This Is What Happens When A Horror Fan Travels - My Trip To The Clown Motel
"OMG THERE'S A CLOWN MOTEL!!! AND IT'S ONLY 4 HOURS AWAY!!!!"
This was my exact reaction the morning I discovered the horrorous joy of living in a state known for nuclear testing and having more ghost towns than living towns. We also have amazingly creepy places like The Clown Motel.
When I'm bored I often plan dream trips to places. But I found myself with a few days off, a new car that can actually leave the Vegas city limits, and a couple hundred extra dollars to use for something fun. I couldn't afford to jump the country or even state, but I needed to go somewhere - so I did what I always do when researching things to do - I jumped on Atlas Obscura and started looking around my area.
That's how I discovered the Clown Motel in Tonopah, Nevada - 4 hours north of Vegas up 95.
This is how my conversations went about my road trip to the Clown Motel:
Me: I'M GOING TO THE CLOWN MOTEL IN TONOPAH!
People: Ok. But what are you doing in Tonopah?
Me: Staying at the Clown Motel.
People: Yes, we get that. But why are you GOING there?
Me: I'M GOING SO I CAN STAY AT THE CLOWN MOTEL!
(at this point I get confused, odd, or scared looks. Or the person I'm talking to just shakes their head and walks away.)
Not everyone gets my joy of strange, kitschy, unusual places, especially ones that look straight out of nightmares and are located in the middle of Bat Country. Places where city-folk like me aren't exactly looked at fondly. Most people fly through Tonopah on their way somewhere else. Nope, I go head-first, deep into the heart of many peoples' phobia-induced heart attack voluntarily...and because why the hell wouldn't you want to stay in a motel filled with clowns?
It's actually a really cool place. The motel is historic (and about a week ago it came out that the current owners want to retire and sell it for a cool $900,000. Catch - it has to stay a clown themed motel). The rooms have clowns on the door and clown art on the walls. The lobby would make those who fear clown drop dead immediately - hundreds of clown dolls, pictures, and even a life-size psychotic-Ronald-McDonald-looking clown greet you when you walk in.
I personally squealed with joy. You may scream and need new pants. Everyone is different.
I highly recommend a trip to the Clown Motel but I'm kind of morbid/awesome like that. You can stop at the International Car Forest of the Last Church on the way up, and the next day head left down the highway toward California to go to the equally-awesome-yet-less-fear-I'm-gonna-die-in-my-sleep-inducing Mono Lakes (the tufas are like stepping into an alien landscape).
If you hate clown you probably already hate me, and I'm ok with that. If you like weird roadside attractions and creepy, less touristy places - you are welcome.
Go visit the Clown Motel.
I wrote about The Clown Motel a little more descriptively on my old blog Going Nomadic. You can read my original article at that link.
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