Super Bowl media hotel has ghost stories

LAS VEGAS — As hundreds of media members descend on Las Vegas this week for Super Bowl LVIII, many are greeted by a 106-foot tall sphinx guarding a 350-foot orange Dorito plastered on one face of America’s second-tallest pyramid.

The peculiar welcome is far from the strangest detail of the Luxor, the Egyptian-themed hotel and casino where the NFL is putting the media up.

A history of tragic deaths, reports of paranormal experiences and a slew of peculiarities lead some to believe the Luxor is haunted. For as nightmarish as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs could be for the 49ers, those staying at the Luxor could face their own scare in Las Vegas’ first-ever Super Bowl week.

“I heard it was haunted,” said longtime KPIX anchor and sports director Vernon Glenn. “I’ve been up late at night working, just waiting to hear the voices.”

As with any ghost story, urban legend and speculation do the most heavy lifting. Yet there’s enough evidence — if such a thing is possible when dealing with the mystical — that a paranormal researcher wrote a nine-part series about the Luxor’s curse.

A prominent ghost city tour company that once conducted tours through the Luxor dramatically describes the curse as follows: “When you stay at the Luxor, you’re gambling with your life.” According to that same site, “numerous visitors” have reported experiencing run-ins with an entity nicknamed “The Deadly Blonde,” a paranormal being that apparently causes guests to wake up gasping for air and feeling hands gripped tightly around their necks. Another piece of lore claims that a poltergeist lives in room 30018 and clangs a metallic noise every morning at 8:30.

Other theories to explain the curse include worker deaths during construction, the hotel’s 2008 installation of a Titanic exhibit and the fact that the sphinx has no pair (Egyptian mythology may hold that a singular sphinx could leave its pyramid exposed).

Inside the lobby of the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. (Photo: Danny Emerman/Bay Area News Group) 

There are some more easily substantiated aspects to the lore: a rash of tragic fatalities.

Because of the hotel’s pyramid design — there aren’t exterior balconies — some deaths that occur on the property are particularly gruesome.

In 1996, a woman jumped off the 26th-floor balcony and landed in the pit at the entrance to the buffet area, per news accounts from the time. Tupac Shakur didn’t die at the Luxor, but he was staying there when he was killed in 1996. The next year, a 16-year-old girl from Mountain View was strangled to death. In 2007, a homemade pipe bomb in the hotel’s parking garage killed a 24-year-old man.

The existence of any spirits related to those tragedies, evil or otherwise, could not be independently verified by this news organization.

Tragic deaths in hotels, sadly, aren’t particularly out of the ordinary in Las Vegas, where the most commonly cited statistic out of the Clark County coroner’s office is that 1,100 visitors die annually, 6% of which have no known cause of death.

Anyone asked about the Luxor’s supposed hauntedness is tight-lipped. One hotel worker said she gets asked about it all the time, but is instructed not to say anything because it could scare business away. Another said he’s confident it’s not haunted. Two more, almost in unison, said they had “no idea” about anything like that.


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