Would You Spend the Night at This Creepy Clown Motel?

If you’re looking for the ultimate test of courage, spending a night at the creepy Clown Motel of Tonomah, in the middle of the Nevada Desert might just qualify as a worthy challenge. Not only is the place filled with grinning clowns, but there is also an abandoned cemetery located literally right next to the motel.

A clown-themed motel in the middle of the dessert sound a lot like the perfect setting for a classic horror flick, but the Clown Motel is actually very real. For decades, it has been catering to truckers, long-haul drivers and tourists traversing the Nevada desert, although those suffering from coulrophobia – the fear of clowns – tend to stay well away even if it means driving dozens of miles to the next town. And for good reason, considering the place is crawling with clowns.


Photo: Andrew Huff

The big lighted sign of a grinning, juggling clown outside the hotel acts more as a warning than an invitation to spend the night, but it gets even worse once you set foot inside the motel. The office is decorated with hundreds of clowns of various sizes, some arranged neatly on wooden shelves, others sitting in chairs starring at you with a disturbing smile on their faces. The walls are also lined with framed clown portraits, so you’ll have a hard time guarding your eyes from the horror.


Photo: Will Keightley

If it’s any consolation, there are no actual clowns in the rooms, but the doors are decorated with them, and there are clown portraits hanging above the beds.


Photo: Bethany

And if clowns aren’t enough to scare you, the old Tonopah cemetery located right next to the motel will probably do the trick. Established in 1901 and filled to capacity by 1911, the cemetery is still occupied by 300 human corpses, including 14 of the 17 gold miners who died in a horrific underground fire, 104 years ago, as well as a number of locals who died of a mysterious plague in 1902. If you’re lucky enough, you can even book a room with a view of the creepy burial ground.


Photo: Dean Groom

Considering the creepiness of the place, it’s no surprise some guests have a problem getting a good night’s sleep at the Clown Motel. Owner Bob Perchetti says people often ask him to remove the clown portraits from their rooms or at least cover them up with a piece of cloth. One guest told him he woke up and saw a creepy life-size clown by the side of the bed. He tried to wipe the sleep from his eyes, thinking it was just an illusion but the clown was still there. Then, all of a sudden, it disappeared into thin air. Maybe it was just his mind playing trick on him, or maybe not…


Photo: Bethany

Believe it or not, people actually spend the night at the Clown Motel, and as Dusty Ventures reports, it’s sometimes fully booked. If you’re actually planning on visiting, you can find it on the outskirts of Tonopah, a small town of about 2,500 people, along highway 95 about halfway between Las Vegas and Reno. Enjoy your stay!


Photo: JM


Photo: Will Keightley


Photo: Will Keightley


Sources: The Huffington Post, Opposite Lock, Slate

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