Tales of the Real Las Vegas

Think you know the real Las Vegas?

Think again. Beneath the tits, glitz, and weapons of mass distraction lies an occult truth.
Las Vegas is home to a powerful and transformative energy that amplifies and magnifies all that it touches.

What happens in Vegas happens on a whole new level. For some, Las Vegas is the emerald city at the end
of the rainbow. For others, it's the Disneyland of the damned.

Be warned. Once you find Las Vegas, Las Vegas finds you.

Welcome to the REAL Las Vegas; where dreams come true and nightmares too.


Excerpt from Wack City © Copyright 2023 Miko Montgomery

By Introduction

I moved to Las Vegas in the fall of 1999. There was still a lot of boom in the town at that time. The local economy was robust and the city seemed to offer endless opportunities.

Las Vegas was a magnet for people looking to reinvent themselves with a little help from Lady Luck, and they came from all over the world. I hit the ground running. I immediately got a job at a local music store, played solo musical gigs on the weekend, and did video production work. Later, I even opened my own business, a poster store where I also sold books and movies.

Unlike most people moving to Vegas, I didn’t bring a lot of preconceived notions. Las Vegas is mythic, and I understand why, but it never held any attraction for me. I had family in the entertainment business who lived in Vegas back in the glory days, back when the town was really booming. So, I was certainly aware of it, and connected to it, but I never found it compelling. Las Vegas always seemed square. I come from a family of jazz musicians, so my idea of cool is Miles Davis, not the Rat Pack. Even the iconic Las Vegas Strip seemed goofy and cartoonish.

Las Vegas has always promoted itself as being Sin City, a label it wears with great pride. “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” is the most successful ad campaign in the history of the city. Yet once again, I found Vegas lacking.

Compared to other cities around the world, Vegas even seemed low on the decadence scale, promising far more than it actually delivered. It’s not exactly Babylon. Suffice it to say that for me, Las Vegas was big of tit, small of brain, and way overhyped.

However, within the very first months of my move, I realized that I had been mistaken about Las Vegas. Wildly mistaken. The Las Vegas that’s hyped to the world by the tourist bureau is a neon façade. The casino experience, showroom entertainment, ultra bars, strip clubs, buffets and other famous Vegas fare are all quite real. However, these things actually serve to conceal a reality. The real Las Vegas is quite different. The real Las Vegas is characterized by an occult truth so startling, few people would even believe it.

I discovered this truth accidentally, by way of the residents I encountered on my various jobs, particularly the older residents. By far, the absolute coolest thing about Las Vegas are the older residents. I’ve known OGs from all over the world, but they’re different in Las Vegas. Vegas OGs are usually colorful, well lived and highly expressive whether they were in the entertainment field or not. But they also tend to have a thoughtful, insightful, contemplative side that caught me by surprise. They are not shallow people. These OGs shattered my belief that Las Vegas was stupid. The more I learned from them, the more I understood just how wrong I’d been.

Ironically, I went from having no interest in Las Vegas to becoming obsessed. I bought every Las Vegas book and documentary I could find. I collected newspaper and magazine articles. I even documented my own impressions, maintaining both a Vegas oriented journal and a long running blog. Most importantly, every Las Vegas resident, especially the OGs, became a potential interview subject. When I had my own business, I would routinely invite residents/customers back to my store after hours and conduct videotaped interviews. These interviews proved to be invaluable. Many of them were mind blowing. I was totally unprepared for what appeared to be a general consensus.

What happens in Vegas is supernatural.

Eventually, I took everything I had absorbed about Las Vegas over the years and made a short YouTube “mockumentary” called Occult Las Vegas Revealed. I considered it a mockumentary because it was a mix of historical facts and creative, sometimes even wild speculation. I initially made it as a response to the aforementioned ad campaign, “What Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas”, a campaign that always

annoyed me because of its lack of originality. That slogan is just a slight variation of a similar slogan that’s been around for years in sales, sports and entertainment. Not exactly creative, particularly coming from a powerful, massively funded tourist bureau. In addition, the campaign was yet another example of the brainless way in which Las Vegas promotes itself. I knew I could do far better with zero funding. Occult Las Vegas Revealed was originally designed to be my own ad campaign for Las Vegas, a creative campaign meant to show the city in a whole new way.

Soon after posting my mockumentary on YouTube, I disabled the “comments” feature. The word occult is provocative and tends to freak some people out. So, after being accused of spreading evil, Satanic doctrine, I pulled the plug on all comments. By the way, the word occult only means “hidden” and nothing more. Fortunately, there were open-minded viewers who were fascinated by the presentation, and they reached out to me via my website. I’ve collected scores of emails over the years, and the vast majority of them have one thing in common. Viewers didn’t find my speculations particularly wild at all. Quite the contrary. Much like my many OG interview subjects, these viewers related their own, often startling supernatural experiences. Many of them actually seemed relieved for the opportunity to do so. I got the distinct feeling that Occult Las Vegas Revealed provided some kind of validation for ideas that would have otherwise been considered batshit crazy.

I’ve spent over twenty years living and working in Las Vegas. I’ve studied the city with the fanatical zeal of a scholar/historian. My rabid research ultimately consumed me, much like a drug. Even now, I’m somewhat shocked by my own journey from ambivalence to a kind of full-blown addiction. Las Vegas grabbed me by the throat, and it’s never let go. But that’s Las Vegas. Once you find Las Vegas, Las Vegas finds you.

I wrote Wack City as a way to address and perhaps, process the occult truth of Las Vegas, a truth that both excites me and terrifies me.

Welcome to Wack City; where dreams come true, and nightmares too. Miko Montgomery

Las Vegas, Nevada 2022

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