Listen to this story
In the desert of central Nevada, somewhere between a shuttered brothel and a nuclear test site, lies the tiny town of Tonopah. The settlement’s main strip is a mix of dusty casinos, mining museums and old-timey shops. Faded missing-persons posters peer from store windows. A sign warns against entering the abandoned mineshafts. A smattering of tourists stroll the otherwise barren streets.
Many of the visitors who do venture here stay at one of the few lodgings in town: the World Famous Clown Motel. It’s hard to miss. A pair of 20-foot-tall wooden clowns surveil the parking lot. A pink and powder-blue post topped with a brightly lit juggling clown beckons motorists in (or warns them off). Known as “the scariest motel in America,” it’s said to be haunted. It may well be.