|© Rae Gee|
Las Vegas: The place you visit to lose your inhibitions and, if you're unlucky, your cash as well.
It's not a city where you'd expect to find spirits of the non-alcoholic variety. But this oasis in the desert was built on mob money. And, with that money, came the mob's rules on how the city was run. Urban legends abound of mob debtors buried in the foundations of casinos. Bodies have been discovered buried in the desert.
Las Vegas also holds one record that no city wants to have associated with it. It's the suicide capital of the USA with 19 suicides per 100,000 people (the national average is around 12 per 100,000 people). Some of these sad deaths are in relation to the local economy while others have been visitors who've discovered the anonymity Vegas offers is the place for them to spend their final moments.
Because of this, Vegas appears to be a hot bed of ghostly activity. Some of the city's most famous residents are still said to haunt their old... haunts. Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, one of Vegas's most infamous mobsters, is still said to reside in the Flamingo, while flamboyant pianist Liberace is apparently still at his old restaurant, Tivoli Gardens. Houdini and Elvis (obviously!) also appear to have found their forever homes in the heart of Las Vegas.
I had my own paranormal experiences while visiting Las Vegas.
|© Rae Gee|
Staying on the 25th floor of the Luxor pyramid was unique in more ways than one. The rooms open out onto the hotel's massive atrium, giving a bird's eye view of the food court, check in desks, and entrance. It wasn't uncommon to encounter non-Luxor guests in the elevators, all of them going to the upper floors to take in the view. Music echoes through the large space which, by day, is lit by bright lights. By night, the lights are dimmed a little, giving a more ethereal feeling to one of the largest pyramids outside of Egypt.
I'll admit now that the Luxor is the hotel I've always wanted to stay at. Ever since I started dreaming of Vegas back in the late 1990s, the hotel I saw myself at was the black pyramid of the Las Vegas Strip. So when I had the chance to visit with friends, it was almost like a prophecy when they told me where we'd be staying.
And while it was a lot of fun to meet up with my earthly friends, what was equally interesting were the friends I made in other realms. One in particular stands out and I noticed them on the second day I was there.
When I exited the elevator, I hung a left and walked along one of the hallways that overlooked the atrium before taking another left to my room. On this particular morning, I was returning from the pool. As I stepped out onto the first corridor, I saw something fall into step beside me. The dark shadow caused me to stall before I began walking again. It felt female and never did I feel threatened by it. Instead, the being had a sense of wistful happiness, as though it was now free to spend the rest of its days in a place it had loved.
|© Rae Gee|
Upon my return to the UK, I spent time researching deaths at the Luxor hotel. Surprisingly, only two people have ever jumped from the open corridors and down in to the atrium (the hotel has seen no need to fit plexi-glass atop the four foot walls that separate people from the immense space beyond them). One of them was a man. And the other was, reportedly, a lady of the night who'd contracted HIV. She took her own life because of her illness and sadly crashed into the buffet. Because of the disease in her bloodstream, the hotel tore down the buffet and replaced it with the food court.
She jumped from the 26th floor, the floor above my own.
Needless to say, I felt comforted by her presence and I'm glad I was able to make contact on some level. One day I hope to go back and have a proper meeting with her.
Las Vegas hosts a haunted tour (which I hope to take the next time I'm there). You can find it here.
[Rae Gee is the author of the Veetu Industries series of LGBT steampunk novels, published by Torquere Press. To find out more about Rae Gee and her books, visit www.raegee.co.uk, her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter.]