Some employees swear they hear footsteps echo in the halls. Others say they have seen a man in old-fashioned work clothes who disappears when confronted. There are many myths surrounding the Hoover Dam, its workers, and what (or who) they may have left behind.
According to the dam’s web site, it is a fact that 96 workers died during the construction of the Hoover Dam. The myth is that workers fell into the vats of wet concrete as it was being poured and disappeared – their bodies being buried in the walls forever. The truth is that, in order for fast-dry concrete to dry evenly, it must be poured shallow. Anything foreign – such as human remains – would cause severe instabilities in the foundation, so they would most likely have dived in after their workmates, if this actually happened. However, if you take a tour of the dam, you will find that the molds were not deep enough for this myth to be true – as the concrete would only come up to your knees. So, no bodies remain as part of the dam itself.
The body count increases if you include surveyor, J.G. Tierney, who drowned in 1922 while searching for right spot to build the dam. According to Wikipedia, he is sometimes counted as the first to die. Oddly, his son, Patrick W. Tierney, was the last man to die, exactly 13 years later when he fell from one of the completed dam’s intake towers. Now, that is spooky.
Several deaths actually occurred due to pneumonia, though that is up to debate, as some believe that carbon monoxide poisoning was rampant due to the use of gas-powered vehicles in the tunnels.
With over 21,000 workers involved in the construction of such awesome size, it’s no wonder that there were fatalities. Many of the safety features of today had yet to be put in place.
Whether you are into spooks or not, this wonder of the world is worth exploring. If you live in a home in Henderson, Nevada, it’s practically out your back door.