You don't have to believe in ghosts to revel in Sin City's eeriest tales. Renowned paranormal investigator Janice Oberding takes readers on an ethereal journey to the other side of Las Vegas. From legendary Liberace and Elvis sightings to spirits haunting unsuspecting hotel guests, Oberding covers all the bases. The Haunting of Las Vegas proves Oberding is a gifted storyteller. Her gripping stories are sure to delight anyone who is interested in paranormal activity, entertainment history, or a completely different kind of Las Vegas nightlife.
If there’s one reoccurring theme in books discussing the intricacies of Las Vegas, it’s that most writers insist there’s a hidden underworld in Sin City, which is sometimes glimpsed by baffled tourists and residents alike. David Goldberg, in his book about being a slots attendant, insists that aside from all of the “glitz and glamour” of Las Vegas, there’s “another side” to the city.
In Goldberg’s case, he’s referring to the life of a casino employee, but in Janice Oberding’s title, The Haunting of Las Vegas, the author is referring to a more literal other side. Oberding’s book discusses the urban legends, stories, and sightings surrounding the supposed ghosts of Las Vegas. While such topics may first seem to appeal mainly to the passing fancy of a tourist in Las Vegas, Oberding is a recognised paranormal expert and The Haunting of Las Vegas will even interest the staunchest disbelievers.
Oberding sheds light on the haunted hotspots of Las Vegas and surrounding areas and quickly becomes clear that Oberding lives and breathes, so to speak, the topics she expounds upon throughout the title. In particular, Oberding shines when discussing lesser known hauntings in Las Vegas, such as a notably chilling example of paranormal activity which allegedly took place in a hotel on the Strip. Using the eyewitness account of a woman named Susan, who when in the bathroom of her hotel room glimpsed a “young woman” with “tears streaming down her face” and in the process of being choked to death, Oberding not only details a genuinely unsettling example of ghosts in Las Vegas, the author also hints at the seedy underbelly of the city.
Of course, Oberding also recognises and discusses some of the more well-known stories of haunted locations in Las Vegas. Dedicating a section of the book to sightings of Elvis Presley, Oberding lists all of the key locations associated with The King, as well as using eyewitness reports, such as the following sighting in the Hilton Hotel:
Go ahead and call me crazy if you like. But I saw the ghost of Elvis, big as you please. I was working the graveyard shift at the time. I was polishing the floor about three in the morning when something just made me look up. That’s when I saw him coming across the hall. At first I thought it was one of the impersonators…and then he just disappeared right there in front of me.
Throughout The Haunting of Las Vegas Oberding details the past exploits of famous figures such as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel. Drawing from the former’s early life in poverty, Oberding is able to examine why “Bugsy” chose to move to Las Vegas noting that the gangster became “fascinated by Nevada’s legalised gambling.” It’s Oberding’s account of the sightings of the deceased mobster which will interest readers the most, with the author suggesting that if Bugsy resides at his old casino, the Flamingo, it’s because ghosts “are not necessarily consigned to the places of their death. If they are of free will and able to go to the spots they enjoyed in life, it stands to reason that Bugsy would seek out the Flamingo where his dream first took shape.”
Featuring several stories of paranormal activity and ghostly goings on in Sin City, The Haunting of Las Vegas is perfect for anyone planning to visit the city and discover more about Vegas’ deceased residents.
For more information about Janice Oberding, make sure to read our interview; “Haunted Las Vegas”.