Las Vegas Guides and Ghosts

Discover “Top 5” lists of things to do in Vegas or read up on haunted historic sites to catch a glimpse of ghosts, including Elvis, lurking around Sin City.

The BlackBook Guide to Las Vegas 2009 and The Haunting of Las Vegas, by Janice Oberding, are both quite entertaining in their own way. The BlackBook Guide is smart and funny, with tips on Las Vegas hot spots and places to see and be seen. It doesn’t have a lot of filler. Oberding’s book is more a historical take on the town, with stories of ghosts, hauntings and legends. It’s a different way of looking at the city—and even if you don’t believe in ghosts, the tales are sure to enthrall you.

by Janice Oberding. Pelican Publishing Company, 2008; $15.95.

This isn’t a guidebook in the sense of getting advice on where to eat, drink and stay, but if you want to know where to find ghosts and spooky spots, this is the book for you. Janice Oberding, who has been a consultant on paranormal matters to The History Channel and Travel Channel, among others, digs deep into the history of Sin City to reveal all sorts of fascinating tales.


Really detailed histories and long stories about the characters that have populated Las Vegas make this a fascinating read. It’s a lot of fun to learn all about the early days of the city—Oberding takes the time to go in depth. You won’t find a lot of these stories in other guides.

Great Tips

Some people love nothing more than to book a hotel room with storied other-worldly visitors or bars with a sketchy past. You’ll find out where they are in this book. Oberding did her homework—there is an extensive bibliography of sources she used. And don’t worry, Elvis fans will be relieved to find out about a famous Elvis séance, including where his spirit is said to hang out backstage, as well as his favorite hotel suite and drugstore.


Regular guidebook features, such as details on costs, contact information, reviews of hotels, restaurants and so forth, are not given.

Worth Buying?

Not if you want a traditional guidebook.


Read a review of Blackbook Guide to Las Vegas 2009.

Destinations: Las Vegas

Themes: Gaming, Historical Vacations, Urban Endeavors

Activities: Sightseeing, Pubs and Bars