Musician Neil Young and I share two connections. First, we have both been through Boulder City. Young was here in the ’70s and again rumored to have visited Lake Mead after playing Las Vegas with Promise of the Real in 2015.
Second, Young and I have an odd connection to Charles Manson. Young was a fan of Manson’s music, and frequently jammed with him while taking a break from Buffalo Springfield. Young even tried to get Manson a record deal with Reprise Records, according to an article in The New York Times.
I have a connection to Manson after curiosity got the best of me. My boyfriend, John Wengert, and his family not only have roots here in Boulder City, but hold prominent roots in Las Vegas, too. After wanting to go see “the old Wengert house,” which has since been turned into Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum, I found myself in a heated discussion about believing in what one can’t see.
According to the museum’s website, https://thehauntedmuseum.com, the historic Wengert home at 600 E. Charleston Blvd. has a documented haunted history. The Wengert family members deny this. The family stated that in spite of the various newspaper articles and community hysteria, the home’s hair-raising history was nothing more than a rumor gone too far, which is now used to sell tickets.
The Wengert house was built in 1938 by Cyril and Lottie Wengert. Cyril was responsible for many commercial developments that still exist in Las Vegas. According to Bagans, the Wengert house had a pentagram etched into one of the floors and was home to witchcraft rituals and spiritual seances, which made it the perfect place to house some of the world’s most haunted artifacts. In all my research on Hollywood’s ties to the occult, I knew I had to experience the museum for myself. I found my way there with the help of some VIP treatment.
I saw Bela Lugosi’s haunted mirror, artwork from Richard Ramirez aka The Night Stalker, Ed Gains’ cauldron, John Murrell’s mummified thumb, the world’s infamous Dibbuk Box (led to the movie “The Possession” and a Los Angeles Times article on its possession abilities), Peggy the Doll — a sinister doll that causes heart problems, even heart attacks, from just looking at it — and more. In fact, there are over 30 rooms displaying so-called possessed items that can do harm to those who even look at them. It was also confirmed to me that several people have passed away in the home under weird circumstances.
What I came into contact with at the museum was Manson’s ashes and blood, his personal artwork, his false teeth and other personal artifacts connected to the Manson murders. I will not disclose what I encountered, and the ramifications thereafter, but I will say it was anything but hype. The negative energy around the Manson’s artifacts lay as thick as molasses, created an emotional chokehold and resulted in a very real inability to breathe. Some might say my experience was psychosomatic, others may think I am a writer creating hype, but I know what I couldn’t see or explain was very real. I believe in God, but I believe in spiritual warfare, too.
It’s not only the Wengert house in Las Vegas that has cult rumors surrounding it, either. Clean, green Boulder City and Hoover Dam have long been the subject of whispers surrounding secret cults and even a demonic portal between here and Saturn. While there is no hard evidence to support this, there are plenty of websites dedicated to implying the existence of something sinister with our city’s shadows. Sure, this could be rooted in the boredom of internet conspirators or it could be rooted in something more substantial. For some people, seeing is believing. For others, the experience of hairs standing on end is enough to validate it as factual.
My Throwback Thursday movie recommendation is 2012’s “The Possession” as well as a trip to Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum. The museum is open every day but Tuesday, and discounts are available for seniors and veterans.
Tanya Vece’s weekly Hollywood blog can be found at TanyaVeceBook.com. Tanya is the author of “The Meaning of Eclipse” and operates as an independent marketer.