Las Vegas is a destination that offers a chance to restart, allowing guests to gamble their way to the top and leave as heroes, inspiring folk tales of success while leaving their old selves behind.
But other times, its sinister side comes home with them instead. It lurks in the dark corners of hotels and casinos and appears in the shadows of its streets. In a city that never sleeps, nightmares can find their way into reality. The strip is filled with ghosts from its past, with a somtimes thrilling terror plaguing the places of those who made Sin City their haunted home.
It’s not just the Strip that hosts some of Las Vegas’ most famous ghosts, either. Redd Foxx reportedly haunts his old stomping grounds at 5460 Eastern Ave, where reports of the comedian playing tricks on new tenants continue today. Just off the Strip at the Westgate hotel, the ghost of Elvis Presley is said to roam the hallways and hotel rooms, begging the question if he ever checked out for good. And just a short drive away, the Hoover Dam is said to be haunted by the 112 individuals who perished during its construction. The dam is also said to hold satanic history at bay, having had a demon-like goats head projected on the walls of the dam, leading people to believe the dam’s destruction could signal the beginning of The End Times.
These spirits and stories are well known throughout the city, leading to several museums and ghost tours offered throughout Vegas that have been featured on the travel channel and in guidebooks. If you’re looking for a unique ghost adventure, or are hoping to check out the sites of some of Las Vegas’s dark but true stories, schedule yourself a trip and stay in the Oasis Motel’s Room 20, where poker playing legend Stu Ungar died but is said to still occupy the space. But be careful, you might confuse the screams and shrieks of a winning streak, with something far more sinister. Here are the most haunted spots on the Las Vegas Strip, and their horrifying histories.
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3645 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas NV 89109
After brief stints as the Three Coins Motel and The Bonanza, the location of Bally’s was home to MGM’s first resort in Las Vegas, MGM’s Grand Hotel.
Opened in December of 1973 as one of the world’s largest hotels, MGM Grand was set to host a variety of celebrities and stars from MGM films: Dean Martin performed at the opening ceremony and character actor Chill Will was the first to be married on the site.
But seven years into business, a fire broke out in 1980, becoming one of the worst high-rise fires in both Nevada and U.S. history, killing 87 people. Although Bally’s took over the hotel and casino in 1985 while the MGM settled slightly south on the strip, many claim the ghosts from the fire still haunt the hotel’s hallways.
Guests of the North Tower claim the smell of smoke fills the halls, accompanied by the sounds of screaming. Others claim to have seen an elderly woman who sits at the slot machines, playing two games at once until she is engulfed in flames and fades into ghastly smoke. Others have had even more terrifying experiences, with one woman calling the front desk hysterically after seeing a pair of disembodied feet floating from her ceiling. Some claim the ghosts have migrated south to the new MGM hotel for retribution, but others say the souls have stayed, continuing to scare the guests of Bally’s.
3900 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas NV 89109
With its Egyptian imagery and missing sacred eye at the pyramid’s top, strange and spooky things have been reported at The Luxor ever since its construction. Three workers passed away during the building of the hotel and casino, and several guests have died as well, including two who jumped from their interior balconies.
The hotel originally featured a Nile River ride that took passengers through dark tunnels and next to pieces of ancient artwork scrawled on the walls. After just three years, the ride closed down, in part, due to many passengers reportedly seeing ghosts while traveling through the tunnels.
With pyramids originally serving as tombs and gateways to launch the pharaoh’s soul into the heavens, it’s no surprise that ghostly beings have been spotted in hallways and hotel rooms by guests. The Luxor still features “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition,” which includes tea cups, wallets and other small possessions from those traveling on the ship at the time of its crash. Both guests and workers have reported seeing the objects move around the room by themselves, along with ghosts navigating their way through doors and walls, disappearing into rooms modeled after the ones they occupied while traveling on the Titanic.
3555 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas NV 89109
The Flamingo was a fever dream of notorious New York mobster Bugsy Siegel who first came to Las Vegas in 1945. By 1946, he opened the strip’s first luxury hotel and set the standard and style for the future of the Las Vegas strip. The hotel featured everything from spacious rooms to spas, from health clubs to showrooms, from a golf course to a nightclub, along with an upscale French restaurant and Seigel’s own secret ladder he could use to escape from the Presidential Suite at a moment’s notice.
But six months after opening, Bugsy Seigel was shot and killed, leaving ownership to Moe Sedway and Gus Greenbaum. Although his body left the hotel, some say his spirit never has, with guests reportedly seeing shadowy figures emerging from the Presidential Suite, whispering secrets of unfinished business. The suite still features Seigel’s original golden bathroom fixtures. The Flamingo is also home to a bronze plaque and garden memorial honoring the legacy of Bugsy Seigel that’s located just outside the wedding chapel, but any attempts to please the spirit and ward off his ghost have proved futile.
3355 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas NV 89109
Just yards away from The Venetian, the ghost of another famous outlaw is said to haunt both the streets and the hotel, that of Tupac Shakur.
While riding in a car driven by Death Row Records mogul Suge Knight, the two were headed away from the strip on Flamingo & Koval when gunfire erupted from a passing car. Tupac Shakur was hit four times and died in the hospital six days later. The identity of the shooter remains an unsolved mystery to this day. Fans say on certain dark nights, street lights flicker on the corner while a shadowy figure in a bandana crosses an empty street.
Between two and seven people died during the construction of The Venetian as well, with one dark and grisly rumor involving a worker who trapped himself inside while finishing the drywall on one of the hotel’s upper floors. Living inside the walls of the hotel for several days, he eventually perished of exhaustion (according to rumors).
The hotel sits on the former site of the old Sands Hotel, a hub for purported mob activity that led to the deaths of many high-ranking members and associates. Some visitors claim the ghosts of the mobsters still roam the hallways, looking to collect one last paycheck.
3595 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas NV 89109
A featured stop on the Las Vegas Strip Ghosts and Haunting Tour featured on TripAdvisor is The Cromwell.
Formerly known as Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon and Barbary Coast, The Cromwell’s style of haunting differs from other ghosts and apparitions that appear on the Las Vegas strip. These hauntings are said to take place all within the mind, creating hallucinogenic experiences that lead to dark and depressing thoughts.
Visitors on the top floors of the Cromwell have reported sudden intrusive thoughts, trying to convince them of terrible and horrifying things. Others have reported scratching sounds coming from inside the walls and behind the headboards.
Some spots in Las Vegas welcome these haunted spirits, like Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum, while others build memorials, statues and wax figurines in attempts to appease the spirits and keep them at bay. But throughout Las Vegas history, the strip has served as a fluorescent cemetery with neon gravestones lighting the way. For souls and spirits who continue to haunt the Strip, what happened here, stayed here. Forever.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ghosts on the Strip
What haunted museums are in Las Vegas?
The most famous haunted museum in Vegas is Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum, which was featured on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures. Located at 600 E Charleston Blvd, this attraction has been bringing in guests for years and is only for guests 16 and older due to the spookiness.
Why are there so many ghost stories in Las Vegas?
From the curse of the Luxor to the school haunted by Mr. Petri, Las Vegas has a rich history that is intertwined with many notorious figures. Due to the adult nature of the culture and its founding, the idea of hauntings only goes hand in hand with its thrilling backstory.
What is the best ghost tour of Las Vegas?
Las Vegas Ghosts offers tickets to those looking to see all these sights and more. With tickets available and a meeting location at the Fashion Show Mall on the Northwest corner of 3200 South Las Vegas Blvd, this tour has been attracting visitors for years.