There’s nothing creepier than a cemetery next to a clown motel.
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, gold mining 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 rolling into town at midnight to discover that the only vacancy in town is within the confines of the Clown Motel.
Not only is the lobby filled with hundreds of menacing clowns, but each and every room is clown themed as well.
Come sit on clownies lap.
Catering to bikers, truckers, and other long haul travelers that find themselves off the beaten path, the Clown Motel is the final port of call before another stretch of unbroken Nevada desert.
From the moment travelers enter the adjoining offices they are greeted by a life-size clown figure sitting in a chair, with life-like hands and missing fingers.
Caged clowns are never creepy.
At least these ones were all smiling.
Conveniently, the Tonopah Cemetery is located right next door. Old Tonopah Cemetery was founded May 7, 1901 with the burial of John Randel Weeks, and was active until April 1911 when the number of dead outgrew the tiny plot, and the growing town required a new cemetery. Some three hundred people are interred at the old location, including many of Tonopah’s pioneer residents, many of whom fell victim to the mysterious 1902 “Tonopah Plague”, the cause of which still remains a mystery.
Other eternal residents include some fourteen miners who fell victim to the Tonopah-Belmont Mine fire of February 23, 1911, among them Big Bill Murphy who died saving miners at age 28.