Just off Highway 95, about halfway between Las Vegas and Reno, lies the sleepy desert town of Tonopah. For many, the town is just another oasis to fuel up in the middle of the desert, but one building at the edge of town offers more than just gasoline… it offers nightmare fuel. Tremble in fear at the most terrifying motel in the world: The Clown Motel.
Once a booming, goldmining hotspot with a population of over 50,000, Tonopah now houses just around 2,500 people, most of whom work for the local military test range. As the town numbers dwindled, Tonopah became less of a must-stop and more of a pit-stop, a place travelers would find themselves in the middle of the night, not wanting to drive another 70 miles to the nearest town. Imagine, if you will, being that weary traveler, rolling into town at midnight to discover that the only vacancy in town is within the confines of the Clown Motel. Dear God.
Not only is the lobby filled with hundreds of menacing clowns, but each and every room is clown themed as well. On each of the walls are hung portraits of famous clowns, from Bozo to Pagliacci, their soulless eyes intent on watching your every move from their faux-gold frames.
As if it couldn’t be any more horrifying, The Clown Motel shares a lot with a cemetery full of gold miners who died from a plague. I’m talking right next door. It’s like From Dusk ‘Til Dawn conspired with Steven King’s IT to create a real-life horror film. In fact, one guest took to reddit to share the horrifying tale of his stay at The Clown Motel. Thought clowns couldn’t get much scarier? Just give them a Christmas ham. Fair warning, it’s a bit graphic:
At one point early in the evening we were hearing strange sounds and what appeared to be someone screaming followed by lot popping and crunching noises. While in the bathroom my buddy decided to have a peak outside of the bathroom window. My buddy lets out a yell and busts out into the room and I’m like “what?!” He doesn’t say anything but goes right to his back and gets his Smith and Wesson 357 out. I’m thinking “what the $%#” and I dig into my bag to get my Sig 232 out. He says we need to get the %@#& out of there right now. I saw he was serious and that made me serious about it, we grabbed our $#!^ for the most part (left a few clothes behind) and looked out the peep sight to make sure it was clear to our car. I threw my gun into my pocket, he put his in his waistband and we hauled ass to the car and got the hell out of there. On the ride away, I asked what he saw in the bathroom. He told me when he looked out the window there was this creepy-ass clown facing away from the window, pants at his ankles, making a weird motion. He told me the clown slowly turned 90 degrees to look at him, my friend said he looked down to see this clown $#@%ing a full-sized dinner ham, when he looked up from the ham $^@!ing the clown was smiling and waving at him.