Halfway between Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada, there’s the small town of Tonopah that has just over 2,000 residents who call it home. While the town is small, it does offer a lot of entertainment for those who love to gamble – like a miniature Las Vegas. They have a small casino that’s said to have “loose slots”, while the hotel next door has one-armed bandits located in the lobby, as well as a ghost called the “Lady in Red”. Oh yes, the town is haunted too!
And if having ghosts wandering around the small town isn’t frightening enough, there’s a location that looks as though it came straight from a horror movie – the Clown Motel. The roadside motel, which is next to a cemetery, is filled with clowns (and ghosts too, apparently), and has been attracting travelers from all around the world for decades. And it’s not hard to find – when driving on US Route 95 into Tonopah, there’s a large sign with a smaller, but super creepy, orange-haired clown standing beside it.
For those who are scared of clowns, stepping inside of the Clown Motel is like walking into a horrific hell. The lobby is full of every type of clown you can imagine – happy, sad, young, old, the list goes on and on... There’s even a life-size Ronald McDonald that welcomes (or terrifies) guests as they walk in.
When previous-owner Bob Perchetti decided to put the Clown Motel up for sale in 2017 for $900,000, many people were concerned that the new owners would end up tearing it down, but that’s not at all what happened. A man named Hame Anand, who conveniently has a fascination with clowns, bought the property and he has kept it running as the Clown Motel. “When I was 14, I went to the circus for the first time, and I really loved the clowns. Since then, I’ve been fascinated by them. When I saw the Clown Motel for sale, I thought, ‘My God, it’s got to be mine’,” he said.
Anand even lives at the motel permanently, and if being surrounded by creepy clowns every hour of every day isn’t frightening enough, he also sleeps in the most haunted room of the building. “The first night I stayed here, I admit I was totally scared. I thought something was going to happen but nothing did,” he explained, adding, “The clowns want me here. They’re not going to hurt me. People have had different, strange experiences at the motel, but nobody has been hurt so far.”
Anand said that he plans to open a clown-themed cafe so people can go there to drink their coffee and enjoy a snack while being surrounded by hundreds of clowns.
There are many different types of motels all around the world, but this one, I must say, is definitely unique. To sleep at a location where there are hundreds of clowns would be many people’s worst nightmare, but for others it would definitely be a memorable experience. I seriously don’t know what’s creepier – a motel haunted by ghosts, or having countless clowns just a few feet away while you sleep...