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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

"The clown is the laughing character. It makes you laugh," says owner of nightmare Clown Motel

Illustration for article titled The clown is the laughing character. It makes you laugh, says owner of nightmare Clown Motel
Screenshot: The Duo Finds

Tonopah, Nevada’s Clown Motel is a remarkably horrible place. Situated right next to an old graveyard, it’s filled with an unconscionable number of definitely-haunted clown dolls just waiting to twist their plastic heads around in circles and giggle circus music melodies as weary travelers try to sleep nearby. It also changed ownership in 2017, somehow managing to find a buyer willing to agree to previous owner Bob Perchetti’s insistence that the sale include not just the property, but the preservation of his nightmare clown collection, too.


Unsurprisingly, the guy who agreed to this has a fascinating outlook on his business venture and his role as steward for so many damned, doll-contained spirits.

Hame Anand, who prefers the title of “CEO of the Clown Motel” rather than “owner,” discusses his business in an interview with Thrillist. Anand recalls going to the circus as a teenager in India and being deeply frightened of the wild animals and dangerous stunts until he saw a clown, which made him feel happy and led to him starting a collection of clown figurines. He also explains that his family owns two motels in Vegas that he helped run. Obviously, the Clown Motel was perfect for Anand’s needs as both an entrepreneur and die-hard clown appreciator.


Despite being a real clown for clowns, Anand says he was initially frightened of hanging out at the motel—especially when he heard “footsteps, knocking, [and] voices” coming “from unoccupied rooms.” He got over this, though, deciding that “some divine power” had brought him to the business “so probably, [the ghosts] are not going to mess with me.”

Since buying the place, Anand’s added to the sinister power of the motel by contributing new clowns to the collection. He “estimates the lobby now houses 2,000 of them.” Anand seems perfectly happy with these ominous guests, explaining that he just loves him some clowns.


“My grandmother used to say, ‘whenever you’re down, look at the clown,’” Anand says. “I grew up with this line. That’s how I felt collecting the clowns. The clown is the laughing character. It makes you laugh.”

Read more about Anand and the Clown Motel over here.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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