By Stefanie Bailey
Beyond the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip lies a darker side of the city.’ It has long been rumored that many famous entertainers from the golden era of Las Vegas still haunt some of the most well-known hotels and areas around town.’ Past Vegas notables such as Liberace, Elvis Presley, comedian Redd Foxx and mobster Bugsy Siegel reportedly still hang out in their old Vegas haunts.’ In honor of Halloween this month, we thought we would present to you a few of Vegas’ spooky haunts.
If you are heading to Las Vegas for the ALA Conference next summer and you’re looking for an unforgettable Vegas experience, make sure to book yourself a room at one of the supposedly haunted strip hotels.’ Big hotel resorts like the Venetian, LVH (Las Vegas Hilton), Luxor, Bally’s, and many more have all had reports of multiple other-worldly encounters.’ ‘ If you decide to stay at the Flamingo Las Vegas, don’t be surprised to run into the ghost of the former casino owner himself, Bugsy Siegel. ‘ Bugsy’s ghost has been reportedly seen hanging around in the outdoor rose garden area near the memorial dedicated in his honor.
If you’re really into the supernatural, book yourself a stay in the Panorama Suite at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino (formerly the Aladdin).’ But be warned, it is not for the faint of heart; only the bravest should attempt to stay in the suite overnight.’ It is not certain whose ghost haunts the Panorama Suite, but what is certain is that the ghost has quite a sense of humor.’ Guests have reported hearing voices in the middle of the night, the sound of the door bell ringing with no one outside, and the television turning on and off by itself.
During your time in Las Vegas, you can take a few hours to venture away from the Strip to do some sightseeing at many of the haunted spots around town, which also offer a glimpse into the history and making of Las Vegas.’ A short drive away in Henderson is the Beckley House at the Clark County Museum.
If you have a half-day to spare, drive out to Bonnie Springs Ranch for a step back into the days of the Wild West.
Want to learn more about mobster Bugsy Siegel? Take a cab ride downtown to the Mob Museum for a fascinating look into the history of the mob in Las Vegas. ‘ Visitors also have the option of signing up for the Haunted Vegas Tour, which makes stops around town to many of the locations listed below.
While you are in town for ALA, please visit one of the 14 branch libraries of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District. One of our urban libraries is reported to be haunted, but you’ll have to ask a local librarian to find out which one.
Until then, wishing you a Happy Halloween from the YALSA 2014 Annual Conference Local Arrangements Committee.
Our Top 10 Haunted Spots in Las Vegas:
The former Las Vegas Hilton (now LVH), where Elvis has not left the building
The Flamingo Las Vegas, where Mobster Bugsy Siegel still walks the grounds
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum at the Venetian
The Beckley House @ the Clark County Museum’ (Henderson, NV)
Stoney the Elephant at the Craig Road Pet Cemetery
The Luxor Hotel & Casino
The Panorama Suite @ Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino
Bally’s Las Vegas (formerly MGM, of the famous 1980 MGM fire)
The Historic Boulder Dam Hotel (Boulder City, NV, near Hoover Dam)
Bonnie Springs Ranch (featured on Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures)
Spooky Reads & Tours:
Papa, Paul W. (2012). ‘ Haunted Las Vegas: Famous phantoms, creepy casinos, and gambling ghosts. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press.
Przybys, John. (2011, October 23). If spirit moves you, visit spookiest spots in Southern Nevada. Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved from http://tinyurl.com/lvrjspookyspots