I love Las Vegas. The lights, the parties, the casinos, the shopping and did I mention the parties? For me, Las Vegas is one of the best places in the United States to take part in many things we as foreigners find to be “American.”
However, my most recent trip to Sin City wasn’t quite the same as the previous times I had visited. When my mum said she and my dad were going to include Las Vegas on the itinerary for their trip to the United States, I was dubious. Then, when she asked me if I’d like to join them for a few days, I was downright nervous.
Once I got over my initial apprehension, I realized it might be good fun. I found a city break to Las Vegas on Expedia and took the plunge. A few weeks later, I was off to meet my family on the other side of the pond.
When I realized my parents were more inclined to drink tea than go to the club and would rather see a magic show than gamble in the casinos, I knew I had to find an activity we could all enjoy. I soon realized my history-loving parents and I could do something that would have each of us thrilled beyond belief, and perhaps more than a little spooked.
Ghost tours, abandoned mining towns and other things not quite of this realm are all prominent in Las Vegas, as is evident by the many supernatural investigation television programs filmed there. We did a bit of research and looked into some of the most haunted locations in Las Vegas.
The Flamingo Hotel
It’s common knowledge Las Vegas was built with money from the mob, and the man known as Bugsy Siegel was one of those mobsters. He helped to finance the construction of the Flamingo Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip but he was murdered in 1947 —months after it opened.
Bugsy’s ghost is said to wander the halls of this Vegas landmark, and several eyewitnesses report seeing his spectre in the hotel’s wedding chapel and in the Presidential Suite. My parents and I searched throughout this kitschy hotel, which is loads of fun to explore, but we didn’t see the tortured spirit of Bugsy Siegel anywhere.
The Las Vegas Hilton
Another classic Vegas landmark is the Las Vegas Hilton. This hotel, which was formerly known as the International, has been the site of thousands of shows over the years. Many of those shows were performed by the King himself, Elvis Presley. In fact, his performances at this hotel established him as a Las Vegas icon.
Elvis’ spirit is said to haunt the halls of this old hotel, and many people have reported seeing him lingering around the areas where he used to perform, and especially near a backstage lift. Perhaps — he’s waiting for his cue to go onstage?
Carluccio’s Italian Restaurant
Located in what used to be the Liberace Plaza, this eatery was popular with many of Sin City’s most beloved performers, including Mr Showmanship, otherwise known as Liberace. The famous pianist had his personal museum across from the restaurant and was known to hold raucous dinner parties at the restaurant, where he would entertain friends and colleagues.
Carluccio’s has long been closed, but many people have reported strange sensations inside the building,and some have claimed to see an apparition who embodies many of Liberace’s characteristics. True or false? It’s hard to say, as few people are currently allowed inside the building. When I tried to track down Liberace, I unfortunately did not encounter his sequined spirit.
Goldfield Hotel, Goldfield, Nevada
Located nearly 200 miles north of Las Vegas is the old mining town of Goldfield. While this is more than a daytrip, for paranormal buffs, it’s one of the sites guaranteed to produce some spooky activity.
Once a wealthy mining town, Goldfield’s elite stayed at the ritzy Goldfield Hotel. When this particular mining boom went bust, the town was essentially abandoned by its human occupants, but the not- quite-human residents stayed behind.
The ghost of a woman has been seen in the old hotel. The legend states that she died on the first floor, after her baby was mercilessly thrown into the mine shaft below the hotel. Many professional paranormal investigators have visited the site, and some of their evidence is quite plausible. Our daytrip here wasn’t overly eventful, but I did get a few good photos from it. I think my mum enjoyed it more than me, to be honest.
Was I convinced? Am I now a believer in ghosts? I can’t say for sure, but exploring this aspect of Las Vegas history sheds new light on the background of this interesting American city. If you find yourself in Las Vegas and fancy an experience unlike traditional Vegas outings, consider one of the many ghost tours on offer.
Maybe you’ll see something you can’t quite explain.
Flamigo Hotel image by jeroen020 on Flickr’s Creative Commons
Goldfield Hotel image by Clariosophic on Wikimedia Commons
Las Vegas Hilton image by vladislav.bezrukov on Flickr’s Creative Commons
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