The Little Choo Choo Daycare: A Las Vegas Urban Legend

Does a little boy still haunt this street?
Does a little boy still haunt this street?
Photo by Osie Turner

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?

The Wynn Road location as it looks today
The Wynn Road location as it looks today
Photo by Osie Turner

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.

Comments

15 responses on “The Little Choo Choo Daycare: A Las Vegas Urban Legend

  1. It is strange that the death of the boy was never mentioned in the news. But something probably happened to ignite the urban legend. The not-so-little choo choo does sound like it was an accident waiting to happen.

  2. It’s interesting how urban legends mutate as time passes. The fact that the location of the Little Choo Choo Daycare is somewhat of a mystery only adds to the mystery!

  3. There has to be something to the legend; the thing with folklore is that its pretty much always rooted in something real. I’m wondering of the accident happened further back and is just buried in the archives of the LLRJ or Sun. I really enjoy researching these urban legends and seeing what turns up.

    Thank you to everyone for reading! Your support is appreciated!

  4. I think Little Choo Choo was located behind what is now the Elks Lodge on Charleston and Bedford RD. If you go to historicaerials.com and search the Las Vegas area ( awesome site by the way for looking into the past of Las Vegas and other cities with old satellite images ), you can see there was once a building behind the Bedford RD homes from the 60’s until the 90’s. It’s demolished now, but if this article is right about Little Choo Choo being ‘behind’ Hyde Park Middle School, that’s as close as I see it.

  5. Brianne –

    You may be right about the Elks Lodge; I was thinking it was either there, the building right on the corner of Bedford and Charleston (I think its a counselors/therapist office now), or the fire station. They are all essentially in the same lot. Looking at the aerial maps, I am leaning more towards the fire station now. I think the building you are seeing is there (just before the curve of Hinson St.), the Elk’s Lodge looks to be more where the water tower was in the older maps. Looks like it disappears in the early 90s and then the fire station pops up a few years later.

    That is an awesome site, thank you for tip! I’m sure I’ll be referencing it again. Plus, it is really interesting to look at the same spot over the years and see how it developed and changed. I wish I could time travel!

    Osie

  6. Oh, I see it now; its that dirt lot that is now sandwiched between the fire station, Elks Lodge, and Bedford Rd. houses! I couldn’t tell if there was a building there or not at first on the older maps.

  7. I went to this school as a kid I went from the time I was 3 until I was 10. Both things did happen at this school I wasn’t there for there little boy but was for the teacher killing herself. So yes it is true and yes it was right behind the field of the Jr High.

  8. Oddly enough the writer of the last post Shaun Heinen killed himself. His body was found not to far from the old day care. He died October 16th 2016 I am a metro officer and I had read his post about going there. I was a responding officer to his suicide I just find the timing odd the he suddenly kills himself after talking about the day care.

  9. I went to this daycare off and on for years. I remember the train and the station wagon the teacher Pam would take us to school in. It was rumored about the little boy, but according to Pam it never happened. The train did not move very fast and it was operated by an adult in the front car, so I can’t see any way this actually happened, especially with ZERO news coverage. Even in the 80’s that would have been a big deal and NO WAY would the train have continued to operate after taking the life of a child.

  10. I know exactly where that daycare used to be as my house I grew up ins backyard faced that field. I can guarantee and put it on my life I have heard some of the most awful noises, I’ve heard children’s music and seen a woman in the play ground area before it was no longer. I remember playing in that field at night with my brothers and something would always draw me to the wall where it was and anytime I would get close I would feel real ill and feel like something wasn’t right there. I’ve also heard children’s laughter from there as well I remember I got so scared one night out in the field I ran and got my dad to tell him and bring him to hear and when he got to the wall with me nothing.

  11. I was a student at Hyde park before the pre school was torn down. It was a tourist sight for us to sneak to after school. When the faculty found out hundreds of ya were sneaking there they told us over the intercom that if caught we would be in trouble. But we didn’t listen. Kids would be dared to stay the night. We went there quite a few times and it was super creepy. The desks were still there. The little offices with paperwork from the school files…there were the paint handprints if the kids on the outside of the school wall…it was said that the mother/daughter teachers at our school taught at choo choo when it was up and running but when kids asked about what happened (I did once) they got really weird and said not to ask questions. They looked spooked! I actually for whatever reason took a few notebooks from there and my sister did too. I wanted to research more but they are long gone since then. I do remember we were there one time and a man or woman (can’t remember) was walking slowly through the school and they were older so they couldn’t have hopped the walk to get in! We all backed away scared and a kid tried calling out hey but the person just kept walking with a blank stare. We all booked it! Also Heard a man yell get out of my pre school! Once and I think that was a lot of our last times going lol. Soon after so many police calls of kids hanging out there it was torn down. I’ll never forget that place though.

  12. When we were kids we use to go here. Actually we broke in after hours and were messing around in the managers office, I kicked this bookshelf and it moved. It was an entrance to like a secret or hidden room and the room was filled with children’s underwear. It was very creepy. I wish when I was a kid understood what that room was for like I do now. I can only imagine the terrible things that happened in that room.

Speak Your Mind

Let us know what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

In order to comment, we have to collect some data:
This form collects your name, email and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our privacy policy where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.