These days, if you get an eerie feeling that someone is watching you while you play at the gaming tables in a Las Vegas casino, then you’re probably right. High-tech CCTV systems are watching every player carefully to root out the wrongdoers. But not all the eerie feelings in Vegas come from the security team. Las Vegas casinos have a reputation for being as haunted as old English castles, with everyone from former mobsters to fire victims stalking their halls and even ancient tribal masks getting in on the paranormal activity.
Of course, it’s no surprise to see an influx of paranormal activity here. While there are many strange superstitions around the world, few places attract more superstitious behavior than casinos. Add in a series of creepy buildings, many built like the set of an extravagant horror movie, including pyramids, circus tents and Arthurian castles, and you have the makings for some strange and spooky stories.
Bally’s Casino may be one of the biggest and most successful resorts in the world, but it hasn’t always had such good luck. In 1980, the MGM Grand, as it was known then, was hit by a massive fire that took the lives of nearly 80 guests and staff. The casino was rebuilt and repaired in just eight months, but still, to this day, strange sightings have been reported on the upper floors, especially in the stairwells where many of the victims died. Cleaners also report beds being suddenly crumpled immediately after being made, particularly in rooms where guests died in their sleep.
Famous for its pyramid, which emits a high-intensity beam of light up into the sky, the Luxor looks like it has come straight from the set of “Ghostbusters.” But even they would have their work cut out keeping pace with all the apparitions and strange occurrences that have been reported here. Even before it was opened, construction workers experienced freak accidents, costing at least three lives. A female spirit is well known to haunt the 12th, 13th and 14th floors, breathing down the neck of guests and pushing or tripping them while the lost construction workers are often seen around the hotel, trying to finish their work.
Perhaps the most disturbing story of haunted Vegas is that of the possessed wooden tiki mask that once hung in the entrance to the Tropicana. Legend has it that there is a spirit trapped in the mask, and many guests who have posed next to it have found their photos blurred by a strange purple haze. Some have even reported a weird purple rash on their hands after touching the mask. This strange phenomenon could have been a big draw for the casino, but the management suddenly removed it one night, never to be seen again.
Moving from haunted lobbies and stairwells into strange individual rooms brings us to the Circus Circus Resort. Here, rooms 123, 203, 230 and 576 are all to be avoided if you don’t want your sleep interrupted by screams for help.
It could be argued that the fantasy bubble in which Las Vegas exists is to blame for making people more susceptible to suggestion. But that still doesn’t explain the number of strange sightings in Sin City. Perhaps we should ask Bugsy Siegel, the man who started it all, and who still haunts his original Flamingo Hotel to this day.