Look up any article about haunted locations in Las Vegas, and you are sure to come across the story of the Little Choo Choo Daycare. The now defunct daycare, the story goes, was the site of two unfortunate deaths. A little boy, who presumably attended the daycare, was accidentally run over in the front yard by the company’s toy train. The “toy train” was actually a gas-powered multisectional train, the type used to drive kids around malls and fairs. The second death occurred when either a teacher or aide took her own life while on the job.
The location, the original building has since been torn down, is said to be haunted by the apparition of a little boy digging a hole with his toy shovel. He appears both during the day and at night. The spirit of a black woman can also be seen wandering about the area, it is presumably the spirit of the woman that committed suicide, but could be another spirit altogether.
Researching the story uncovered a problem — there is absolutely no outside documentation that these deaths ever happened. It seems if a suicide occurred on the grounds of a daycare, and especially if a child died accidentally while at the same daycare, one or both of these tragedies would have made the news. Other suicides in and around schools have been reported on, so why not this one?
A few teachers have taken their own lives right here in the Las Vegas area. A science teacher, Fifty-eight year old Michael Roberts, fatally shot himself in the courtyard of Western High School back in 2010.
In 2005, a Green Valley High School history teacher, thirty-four year old Howard Wade Bycroft, attempted suicide, also while at school, by repeatedly stabbing himself in the abdomen. He was alone in his classroom, he was rumored to be living out of the room at the time, when he inflicted the wounds. Bycroft was found by another teacher and taken to the hospital; he survived the attempt. More recently, a fourteen year old girl jumped to her death at Coronado High School in May, 2015.
The second issue with the story is the location. Where exactly was the Little Choo Choo Daycare? A simply Google search will tell you it was at 3335 Wynn Road, just south of Desert Inn. The building there dates back to 1964 and has changed hands a good number of times since then. Ryan Mechanical has been there since 1996. This is an industrial area and a very unlikely spot to open a daycare, and, furthermore, where would the ghostly little boy be digging with his shovel there? In the paved parking lot?
However, according to locals that remember Little Choo Choo, it was actually located in the residential area behind Hyde Park Middle School, a short drive away. This area is much more likely to have had a daycare, and, at least at night, has an eerie feel to it. At the south end of the street a new building now stands, in fitting with the story of the original having been deconstructed. The school field borders the back fences of the houses, it is easy to believe that a ghostly boy still wanders the dimly lit fence-line, shovel in hand. It is unclear how the Wynn Road location became associated with the daycare, but the Hyde Park area seems the more probable spot.
Ultimately, the story of the ill-fated daycare does have some truth to it, but the details are a bit sketchy when put under the microscope. Regardless of how much can be verified, the fact remains that the Little Choo Choo Daycare will remain a Las Vegas legend for years to come.