Remember the film It?
I think Stephen King’s horror single-handedly changed our perception of clowns from kid-friendly entertainers to the dark overlords of terror we think of today.
No one ever looked at Ronald Mcdonald in the same way again. That terrifying painted face smiling as you enter the golden arches. Someone in marketing needs to have him removed.
However, a new level of evil lurks in the Nevada Desert – the Clown Motel. Enter at your peril.
This may sound like the beginning of It 2, but it really exists.
Catering mainly to truckers and the odd brave tourist, the first thing that greets you as you drive down Highway 95 from Las Vegas is the large neon sign featuring a juggling clown sign beckoning you in.
Inside it doesn’t get any better. The lobby of the motel is piled from floor to ceiling with hundreds of clown dolls. They don’t even try to hide the clown’s dark side – one deranged doll complete with dark jagged teeth hangs from a cage.
The rooms are more simple. Although solitary portraits of clowns gazing down on you as you sleep don’t make them any less sinister. Reportedly some guests ask them to be taken down, or at least covered.
I think maybe I have a touch of coulrophobia, the irrational fear of clowns. Thanks King.
But that’s not all.
Right next door to the motel is the old Tonopah cemetery. Once a thriving mining town, the graveyard quickly became full during the early 20th century. There are around 300 people buried there including a group of miners that died in a fire in 1911. You can even book a room with a view.