Las Vegas is a city full of history and folklore. Some stories you might hear from the past will seem too ridiculous to be true, whilst others will be crazy but believable.
Here’s a selection of the most interesting urban myths and legends of Sin City.
1. The Ghosts of the MGM Grand Fire
On 21st November, 1980, the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino was the scene for one of the most devastating tragedies in the history of the city. A blazing fire ripped through the resort claiming the lives of 85 souls.
At the time, hotels in Las Vegas were not required to have sprinkler systems installed. Faulty wiring caused the fire and it could not be stopped in time to save the lives of those that were eventually lost. Bally’s Las Vegas now stands on the site of the old hotel.
It is rumored that the ghosts of those that died on that fateful night roam the halls of the new hotel.
2. Decomposing Bodies Under the Bed
This urban legend is one that has done the rounds across the US.
The general story is that guests will stay at a cheap hotel for the night. They will enjoy a great night’s sleep before waking up in the morning to smell a pungent stench coming from under their bed.
Upon investigating the foul smell, the guests will discover the decomposing corpse of a murder victim rotting right under where they lay their head that previous night.
It is alleged that this myth started in Las Vegas after gangsters would leave their murder victims under the beds in hotels.
3. The Dell H. Robison Middle School Spirit
Middle schools are always a great place for urban myths to circulate. Children love to gossip and especially when their imaginations get the better of them, the rumor mill can go into over-drive.
This myth appears to have far too many witnesses to be simply dismissed as a creative tale though.
Students at Dell H. Robison Middle School have reported seeing a man dressed as a janitor walking around the school premises with blood-stained hands. Some students have even claimed the man will follow them home after school, before mysteriously disappearing into thin air.
In a minority of cases, it has also been claimed that the man will appear in the nightmares of students to threaten their lives.
The strange slant to this myth is that all witnesses have claimed their sightings of the man have ended as soon as they have attended church in the city.
4. The La Palazza Mansion Hauntings
La Palazza Mansion is one of the most notorious haunted buildings in the US and has appeared on a number of ghost TV shows.
A former owner of the property claimed to be haunted by an evil spirit. One night, the owner decided to confront the spirit, only to have the spirit attempt to choke him to death. The man luckily escaped with his life.
After investigating the history of the house, the owner discovered a secret room that was covered in dry blood. It was speculated that the house used to be owned by the Las Vegas mob and was a place gangsters would take victims to be killed.
The house remains vacant of any residents. Nobody dares live there, nobody dares tear it down.
5. Dead Bodies in the Hoover Dam
This particular urban myth has become so popular that it is almost considered fact.
During the construction of the Hoover Dam between 1931 and 1936, it was confirmed that 96 construction workers lost their lives. The more disturbing statistic is that it is alleged that seven of those bodies never made it out of the Dam and remain buried, after falling through gaps in the stone, in amongst the 4.4 million cubic feet of concrete.
6. The Kidney Black Market
This classic urban myth ticks all the boxes. It goes like this – tourists going on a night out, meet some locals in a bar, have their drinks spiked, and wake up in a nightmare situation. If you’ve watched Hostel then you’ll have a rough idea.
Well, in 1991 one specific rumor started doing the rounds that an individual was spiking the drinks of unsuspecting drinkers on nights out in Las Vegas and stealing their kidneys to sell them for money.
Victims would be sharing drinks with a charismatic stranger one minute and the next minute they would be waking up in a hotel bath tub covered in ice with stitches on their lower back. The perpetrator would leave a simple note stating, ‘Call 911 or you’ll die!’.
7. Siegfried and Roy… Or Not Roy
Siegfried and Roy are one of the all-time great performing duos in Las Vegas. The pair of German entertainers performed their Siegfried and Roy at the Mirage Resort and Casino show for 13 years before Roy’s career-ending tiger injury in 2003.
Here’s the most interesting part – it was claimed that the original Roy had actually died and had been replaced by an imposter.
Journalists have requested for Clark County medical examiners to release verification of Roy’s death but it has remained a claim that has been denied.
Despite the claims being denied by several sources, the rumors continue to spread. Is there ever smoke without fire?
8. The Megabucks Curse
In March 2000, Cynthia Jay-Brennan won the life-changing Megabucks jackpot at the Desert Inn. It was a total of $34.9 million. Tragically, Jay-Brennan was then involved in a horrific car accident just days after the win.
The accident left her quadriplegic and ignited rumors that the Megabucks prize was cursed.
The flames of this legend were fanned even more in 2003 when it was claimed that an anonymous winner of the $39.7 million Megabucks jackpot at the Excalibur Hotel died after a drug overdose.
Even though no official confirmation has come from winners losing their lives after winning the Megabucks jackpot, many still believe in the ‘Megabucks Curse’.
Previous winners have allegedly been killed in plane crashes, murdered in Los Angeles gang fights, and suffered heart attacks. The jury is still out.