The gambling capital of the world is home to more than just slot machines, shotgun weddings and the Strip. As a matter of fact, many ghostly occurrences have taken place in Sin City that might make you think twice when choosing a certain hotel next time you’re visiting! Then again, if a paranormal encounter sounds exciting, you’re in luck: here are 10 of the top haunted places in Las Vegas where you could experience just that! But beware, some of them are not for the faint-hearted!
#1 – The Fiery Depths of the Bally Hotel
Located on the site of the old MGM Grand Hotel, which closed down in 1980, this downtown casino and hotel resort was subject to a disastrous fire. The fire broke out on the upper floors of the hotel and claimed the lives of 85 innocent people. Former guests have complained of the presence of smoke and a burning smell, despite the fact that no one was smoking. Others have reported hearing blood-curdling screams and wails over the years, believed to be the sounds of the victims’ final moments.
But that’s not all Bally is famous for in terms of the supernatural. Some guests who have visited the casino have confirmed sightings of an old woman who is usually seen holding a cigarette while playing two slot machines simultaneously. Rumor also has it that if you can get close enough before she disappears, you’ll actually see her dress on fire!
If those two things aren’t enough to put you off the poker tables in this casino, head to the 17th floor of the building. Here, guests have described hearing the distant cries of a young boy searching for his mother during the fire. He cries, then coughs, then silence…
#2 – The Ghostly Visage at the Tropicana
Inside the lobby of the famous Tropicana Hotel and Casino sits a hand-carved tiki mask that gives off a very unsettling vibe. Even though the entire resort is said to be alive with ghostly activity, the mask itself is said to be the main source and link to the extrasensory events reported here over the years.
Over the years, guests and visitors of the casino have posed to have pictures taken with the mask in the past – and some have even dared to touch it! Naturally, this is considered bad luck, and people have even been reported to break out in strange, purple-colored rashes after coming into direct contact with the mask, while others have said their photos have displayed a strange purple mist over it.
Another common myth about the Tropicana is the story of the woman who was spending an extra night at the hotel alone after two friends left her the day before. At one point in the middle of the night, she was awakened by a disconcerting presence in her room, only to discover there was a man standing there, facing the wall with her back to her.
As soon as she switched on the lamp, however, the man disappeared instantly. Horrified, she complained to the reception desk of the encounter – and was offered an extra night at the hotel, in the same room, as compensation… as you can probably imagine, she politely declined.
#3 – Medieval Spirits at the Excalibur Hotel
At the world famous Excalibur Hotel, guests have reported many apparitional experiences involving the 10th floor. People would claim how a sudden chill would make its way into the room they were staying in, and even notice how the corridors would have their cold spots when they would wander through them at times.
Other guests at the hotel have described seeing objects and furniture moving on their own, feeling breathing on the backs of their necks and ears, random phone calls where nobody is on the other end, alarm clocks going off at random hours of the day, and even some static from TVs that weren’t switched on. So if you’re looking for a free Poltergeist-themed experience, make sure you head to the Excalibur, as this place has it all!
#4 – A “Shining” Experience at La Palazza Mansion
The La Palazza Mansion, located not far from the Strip, is said to be haunted by the spirits of a former mob family that resided here many years ago. One of the previous owners of this property claims to have been directly confronted by a demonic entity holding a sword. It was that night he also felt an icy grasp around his neck choking him – only when a friend grabbed him and pulled him away that the strange, strangling sensation finally stop.
That’s not the only tale of supernatural happenings at La Palazza. Within the mansion are several ‘secret rooms’ which have been recently refurbished. One of the rooms is occasionally said to have phantom blood stains appear across the walls, indicating a possible murder taking place in the house.
The owner’s girlfriend has also described how she would sometimes hear sexually suggestive whispers in her ear while she was taking a shower. So if you do decide to book a night or two at the La Palazza, do so at your own peril, and make sure you wear earplugs if you don’t want to be subject to any obscene phone calls from the afterlife.
#5 – More Mobster Ghosts at the Flamingo Hotel
La Palazza isn’t the only joint in town with a few skeletons in its closet! Some of the guests at the famous Flamingo Hotel have been said to be disturbed by the ghost of Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegal, one of the most feared gangsters in Las Vegas during the mid-1900s. He was also a notorious gambler and played a big part in the development of the Strip back in the day.
When his close friend Billy Wilkerson was going through financial difficulties, Siegal offered to help him out – and that’s how the Flamingo opened its doors in 1946. Siegal provided the venue’s gambling facilities, entertainment, food, and the best liquor in town.
He also had his own luxury apartment there and until his death in 1947, where he was shot to death by one of his associates. It is said he loved the place so much, he decided to hang around and spook the guests that regularly occupied it, including the hotel’s presidential suite, as well as the nearby memorial gardens and wedding chapel.
#6 – The Not So ‘Luxurious’ Luxor Hotel & Casino
You can’t come to Vegas without seeing the bright lights and giant Sphinx head outside the Luxor Hotel. Even though the Egyptian-themed resort was established less than 30 years ago, it has developed a reputation for undergoing some pretty macabre events over the years.
As many as seven workers are said to have perished during the hotel’s construction back in 1993, and their ghosts supposedly haunt the tunnels or a river ride that surrounded the casino floor at one point. Other reports have suggested that at least two people have intentionally taken their lives here, one being a prostitute who jumped from one of the 27-storey windows after discovering she had AIDS, while another man committed suicide by jumping from the 10th floor and landing on the express check-out counter. Both spirits can supposedly still be seen haunting each of the floors they leapt from.
#7 – Elvis Haunts a New Heartbreak Hotel
During the pinnacle of his stardom, Elvis Presley regularly visited Vegas, often headlining shows and taking center stage at the Westgate Hilton, where and he certainly left his mark and legacy. Despite the fact he has been gone for decades, His Royal Pelvis Himself can still be seen wandering around the hotel, from his own old penthouse suite to the basement and the elevators.
But now Elvis won’t leave the building. So watch out for things that go Boo-huh HUH in the night. Some have even gone as far to say they have seen him parking his Cadillac outside the front grounds of the hotel – but that last one we tend to take with a pinch of salt. Cadillacs haunt only junkyards, hound dog.
#8 – Freaky Encounters at Circus Circus
Once recognized as the best and most reputable family-friendly joint in Vegas, this unique and extremely old resort is home to a huge casino, Adventure Park and the largest stationary circus in the world. A man by the name of Jay Sarno was the person who first pitched the Circus Circus tent nearly 50 years ago, and because he couldn’t afford to build a hotel to house the gamblers there when it first opened, the casino’s reputation declined, leading to him having to borrow additional funding from the mafia.
Disembodied voices of the people who suffered at the hands of the mobsters can still be heard ringing throughout the premises, sometimes in the form of a whisper and other times ear-piercing screams. Another eerie aspect of the hotel is the words ‘Help Me’ sometimes appearing on the mirror in one of the bathrooms,while one other room in the hotel is reported to often play out the scene sounds of a woman murdering her young child.
#9 – An Afterlife of Misery at the Mirage Casino & Resort
This Polynesian-themed complex opened in 1989. During its initial construction, a wall actually fell on top of one of the workers, killing him instantly. After a less than flattering end to his life, his spirit is still said to haunt various different parts of the casino and hotel.
Inside the Terry Fator theatre, another spirit is said to wander the bathrooms at night, with the automatic sensor faucets turning on by themselves. Many of the Mirage’s employees have heard knocking on the walls on numerous occasions, while one of the resorts cleaning ladies refused to go in there to clean alone, unless she had her rosary beads in her pocket!
#10 – The Motel That’s Far From Paradise
The Oasis Motel is situated just off the main Strip, and although it doesn’t have its own casino or luxurious suites to boast about, it’s most certainly seen its fair share of death. The main examples being actor David Strickland from NBCs ‘Suddenly Susan’ and three-time world poker champion Stu Ungar. Strickland killed himself in room number 21 by ripping and tying bedsheets together, fastening one end to his neck and the other to a ceiling beam. Ungar followed suit in room number 14, where he too hung himself.
Both spirits are said to still haunt the place, and guests have reported cold spots, loud noises and shadowy figures in the rooms where the deaths happened. One local Las Vegas tour company has apparently labelled the place as “the motel of death” in its itinerary, and the Oasis has even been featured on paranormal TV shows such as Ghost Hunters in the past.
What Stays in Vegas
So there you have it, 10 haunted places for you to visit on your next trip to the city of lights (although city of shadows would technically be more appropriate!) If you’re a bit nervous and dubious about exploring them by yourself, there are some great specialty tour operators in Vegas who run group ghost and vampire walks, panic rooms, and scary overnight experiences in certain locations.
They’re not all located downtown and on the Strip either. Many of these tours even extend to the outer parameters, with haunted sites reaching as far as the Grand Canyon! It’s certainly a unique way to learn about the city’s history and discover its slightly more gruesome elements. The question is… are you brave enough to take the challenge?
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