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Haunted Vegas – Desert Ghosts and Ghouls

The gambling capital of the world is home to more than just slot machines, shot-gun weddings, five-star restaurants, cat houses and the Strip.
As a matter of fact, so many ghostly occurrences have taken place in Sin City that might make you think a little bit more carefully when choosing a hotel complex to stay in next time you’re there!

But if you’re more accustomed to the idea of the paranormal and like the idea of experiencing an encounter yourself – here are 10 of the top most haunted places in Las Vegas that could give you just that. But beware, some are not for the faint-hearted!

No. 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 that broke out on the upper floors and claimed the lives of 85 innocent people.
Guests who have stayed there in the past have complained of the presence of smoke and a burning smell, despite the fact 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 searing moments.
But that’s not all Bally’s is famous for in terms of the supernatural.
Some guests who have visited the casino on the lower ground floors have confirmed sightings of an old women who is usually seen holding a cigarette whilst playing 2 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 2 things weren’t enough to put you off the poker tables in this casino; on the 17th floor of the building, guests have described hearing the distant cries of a young boy searching for his mother during the smoky disaster that took place here all of those years ago.
He cries, then coughs, then silence…


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No. 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 writhing with ghostly activity, the mask itself is said to be the main source and link to the extrasensory events reported here 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 in the past after coming into direct contact with the mask, whereas others have said their photos have displayed a strange purple mist.

Another common myth about the Tropicana is the story of the woman who was spending an extra night at the hotel alone after 2 friends left her the day before. She was having great troubles sleeping that evening but was awakened by a disconcerting presence in her room which made her feel like she was being watched.

To her surprise, 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 who offered her an extra night at the hotel, in the same room… as you can probably imagine, she politely declined.

No. 3 – Medieval spirits at the Excalibur Hotel

At the world-famous Excalibur Hotel, guests have reported many apparitional experiences involving the 10th floor.
People have described how a sudden chill would make its way into the room they were staying in, and that the corridors would have distinctive cold spots when they would wonder through them at night.

Other hotel guests have described seeing objects and furniture moving of its own accord, feeling breathing on the backs of their necks and ears, random phone calls where nobody is on the receiving end, alarm clocks going off at random hours of the day, and some have even claimed to hear static from TVs which 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!

No. 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 congregation that resided here many years ago.
Dubbed ‘Satan’s Mansion’, and said to give off a very evil vibration to passersby; 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 did 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 whilst 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 unearthly, provocative encounters.

No. 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 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 even after 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.

No. 6 – The not so ‘luxurious’ Luxor Hotel & Casino

You can’t come to Vegas without seeing the bright lights and giant sphynx head outside the Luxor Hotel! Even though the Egyptian-themed resort is less than 30 years old, it has developed a reputation for undergoing some pretty macabre events over the years.

As many as 7 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 2 people have intentionally taken their lives here, one being a prostitute who jumped from one of the 27-storey windows after discovering she was positive for AIDS, whereas 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.

No. 7 – The King of Rock still causing heartbreak in the Westgate Hilton Hotel

During the pinnacle of his stardom, Elvis Presley regularly visited Vegas, often headlining shows and taking center stage at the Westgate Hilton where he certainly left his mark.
Despite the fact he has been gone for decades, the ‘hound dog’ can still be seen wondering around the hotel, from his own old penthouse suite, to the basement and the elevators according to the guests.

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.

No. 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 erected the building 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.
Dismembered 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, and the words can be seen actually written by an invisible force, whilst one other room in the hotel is reported to often play out the sounds of a woman murdering her young child.

No. 9 – An after-life of misery at the Mirage Casino & Resort

This Polynesian-themed complex opened in 1989. During its initial construction, it is documented how a wall actually fell on top of one of the workers, killing him instantly.
Even after a less than ‘flat-tering’ 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 apparently wonder the bathrooms at night, with the automatic sensory faucets turning on by themselves.
Many of the Mirage’s employees have heard knocking on the walls on numerous occasions, whilst one of the resorts cleaning ladies refused to go in there to clean alone, unless someone accompanied her, or she had her rosary beads in her pocket.

No. 10 – The motel which is far from paradise

The Oasis Motel is situated just off the main Strip, and although it doesn’t have its own casino or luscious 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 took place.
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.


So, there’s 10 haunted places for you to visit when you’re next planning a 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 actually run group ghost and vampire walks, panic rooms, as well as scary overnight experiences in certain locations.

They’re not all located downtown or 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 side.
The question is… are you brave or skeptical enough to take the challenge!?

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