An urban legend is a form of modern folklore that’s been passed down for generations. Because Nevada is one of the most haunted states in the U.S., it comes as no surprise that there are many interesting urban legends still told in the Silver State today.
1. The Water Babies of Pyramid Lake
One of the most interesting urban legends within the Reno area has to do with Pyramid Lake. Each spring, an unlucky fisherman disappears and the bodies aren't normally recovered. Many people blame the disappearance of the fishermen on the depth of the water, while others claim it's the Water Babies. The Water Babies were ill-formed or premature babies that were thrown into the water by the Paiute tribe. As legend has it, the infants' angry spirits have taken hold of the lake over the past centuries. According to staff members of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitor Center, this urban legend began with a family vacation to the California coast. Many people have reported hearing the cries of an invisible baby or the laughter of ghostly children.
2. Haunted Robb Canyon
During the early 1970s, four mutilated bodies were uncovered. To this day, their brutal murders have never been resolved. According to legend, if you go down into the canyon, you'll experience screams, cold spots, full body apparitions, shadowy figures and disorientation.
3. Ghost at Goldfield Hotel
There are several urban legends associated with Goldfield Hotel. The most famous urban legend is the story of Elizabeth. As legend has it, Elizabeth was a prostitute that George Wingfield (a past owner) had gotten pregnant. Because George was afraid of the publicity destroying his reputation, he chained Elizabeth to the radiator in Room #109. Supposedly, after Elizabeth gave birth, Wingfield threw the baby down an abandoned mine shaft in the basement of the hotel and either allowed Elizabeth to die or murdered her.
4. The Dead Bodies of Hoover Dam
According to legend, seven bodies were buried within Hoover Dam during its construction. Officially, 96 workers died during the dam's construction, but none of them were buried in the actual concrete. Because several of the workers were watching the placement very closely, it would've been impossible for anyone to be buried in the concrete.
5. Aliens in Area 51
Area 51, an Air Force testing facility located approximately 110 miles from Las Vegas, had been a secret until 1990--when the U.S. government admitted that the base does in fact exist. Many people have reported seeing UFOs, little green men, and of course those gray creatures with almond-shaped eyes we're all familiar with. The Pentagon has confirmed that there are no aliens in Area 51. However, you could always take a drive along the Extraterrestrial Highway to see for yourself.
6. The Ghosts of Gold Hill
Gold Hill Hotel's eerie reputation goes all the way back to the early morning hours of April 7, 1869 when a fire swept through the Yellow Jacket Mine. This tragic fire remains one of the worst mining disasters in Nevada history. Approximately 37 miners and firemen lost their lives that day. During Nevada's early mining days, Gold Hill Hotel served as a boarding house for the miners. And supposedly, many of these miners' ghosts have been spotted hanging around the hotel. The most popular of these ghosts is a man named William. He prefers Room #5, but he's also been spotted in other areas throughout the hotel. Several hotel guests have reported hearing scratching on their door during the late night hours.
7. The Lost Gold of the Overland Express
The site of the Great Train Robbery of 1870 has become an excellent location for a Reno urban legend. During the night of November 4, 1870, five masked men held up the Central Pacific Overland Express train while it was on its way to Reno. They stole more than $40,000 worth of gold coins that were intended for the Yellow Jacket Mine's payroll. The men escaped to the northwest and were eventually caught and thrown into the Nevada State Prison by Christmas Day. Only 150 $20 gold coins were recovered. After serving their sentences, four of the masked men were never heard from again.
Pretty interesting, huh? If you know of any other interesting urban legends in Nevada, please share them with us below!