In between Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, you'll find Tonopah. This small town, with a population of just under 2,500, was a mining hotspot in the 1900s. Today, visitors can learn all about its rich history at the Tonopah Historic Mining Park. And when it comes to finding a place to stay, there's always the allegedly haunted World Famous Clown Motel.
There is an isolated clown motel in Nevada next to a graveyard and I feel we have to talk about this. pic.twitter.com/VXFfodOKHf
— Pádraig Belton (@PadraigBelton) July 16, 2020
The World Famous Clown Motel, located at 521 N Main St in Tonopah, is right next to the Tonopah Cemetery. The motel has received attention for years for its one-of-a-kind theme as well as many haunted tales about the property. It was featured on the Travel Channel and in the NY Post in 2017. However, the motel started trending on Twitter recently after Thrillist published an article that interviewed Hame Anand, the hotel's owner, or rather, "CEO of the Clown Motel," as he prefers to be called.
The Clown Motel in Tonopah Nevada, located next to the Old Tonopah Cemetery. pic.twitter.com/gQzPNmmahl
— Diane Doniol-Valcroze (@ddoniolvalcroze) July 19, 2020
The first time Anand went to the circus in his native country of India, he was not a big fan. However, the then-14-year-old was persuaded by a friend to return and give it another shot. This time, something struck Anand differently: the clowns. “I fell in love with that character,” Anand tells Thrillist. “From that day on, I started collecting clowns.”
Fast forwarded to 2017: Anand had amassed a collection of 200 clowns. He moved to Vegas to help his family manage their two hotels. During the day he worked 10-hour shifts at his job at Amazon. That year, Bob Perchetti, who had owned the infamous roadside attraction for over two decades, placed the World Famous Clown Motel on the market. Anand bought it and combined his 200 clowns with the 800 clown-related artifacts left inside. Currently, he estimates that there are about 2,000 clowns, all of which live in the lobby.
After purchasing the hotel, Anand believed it was haunted. He would hear sounds that resembled footsteps, knocking, and voices coming from unoccupied rooms. "But one day I thought, 'why did I come here? There must be some divine power. They want me here to run this motel. So probably, they are not going to mess with me,'" he tells Thrillist. He believed that ghosts from the cemetery next door were coming to visit, but we’re not trying to stir up any trouble. Also, that some rooms were more haunted than others. Themed rooms include a Friday the 13th room, a Halloween room, an Exorcist room, and an It room. From the looks of it, most rooms take on a circus-like aesthetic.
A post shared by The Clown Motel (@clownmotelphotos) on Sep 14, 2019 at 11:36am PDT
If you check out the motel's current reviews, many praise his leadership. While guests do describe the clowns as creepy, most reviews claim the motel is not haunted.
Other guests beg to disagree. "I heard a knock last night at my door, I checked and nothing was there. I also heard voices throughout the night and found scratches on the wall," a visitor wrote one year ago. Ten months ago, a user noted that he didn't experience anything out of the ordinary, but his wife heard a "creepy laugh" outside the door, felt several cold areas in the room, and felt something poke her arm in the middle of the night.
This definitely seems like the type of place you’ve got to experience yourself. While the World Famous Clown Motel doesn't have a website, you can make a reservation by calling (775) 624-9098. You can also learn more by visiting its Instagram page, which is surprisingly cheery.
A post shared by The Clown Motel (@clownmotelphotos) on Jan 30, 2020 at 10:31pm PST
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