Creepy Clown Motel Built Next To A Cemetery Is America’s Scariest Place To Stay
Shack up for the night at the Clown Motel, home to more than 2,000 creepy figurines and a few ghosts, too.
Illuminating the twilight desert town of Tonopah, Nevada, with its neon sign, this hell away from home is a must-see for clown lovers and a nightmare for others. To make matters even more unnerving, it’s located right next to an old cemetery. Unsurprisingly, it was once named ‘America’s Scariest Motel’.
Imagine trying to drift off into a peaceful slumber in a haunted motel filled with clowns; all that’s missing is Pennywise to give you a private dance. If that sounds like your cup of tea, thank this man, Hame Anand.
It all began in his native country of India when Anand was 14 years old. He and a friend visited the local circus, faced with tigers, huge elephants and dazzling, death-defying acrobatics. It was all too much, leading to his departure after just 15 minutes.
After being convinced to give it another go, he went back. Suddenly, his worldview shifted when the clown came on, inspiring laughter. ‘I fell in love with that character. From that day on, I started collecting clowns,’ he told Thrillist.
Fast-forward to 2017, and Anand was living in Las Vegas. At the time, he had 200 clown figures, was pulling 10-hour shifts at Amazon and assisting his family with their motel business, specifically in marketing.
Not far away was Bob Perchetti, the original owner of the Clown Motel, which only had 800 figurines at the time. After years of leading one of Route 95’s most infamous roadside attractions, he decided to retire and listed the property for $900,000. It just so happens that Anand’s brother had offered to buy him a hotel. The stars had aligned.
There were a few caveats: Tonopah is derelict compared to the influx of tourism in Vegas, with just more than 2,400 residents, and there was a cemetery right next to the hotel, something which quickly became a plus for Anand.
He explained: ‘So I know that even if you had $10 million you’re not going to get that kind of publicity. I told my brother: ‘See, this motel is very popular and the graveyard – that’s the catch.”
After becoming CEO of the Clown Motel, Anand began noticing strange noises, such as rogue footsteps, voices or doors opening and closing.
I was scared a little bit. I couldn’t sleep in my room. 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.’ This was how I knew that they were telling me: ‘We are here, but don’t worry about that.’
From guests’ accounts, it appears 108, 109, 210, 215, and 217 are the most prolific rooms for paranormal incidents. However, Anand has very much leaned into the spook-factor, creating Friday the 13th, Halloween, The Exorcist and It rooms. He’s also in the process of creating rooms with a special view of the graveyard.
People from all over the world have travelled for a night in the Clown Motel, coming from the likes of Germany, France, Scotland, England, and Switzerland. For visitors, ‘if you have clowns, you can donate because it’s the right place and right home for them’.
Anand added: ‘My grandmother used to say: Whenever you’re down, look at the clown.’ I grew up with this line. That’s how I felt collecting the clowns. The clown is the laughing character. It makes you laugh.’
It’s a big fat nope from me, sorry.
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CreditsThrillist and 2 others
The Clown Motel/Instagram