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.
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.
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.
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.
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.