Drive some 211 miles north from Las Vegas on Interstate 95 and you’ll come to Tonopah, a small desert community of 2,627 souls. It’s an unremarkable destination but for one thing: the Clown Motel. And while some folks find clowns sinister enough by themselves, even the bravest may feel their neck hairs bristle as they realize that right next to the motel is an eerie cemetery that was abandoned over a century ago.
Tonopah itself, meanwhile, owes its existence as a thriving community to the discovery of rich seams of silver there in 1900. The story goes that one Jim Butler was hunting for a runaway mule during May of that year when he stumbled across rocks abundant in the precious metal.