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article imageOp-Ed: A ghost story from the Vegas Strip

By Jay David Murphy     Oct 31, 2009 in Entertainment
Every year at Halloween Taxi cab drivers on the Las Vegas Strip are paid a visit from ghosts from the Sin Cities past and get a fright on all hallows night.
Each Halloween, tens of thousands of the living take to the Las Vegas Strip and the many parties in clubs and casinos are filled with costumed ghouls, goblins, and fairy princesses.
And each Halloween the haunted Taxi cab story surfaces. This year is no different. It is told in many different ways, but there is always a resounding thread about the fare, that was there, and then wasn’t there.
Some say it is the ghost of Elvis playing a trick on the cab driver, while others say they are loaded with four men who are unmistakably Sammy, Dean, Frank, and Joey.
The story goes like this: Sometime around midnight when the weary cab driver pulls up to the nut to wait his turn at the next fare, his door suddenly opens and in comes his passenger.
Tired from moving drunken revelers around he merely glances to make sure someone has boarded and asks, “Where too.” The reply is either, the “Desert Inn” or the “International” both of which do no longer exist.
Thinking it is just a fare being funny the cab driver goes about his business and drives to the Wynn or the Hilton. The Wynn is where the Desert Inn was and the Las Vegas Hilton is where the International once stood.
Depending on which story you hear the common thread is a humming of a familiar tune that the driver just cannot place.
Still unfazed, the cab driver with a quick glance in the rear view mirror shows his passenger or passengers still there, quietly sitting and humming in the back seat.
About half way to the destination the cab driver, although not yet bothered by the silence of the passenger, throws out a “Happy Halloween, have you been having fun?” The response is always the same, “Yes.”
Simple and direct with no embellishment but when his passenger gave his answer a cold chill went up and down the cab drivers spine making him lift his shoulders and give a shiver.
Again, the cab driver glances back in the mirror to see the shadowy figure of his passenger in the back seat.
Not wanting to disturb his passenger or mess up his potential tip he continues weaving through traffic in silence to his preordained destination.
These trips are a only a few minuets and before a man finish a cigarette the cab driver pulls his Taxi up to the entrance and turns around to receive his fare.
But, as the story goes, there is no one there, not a trace of the passenger. But there is always a $20 casino chip sitting in the back seat.
The cab driver jumps out and opens up the back door figuring his fare is on the floor to find nothing, and then gets that cold shiver up and down his spine again and on the wind he hears a familiar tune, “in the ghetto.”
Happy Halloween from Strip, from your Taxi driving journalist, Jay David Murphy, Viva, Las Vegas!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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