Las Vegas has more to offer than just casinos, shows, fine dining, and entertainment. Those looking for a ghost hunting vacation at Halloween, or any other time of year, can find plenty of spooky opportunities to explore. Hotels, casinos, mansions, museums, even schools and a daycare center round out our top ten opportunities for ghostly thrills and chills in Las Vegas.
1. Bonnie Springs Ranch
Considered one of the most haunted places in Las Vegas, Bonnie Springs tops our list. It was even featured on Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures.” The ranch, first established in 1843, appears to be haunted in a variety of ways in various locations.
Crew members of “Ghost Adventures” reported feeling a presence in empty rooms. A little girl appears in the school house and merry-go-round spins on windless days. Disembodied voices can be heard in the wax museum and a shadowy figure follows you in the opera house. Is it any wonder they have embraced their haunted history with their yearly Bonnie Screams Halloween Celebration on the weekends leading up to Halloween.
2. La Palazza Mansion
Located in the infamous Scotch 80s neighborhood, this mansion had a mobster as original owner, and a “murder room,” - sounds like a recipe for a haunted house to me. This is definitely not a benign haunting and the place exudes evil. Rumor has it, that the mansion is haunted by the mobster who owned it, and an older woman in over-sized sunglasses who sits in a chair. In addition to hissing, snarling, and obscenities, people also report hearing things like “Kill her” and “you broke in here.”
3. Edwards Elementary School
If you have a fourth-grader at this school, you have a good chance of seeing the ghost that haunts room 26 and the computer room. She is rumored to be a former student, a fourth-grader, who died in 1990 during her first year at the school. For that reason only the teachers and students in that grade can see her, dressed in white and following students around. Some of the children claim that her face is deformed and that she screeches loudly. Others report her appearing in their dreams and that she will not go away until they tell the story to another student or a teacher.
4. Dell H. Robinson Middle School
As if being the new student wasn’t enough stress, new students from outside Nevada at this middle school are haunted by an elderly janitor with blood on his hands. Increasing the creepiness tenfold, the apparition follows the children home and invades their dreams. It is said that the only way to get him to depart is to go to church.
5. Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts
Vegas has a haunting for everyone, including the artistically-inclined. The presence Mr. Petre, said to have lived on the property before the school was built, haunts the main theater at the school. He was also a janitor at the school after it was built in the 1930s. The theater gives off an air of uneasiness and things fly off the walls and strange noises are heard at night rehearsals. Another spirit, Will Lowden who was the teenage son of school benefactors, is said to play the piano in the theater.
6. Liberace Museum
The flamboyant pianist is just one of many ghosts said to be haunting the museum named after him. Witnesses describe seeing an enigmatic shadow appear and then vanish. Others claim to have seen a dark-haired apparition with a thin mustache lounging by the pool. Music can be heard coming from a piano that has not been played in years. He, and other apparitions, have been seen near his dressing room, at the restaurant he once owned across the parking lot (Carluccio’s, formerly Tivoli Gardens), and many of the other places Liberace frequented in Las Vegas.
7. Las Vegas Hilton (now the Westgate)
Not to be missed on any paranormal vacation visit to Las Vegas, is the Hilton (now the Westgate). At one time, Elvis was a fixture here and appears not to have left the building. Many people believe that his ghost wanders the halls to this day. Some report seeing him hanging out in the showroom and he can be heard and seen throughout other areas of the hotel as well. If you didn’t get to see him perform live, maybe his ghost will oblige you with a spectral performance.
8. Little Choo Choo Daycare
The tragic history and eerie feel of the place outweighs any happiness a daycare would normally have. Closed after a teacher committed suicide and a little boy was dragged to his death by a large toy train, the center is said to be haunted by the ghosts of both of them. The little boy can still be seen digging in the dirt with a toy shovel at the location of his death. Many have seen a ghostly woman who quickly vanishes after you see her.
9. Circus Circus
Following its opening in 1968, Circus Circus quickly became one of the most famous Vegas hotels and casinos. It also became the location of several murders. Reports include hearing screams of “Help me” and seeing those words in a mirror in one of the rooms. A woman and her young son appear as apparitions wandering the hotel and can be heard in room 123, which is the location of their murder/suicide. Three people who were reported to have been killed in the kitchen have also been spotted as ghosts. Other paranormal phenomena are dreams that visitors have, that turn out to be eerily similar to murders that occurred in their rooms in the past. This is a location that is definitely for the more serious paranormal aficionado.
10. Fox Ridge Park
Fox Ridge Park has collected a few ghosts over the years but the most commonly seen is the spirit of a young boy who was killed by a drunk driver. He can be seen playing on the swings around midnight and is a benign apparition as long as you don’t get close or anger him. Those who have tried to approach him claim that his eyes change and he becomes something malevolent. Following his transformation he disappears.
Las Vegas is a great place for a paranormal vacation of either the benign or malevolent variety. Add some of these places to the hot spots you plan to visit and see if you can see the spirit of Elvis or Liberace, or pick up a story or two.
By Leslie Hoke
Las Vegas Homes By Leslie
8010 W Sahara Ave #150, Las Vegas, NV 89117
Direct: (702) 321-1763 Fax: (702) 224-2146