Amidst the Las Vegas Strip, at the corner of the Las Vegas Blvd and Tropicana Ave, sits the extravagant, 1,600+ room hotel and casino that is the Tropicana. A fixture on the Strip since it first opened on April 4, 1957, no one seems to know exactly when suspicions of paranormal activity began, but according to a plethora of guests, the Tropicana is inexplicably haunted. The majority of the staff refuses to believe, or at least admit, any incidents of paranormal activity at the Tropicana.
Most of the hotel’s sinister reputation surrounds a simple feature in the hotel lobby. The moment guest’s enter the Tropicana, they are silently welcomed by an arguably creepy, hand-carved tiki mask.
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Some guests take special notice of this mask, taking photos next to it and even going so far as to touch it. It is said that those who had the misfortune of coming into direct contact with the mask develop a strange skin rash, purplish in color and entirely inexplicable. Guests who have taken pictures of the mask often tell tale of an eerie, purplish fog that engulfs the mask, distorting its view in the photo.
Those who have experienced the reputed supernatural effects of the mask, as well as anyone with an interest in the paranormal, would certainly like to know the origins of this particular mask. However, as common as this story is, I for one would like to know why there are no pictures of the tiki mask at the Tropicana readily available on the internet, with or without the purplish mist.
It is hard to believe such a widely rumored legend when there is no presentable evidence to show for it. Chances are this is merely an urban legend, likely designed by either the hotel management or by the popular Haunted Vegas Tour to further embellish its attraction. A more likely story would be one told by an anonymous past guest back in February of 2007.
As the story goes… A woman booked a week’s stay at the Tropicana with two girlfriends on the 64th floor. Another friend was staying at a nearby hotel. Her two girlfriends would be flying back home the day before she was to leave, so her plan was to catch the flight back home with the other friend in the nearby hotel the following day. For the first few days, everything was fine, nothing out of the ordinary occurred, but on one particular night, something happened that could only be described as paranormal.
The two girlfriends had just caught their flight back home and the woman staying at the Tropicana was about to spend her one and only night alone in the hotel before checking out in the morning. As tired as she was, she had a very hard time getting to sleep because she had the uncanny feeling someone was watching her. She knew with no ambiguity that he was the only person in the room, yet she could not shake the feeling.
She finally managed to get to sleep, but during the night she awoke and saw a human male standing right next to her, facing the wall with his back to the bed. Needless to say, the woman was scared out of her wits, thinking all of the worst possible things were about to happen to her. She shouted at the strange figure, and at that moment he began to slowly turn around as if to face her. In a panic, she reached for the lamp and the moment the light came on, the figure was gone. No one was there.
She immediately turned on all of the lights, opened the drapes and sat up in the chair by the window for the rest of the night. After a while she determined that the ghost could have only been staring into the mirror on the wall. Early that morning, she went into the hallway on her way downstairs and saw one of the cleaning maids. She couldn’t help but share the horrifying tale of the night and the maid assumed she had seen the ghost in the hallway, as if this was something that had happened before. The maid suggested talking with the front desk, which the woman did. In apology, she was comped another night in the hotel.
The woman had no intention of staying another night, however, it turned out her friend in the nearby hotel was running late and would not be able to catch the flight home. She offered him the comped room which he gladly accepted while she herself went directly to the airport. Afterwards, when she asked her friend if he slept okay, he said weird things were happening all night and he was not able to sleep a wink!