Chilling Stories About Haunted Casinos and Hotels
Some people mock addiction, saying it’s a weak man’s expression for an excuse. However, that’s not true. Addiction is a serious problem that represents people simply being unable to stop. One such addiction is problem gambling, when people start off playing just a few slot spins. Before they know it, some just can’t get away from the machine and never stop gambling. Some people take it so far that they continue playing even after they die.
There are two types of people in this world — people who believe in ghosts and those who are yet to encounter them. After all, even Mike Enslin thought all of that was bogus until he went to the Dolphin Hotel and stayed in room 1408. Las Vegas is a city of historic hotels, impromptu wedding chapels, and of course, glorious casino hotel ghosts. The lifestyle that the Entertainment Capital of the World has throughout its existence attracted people of colorful pasts and passions.
It would be weird for Sin City not to have sinful people around, right? This is a story about haunted hotels in Las Vegas, with casino hotel ghosts damned to wander casino floors and scare people for eternity. Open your mind, cover yourself under a blanket, and cue The X-Files theme song. Let’s go.
Luxor Hotel and Casino
Luxor is one of the most iconic Las Vegas casinos, with the pyramid-shaped resort crowned with the largest beam of light in the world. A pyramid with the light penetrating through the sky — it’s just a paranormal activity waiting to happen. During the building of the casino in the early 1980s, several construction workers lost their lives. Now, their spirits wander the quiet areas of the casino, frightening those who make a wrong turn.
Additionally, two people committed suicide jumping off the high walkways and, in 2007, there was an incident in which a 24-year-old lost his life to a homemade bomb. People believe that there are at the very least five ghosts haunting Luxor. The most famous one, or, rather, the one people reported on the most, is a female ghost. She’s said to be seen roaming between the 12th and 14th stories, pushing people around or breathing down their neck. Perhaps not as erotic as it sounds.
Tropicana Las Vegas
Sitting on the Tropicana — Las Vegas Boulevard intersection, the Tropicana Casino is a Cuban-styled gambling house. With its 1,500 hotel rooms and 50,000 square feet casino floor, the 60-year-old Tropicana lent its rooms to movies such as James Bond’s Diamonds Are Forever, and The Godfather 1 and 2. But, there’s also a surreal side to this place that was once associated with the infamous Frank Costello.
At the entrance to the hotel, there used to be a tiki mask which many believe to have been haunted. Namely, people felt a mysterious force behind this mask. Whoever touched it, allegedly, would later have a bizarre purple rash, starting from the part of the body they touched it with and developing all over the skin. Also, if you took a photo of it, there would be a purple fog around the mask so you couldn’t see it properly. The management of the Tropicana removed the mask from the hotel so that people wouldn’t be afraid. Or — was it for the fact they knew it was haunted? We’ll never know.
Flamingo Hotel and Casino
Located on the Las Vegas Strip, the iconic Flamingo Las Vegas has been in business since 1946. It’s also the third oldest casino on the Strip and the oldest one still operating. With its long history, it would be weird that there’s not at least one spooky ghost tale. And you can bet your bottom dollar it doesn’t involve Casper.
In 1945, a year prior to the casino’s opening, a celebrity among the bad guys of the United States, Bugsy Siegel made his way to Nevada. He brought with him bags of money from the mafia and financed the construction of the casino and hotel. Siegel, who was known for his distrust and suspicion, surrounded his personal suite with bulletproof windows, thick walls, and a secret exit.
The opening didn’t go well, and the casino was losing money, but that didn’t stop Bugsy from living the luxury life, as if everything was going well. However, that eventually cost him. The construction of the casino alone cost the mob $6 million (around $60 million in today’s money). Bugsy left his impenetrable Flamingo suite, and they caught him in his house in Beverly Hills, where the infamous mafioso lost his life.
Apparently, Bugsy’s best period in life was in Vegas. Since his death, there were hundreds of people claiming to have seen his ghost roaming the Flamingo hallways and rooms. They’ve most commonly seen him in the presidential suite and the wedding chapel. However, Bugsy’s ghost left the life of crime behind. He no longer frightens people, he just enjoys playing casino games and chilling by the pool.
Bally’s Las Vegas
Bally’s, like the Tropicana, sits on the Tropicana — Las Vegas Boulevard intersection, making this quite a popular gathering place for the souls of the damned. In 1980, before the casino changed its name from MGM Grand Hotel, there was a fire which quickly spread throughout the hotel and casino. In the crowded casino (there were around 5,000 people inside), about 90 people lost their lives. The death wasn’t a calm one. They were choking from smoke and the fire was bringing the heat up. Once they realized firemen (in the 1980s, ‘man’ was not an offensive word) wouldn’t reach them in time, they jumped from the top stories, falling into their deaths.
The MGM didn’t want any part of this casino anymore. Nonetheless, they rebuilt it and sold it to Bally Entertainment, hence the name change. Since then, there were many reports of the supernatural.
A Blackjack dealer once said that he had a table full of strangely-looking guests. When he looked up and down, the table was completely empty. Most commonly, people have seen 12 ghosts going around together, scaring the guests and taking up their seats. But this is not where the eerie stops.
People have left restrooms claiming that the lights were flickering, going off and on by themselves, faucets were turning on and off, and the toilets were flushing with nobody apparently around. Hotel maids reported to their superiors that, once they clean the room make the bed, ghosts would inexplicably messy it up again and rip off the sheets. This last one, admittedly, sounds more like a lazy employee being rather creative.
At the same intersection is also Excalibur Hotel and Casino, and you can bet a pretty penny they have their ghostly stories as well. The medieval-Britain-themed casino, according to some, has ghosts on its tenth story. But, you can relax a bit, as they don’t seem to have sinister intentions. They usually whisper in your ears, which is, although creepy as hell, not really harmful. People also claimed that their alarm clocks went off for no reasons, they could hear sound from a turned off TV, and there were phone calls with no one on the other side when they picked up. So, more of a hindrance than an actual threat.
When you look at the Circus Circus Casino, the very design of it suggests they are looking for trouble. If Pennywise the Dancing Clown went to Vegas to eat gamblers, there’s no doubt what would his favorite place be. Hunter S. Thompson described it as the Sixth Reich, for its over-the-top, gaudy iconography. Similarly to the Flamingo and, let’s face it, a multitude of other casinos, Circus was also dealing with the mafia in its early days. While the mob was running the place, they used it to quickly silence someone forever and make them forgettable. Or, if you’re Italian, they just fell out of the window on their own. A history of deaths and murders mean only one thing — guess who’ll be lingering around for eternity.
In the Circus’ most infamous quarters, room 123, a woman killed her child and herself. According to some, the deadly duo never left the room, with the guests often hearing loud screams and calls for help. The worst will come to black-haired men called Robert, as that’s what fits the father’s description. If people that fit the bill stay in 123, the mother will kill and hang them, so, Bobby, better stay at home. Rooms 203, 230, and 576 also have their stories, with guests reporting that they heard both whispers and screams. Some went as far as to say that nobody wrote ‘help me’ on mirrors in the bathroom.
Let’s move away from Las Vegas for a bit, so you don’t get scared into never visiting the beautiful city. As you’d expect, gambling ghosts don’t just roam about in Vegas. Let’s go east to South Dakota. In Deadwood, there’s a Bullock Hotel and Casino, named after the town’s first sheriff. The casino opened up in the 19th century and since then accrued a lot of visitors due to reported oddities and ghost sightings.
Namely, sheriff Seth Bullock, who gave his name to the casino, died in one of the hotel rooms. Since then, Bullock’s spirit wanders the casino. Many people have allegedly spotted him, turning on and off showers and faucets in bathrooms, and also playing with lights. They say guests would see a man walking towards their room and would hear during the night someone trying to open the door to their rooms. The biggest curse here is that poor Seth has to wait the end of times in South Dakota.
Going to the East Coast, “Old Smoke” John Morrissey built Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs, New York, in 1913. Today, it represents a monument and belongs to the City of Saratoga Springs. The casino has a history of haunted stories and represents perhaps the most cursed casino in the world.
In the early days, Morrissey had three rules — cash only, no locals, and no women, which created an air of exclusivity to it. This perhaps makes it even weirder that people have reported seeing a female ghost wandering the hotel corridors. Dressed in a gown from the Victorian era, she would approach startled people and ask them a question. Rather rudely, without waiting for an answer, she would just disappear, leaving the guests as annoyed as they were frightened.
Since the turn of the century (the 21st one), reports on ghostly presence have increased. For instance, during an exhibition, one of the visitors claims to have their glass slapped right out of their hand by some unseen force, breaking the glass and spilling the drink on the floor. An employee once claimed he saw a trash can lid fly off into the air on its own and dropping on the ground, thankfully, without hurting anyone. Quite conveniently for the employee, there was nobody around to confirm or deny this.
On another occasion, people spoke about being able to smell cigar smoke when there was no one smoking around them. Furthermore, some claimed objects moved around in their rooms during the night and there were large temperature shifts, going from boiling hot to freezing in a matter of minutes. SyFy’s Ghost Hunters visited the casino to tape an episode. During the show, they allegedly found an electromagnetic field, which, somehow, translates into a ghost being there. Yes, it does, shut up!
Who You Gonna Call?
Spooky, right? All of these are just stories and there’s no actual proof ghosts were there (or anywhere else in the world for that matter). However, it’s still not something people want to mess around with. Sure, it’s easy to think all of it was fake while you’re watching a documentary from your home, with the entrance door firmly locked. But, most of those ghost-deniers would still not go to the Circus’ room 123 — better safe than sorry. Not even with a proton pack.
If you ever find yourself in Las Vegas, enjoy yourself and play your favorite games. If you get zooted enough, you may even get married and regret it the day after, happy days! Just don’t go around following bodiless whispers, you might end up where you don’t want to be. Oh, and you don’t wanna form an addiction, or it might be your voice others will hear in the wooden floor creaks.