Scaring up good times in Las Vegas
It turns out that what happens in Vegas stays there a long time. Like forever. At least that’s the idea behind the Haunted Vegas Ghost Hunt, a two-and-a-half hour late night journey to the city’s most haunted locales.
Created by Robert Allen, founder of the popular Vegas Mob Tour, the Haunted Vegas Ghost Hunt is a chance to explore a number of places where restless spirits have reportedly been sighted.
Allen has based the hunt on information from Jane Oberding’s books, “Haunted Nevada,” and “The Haunting of Las Vegas.”
Ghost hunting equipment, such as EMF meters, will be made available to participants, who also receive a complimentary set of “ghost finder” dowsing rods (as well as a pizza party). Additionally, video cameras and still photography are encouraged.
According to the company’s web site, the hunt passes more than a dozen haunted sites and stops at three locations for paranormal investigations including “a creepy old bridge, a visit to the Redd Foxx Haunted House and a walk through a spooky park that is said to be haunted by at least five spirits.”
Oberding, in fact, has identified more than 21 sites in Las Vegas where ghosts have been reported (many of which are included on the tour), including:
• The Redd Foxx house at 5460 S. Eastern Ave. This ranch-style structure, once the home of the star of the 1970s television show, “Sanford and Son,” is reportedly haunted by Foxx’s spirit (he died in 1991). Foxx apparently lost title to the property as a result of unpaid taxes.
It is claimed Foxx’s ghost roams the house, still angry at the Internal Revenue Service for kicking him out. Later owners (it is now used as a realty office) have reported seeing lights mysteriously turn on and off, doors opening and closing and the sound of someone running down a hallway. No one, however, has reported hearing any dirty jokes (Foxx was famous for his X-rated humor).
• The former Carlucci’s Tivoli Gardens Restaurant at 1775 E. Tropicana Ave. The entertainer, Liberace, a former owner, is said to haunt this once-popular eatery. According to some accounts, Liberace, who died in 1987, often entertained guests in the restaurant and enjoyed himself so much that he continues to return.
Interestingly, the wandering spirit of Liberace is also said to occasionally visit his former home at 1812 S. 15th St., (a sprawling complex known as the White House) as well as the defunct Liberace Museum on E. Tropicana (adjacent to the restaurant). Guy gets around.
• Fox Ridge Park at 420 Valle Verde Drive in Henderson. This is one of the stops on the ghost hunt tour and it is considered one of the most haunted places in southern Nevada. According to several sources, visitors can observe a swing in the park begin to move back and forth, despite the absence of any wind or other motivation.
The story goes that the spirit of a young boy pushes the swing, although no one has been able to find any reason for why he would want to do so. EMF meters have registered significant activity in the park and many have reported photographing white orbs around the swing.
• Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino at 3000 Paradise Road. According to a number of sources, the ghost of singer Elvis Presley has been seen in various locations in the hotel, which opened in 1969 as the International Hotel and later was known as the Las Vegas Hilton.
In July 1969, Presley began playing the showroom at the hotel and continued to perform there for more than seven years. He died in 1977.
Allegedly, one of the spots he likes to visit is a backstage elevator that leads to a greenroom. Additionally, a maid reportedly saw him backstage one day and said he spoke to her. Afterward, you might say she was all shook up.
The Haunted Las Vegas Ghost Hunt is offered Thursday through Monday nights throughout the year. Cost is $79.95 per person (plus a $5 convenience fee). For more information, go to http://www.hauntedvegastours.com.
Rich Moreno covers the places and people that make Nevada special.