Nevada urban legends and ghost stories are plentiful as a result of the state's rich history of mining towns and vast deserts. The state's Old West roots are evident in Nevada ghost stories, the annals of which are rife with spirits haunting ghost towns and mining camps. Though primarily known for tales of that nature, Nevada has an abundance of other ghost stories and urban legends that are downright creepy.
From the mysteries of Area 51 to the strange serpent monster in Lake Tahoe, Nevada scary stories are some of the best creepy tales in the entire United States. Below is a list of some of the best Nevada hauntings and urban legends, which cover a wide range of Nevada landmarks, including Las Vegas and Pyramid Lake.
The Murdered Lesbian Stripper of Bee Hive Whorehouse
In the late 1800s, female lovers Timber Kate and Bella Rawhide traveled through towns performing for the local saloons. They were famous for their live sex acts and established quite a reputation. One day, Bella fell in love with a man, Tug Daniels, and the two ran off together, leaving Kate to perform solo. She dressed like a man and lifted weights on stage, only to eventually perform a bizarre strip-tease.
In 1880, Kate ran into Bella and Tug at the Bee Hive Whorehouse. A fight broke out. Tug pulled a knife and cut open Kate's belly from her crotch to her navel. She died on the whorehouse floor, and her ghost is said to haunt the area. She's described as a tall, bloated woman with red, straggly hair, dressed in a dirty nightgown.
The Water Babies of Pyramid Lake
One of the scariest ghost stories in Nevada is the legend of the Pyramid Lake Water Babies. There's a few versions of the legend, one of the more popular of which concerns the souls of discarded babies. It goes something like this:
Long ago, indigenous Paiute people threw premature or deformed babies into Pyramid Lake in order to keep their tribe strong. The spirits of these infants were angry at being cast aside and now haunt the lake, taking revenge on lake dwellers who dare cross their paths. For some reason, they are active only in the spring, and like to drag people to a watery grave.
Love, Kidnapping, Murder, and Ghosts at the Goldfield Hotel
Even though it's been disputed by historians, the ghost story surrounding the Goldfield Hotel has endured for years thanks to its brutality and shocking nature. The story goes that a young woman named Elizabeth became pregnant after falling in love (and sleeping) with George Wingfield. In response to the news, Wingfield chained her to the radiator in room 109 of the Goldfield, where he kept her for nine months, feeding and caring for her until the baby was born. When the baby was born, Wingfield threw it down a mine shaft and murdered Elizabeth. It's said her ghost now haunts room 109, where you can hear her banshee-like shriek.
Ghosts in the Ghost Town of Rhyolite
Rhyolite, NV is a ghost town in every sense of the word. It was initially founded in 1904 and grew to a population of 10,000. By 1924, everyone had moved away or died, leaving the town empty. It's said visitors to Rhyolite hear the voices of miners and long-dead townspeople echoing through the rundown buildings. One of the more famous ghost stories about the town is that of an old gold prospector who was allegedly poisoned by his barber after he brought huge gold nuggets to town. It's said the prospector can be seen wandering around town, wearing a large, floppy hat.
Buried Treasure in Six Mile Canyon
During the days of the Wild West, Nevada was a place for outlaws, and Jack Davis was no different. The most peculiar thing about Davis was his ability to lead to a double life. By day, he ran a successful livery stable in Gold Hill. By night, he robbed stagecoaches, trains, and wagons, melted down any gold he found, formed it into bars, and buried them.
Davis died an outlaws death, in a stagecoach robbery gone wrong. There are those who believe his cache of gold is buried somewhere in Nevada's Six Mile Canyon, though anyone who comes near to discovering it has been scared away by the screaming ghost of Jack Davis. According to some reports, his ghost grows grotesque wings and rises in the air to frighten people away.
The Mutilated Corpses Robb Canyon
Ghosts typically stay in our plane of existence because something in their life was unresolved or unfulfilled. Such is the case with the Robb Canyon tragedy. In the early 1970s, the mutilated bodies of four people were found in Robb Canyon, and their murders were never solved. Area residents have reported seeing strange lights and hearing disturbing sounds, including bloodcurdling screams echoing throughout the canyon. Many psychics have visited the area, most concluding dark energy is present in the canyon. According to these psychics, it's likely the spirits of the four murdered individuals are stuck, waiting for the mystery of their deaths to be solved.
Ballys Casino and the MGM Fire
During the '70s, hotels or casinos open 24 hours weren't required to have smoke detectors. As you can guess, this led to disaster. A massive fire broke out at the MGM Grand thanks to some faulty wiring, and 87 people lost their lives. As a result, fire safety laws in Las Vegas became extraordinarily strict. The hotel was sold and became Ballys Casino. Despite the name change, the spirits of those who died in the fire are said to haunt the halls and staircases of Ballys, with reports of ghostly apparitions walking through elevator doors and walls.
Rotting Corpse Under the Hotel Bed
This creepy phenomena has happened all across the United States, but the original urban legend of guests finding a decomposing body underneath their bed after staying the night at a cheap hotel usually traces back to Las Vegas, NV, the original Sin City.
The story is usually the same: unsuspecting travelers stop at a small motel for the night and sleep easy. In the morning, they notice an odd smell and, upon investigation, find a rotting corpse under the bed. People who have studied this urban legend believe Las Vegas is the point of origin because it's easier for people to believe such an awful thing could happen in Vegas. Which is ironic, because none of the decomposing bodies actually found under hotel beds were found in Vegas.