno Gazette Journal reports that the hotel is haunted by the specters of mobster Benny Binion and his wife, Teddy Jane. The pair lived above the casino, then called Binion's Horseshoe, after they bought the property formerly known as the Eldorado Club in 1951. Like many places in downtown Las Vegas, the building has undergone many renovations throughout its history. Most recently, a portion of it has reopened as the boutique Hotel Apache, with rooms that harken back to the original 1930s Hotel Apache. Maybe the retro decor has stirred up the spirits. Staff at the hotel say they've seen mysterious footprints and even had their hair pulled by unseen hands.

While the Reno Gazette Journal's reporters were fairly skeptical about the hotel's reputation, another from KTNV Las Vegas experienced an eerie, unsettling sensation in Room 389 of the hotel. According to psychics who accompanied the KTNV crew, that might have been the spirit of a mother who just wasn't moving on.

Are there creepy kids at Fox Ridge Park?

Located in Henderson, a nearby suburb of Las Vegas, Fox Ridge Park is reportedly home to an eerie presence and unexplained happenings, like many haunted spots. The fact that it's all taking place in a playground makes it doubly fit for a horror film. According to Fox 5 Las Vegas, people have reported seeing a little boy swinging alone in the park, late at night. Bad enough, but those who approach the seeming child might be greeted by something far scarier, though vaguely defined. Sometimes, the swing will keep moving, though it's apparently unoccupied.

Where did this boy come from, anyway? Legends, like those shared in The Haunting of Las Vegas, say that he's the victim of a drunk driving accident. Other visitors to the park say they've seen amorphous shadow creatures, or else just felt as if they were being watched by an unseen presence while there at night.

To be honest, these stories are pretty hard to prove. For instance, no one's unearthed any concrete records of a young child killed by a drunk driver nearby. Neither will most people hang their hat on a mere creepy feeling, which may be attributed to wandering around an abandoned playground in the middle of the night (perhaps while neighborhood residents watch you from behind their curtains).

The Haunted Museum could actually be haunted

We can at least give TV host Zak Bagans credit for getting to the point. His Haunted Museum abounds with objects that are reputedly chock full of bad vibes. These include the dybbuk box, a container that may contain an evil spirit from Jewish folklore. Said spirit apparently has it in for Post Malone, at least according to the BBC, which says that the singer-songwriter's spate of bad luck around 2018 might be thanks to the box.

Visitors to the museum are required to sign a waiver, says the Haunted Museum. The idea is that the building is so packed to the brim with evil spirits and such that visitors need to release the museum from all liability in case something follows them home. That move also has a whiff of the old William Castle publicity stunts in the 1950s. Castle, a film producer and director, upped the visibility of his cheesy horror flicks by hiring nurses to stand by during showings, among other gimmicks reported by Smithsonian Magazine.

So, could dybbuk boxes and a haunted staircase be enough to scare you, even once you've retreated to the comfort of your own home? Bagans is hoping the museum will follow you, at least for a little.

Eerie voices emanate from the Sandhill Road Tunnels

Let's face it: the Sandhill Road Tunnels are plenty creepy. These flood control tunnels not too far from the Las Vegas strip are frightening enough on their own, thanks to dark, cavernous underground spaces and graffitied walls straight out of a horror movie. Photos from these sites look like they were taken by intrepid urban explorers who went into the Sandhill Road Tunnels and never returned.

It's not just the scary ambience that has people riled up. CBS Las Vegas says that nearby residents claim they've heard eerie voices coming from the tunnels late at night. One might think that it's merely thrill-seeking folks or people looking for shelter, but some maintain that there's a supernatural tinge to the place.

The Haunting of Las Vegas attributes some of the legends to a couple who died nearby in a motorcycle crash, though author Janice Oberding remains thoroughly skeptical. Plenty of other things can whisper and make haunting moans if they're brave enough to venture into the tunnels. But what about the apparition of an elderly woman on the nearby Sandhill Road, which accosts motorists and then disappears in front of them? Maybe the stories are true.