America's 7 Creepiest Motels

From desolate to positively haunted, these motels have hosted the worst of humanity.

Motels have a strange mythology to them. Anonymous, liminal, desolate, and home to millions of wayward men and their prostitutes in Hollywood movies, in some ways they're quintessential embodiments of postmodern American freedom. You can do anything you want in a motel room, as the unspoken saying goes.

Inevitably, some people have taken this nihilistic freedom too far. There are millions of spooky, derelict motels across this nation and in the movies, but even the Bates Motel has nothing on these real-life houses of horror.

1. The Tonopah Clown Motel

This is far-and-away the creepiest motel in America. Located on the edge of Nevada's Mojave Desert, the Tonopah Clown Motel is filled to the brim with terrifying circus clown statues.

Though the land around it is mostly empty, the closest attraction would be the Tonopah Cemetery, an attraction that's eerie in its own right. Combine the cemetery's proximity with the hundreds of clown statues that line the halls and fill the rooms of this bizarre motel, and you get the stuff of nightmares.

America's 7 Creepiest Motels Image via The Kernel

America's 7 Creepiest Motels Image via fineartamerica.com


2. The Joshua Tree Inn

It's a known fact that people often die in motels. But just like the living don't often remain in motels, typically, ghosts don't tend to linger in the rooms where they died. Apparently, this establishment differs from most in that it has a permanent ghost: the spirit of folk singer Graham Parsons, who allegedly haunts Room #8 of the Joshua Tree Inn.

If you visit, you can even stay in the room where Parsons died—or add to the small memorial outside, which is made up of animal skulls, stone angels, cigarette butts, and clumps of sage, according to one visitor. People frequently make pilgrimages there to commune with their favorite country-western spirit.

America's 7 Creepiest Motels Image via joshuatreeinn.com

3. The Deerfield Inn

This Massachusetts lodging is the subject of dozens of ghost stories, and its owners lead ghost tours throughout the year. One of the stories alleges that its former owner held seances in her room to summon her dead husband. Another involves a ghost named Herschel, who sometimes shows up to throw books and spook guests.

America's 7 Creepiest Motels Image via Contented Traveler

4. The Manor House Motel

The owner of this now-defunct motel is the subject of the recent Netflix documentary, Voyeur, because of the fact that he used to spy on all of his guests through little holes that he carved in the walls.

You read that right: Gerald Foos purchased the Manor House Motel in Aurora, Colorado and proceeded to install grilles in the ceilings of each room without guests' knowledge. He later claimed that he was conducting research about sexual behaviors.

America's 7 Creepiest Motels Image via WBUR

5. The Amboy Ghost Town Motel

This motel was always creepy because of the fact that it's located in the California ghost town of Amboy. Originally established as a railroad station, this town was bustling until the construction of the I-40 in 1973, effectively directing most traffic and capital away and leading to the town's abandonment.

In 2016, several travelers explored the ghost town, snapping photos of the creative art installations that filled some of its decaying little houses. Only after they left did they notice something bone-chilling: There seemed to be a bloodstain in one of the rooms of the abandoned Amboy Motel. If you look closely you can see it, gory and unmissable, a sure sign of carnage (or, more likely, of a wayward filmmaker's presence).

America's 7 Creepiest Motels Image via Reddit

America's 7 Creepiest Motels Image via boldtourist.com

6. Igloo City

What may have begun as a fun themed destination for tourists visiting Alaska has now become a grim, abandoned hull of what it once was. Igloo City is a destitute inn in Anchorage, made more ominous by a backdrop of dark trees and looming snow-covered mountains. And guess what: It's for sale, so if you're looking for a real fixer-upper that may or may not involve fighting ice demons, then this is your chance.

America's 7 Creepiest Motels Image via Kuriositas

7. The New Sea Breeze Motel

This New Jersey motel may not have clowns or a resident ghost, but it's certainly seen its fair share of murder. Rumor has it that several prostitutes were killed inside its rooms, and the killer was never caught. The motel, which offers a cheap alternative to expensive seaside resorts near Atlantic City, has even been nicknamed "Hooker Killer Motel" by some reviewers, who also complained of disgusting internal conditions.

America's 7 Creepiest Motels Image via Hotel Planner

The truth is that motels have long been safe houses for people in danger, places that allow people to disappear for a little while for all sorts of reasons. You'll find thousands of decaying, dirty motels across the nation—testaments to ruin, poverty, and transience, to secret lives and vagrancy, to road trips and runaways. If you wind up staying in one of them, you might just encounter some ghosts of your own; though it's more likely that you'll find a few roaches, an eerie silence, and the hum of your own thoughts to be the spookiest companions of all.

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It's no secret that a penchant for wine can become an expensive hobby. If you're just getting into the idea, don't waste your time or money with the extremely pricey bottles. A good place to start looking for decent bottles of wine is somewhere between the $10 and $30 price range. This will keep you from buying something too low quality without breaking your bank in the process.

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A good bottle of wine will often give tasting notes right on the bottle. Because everyone's palette is different, you may not get the same notes when you try the wine, but it's a good place to start. Choose something with tasting notes that you already enjoy like berries or cocoa and try to see if you get any hints of that as you drink. The labels may also tell you about the wine's acidity, or how tart it is, and the wine's body, or the way it feels in your mouth.

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Tequila Herradura

Ride in style on the Herradura Express, a distillery sponsored train ride that runs from Guadalajara to the town of Amatitán for a distillery tour and tastings, followed by lunch featuring live entertainment. The train then takes visitors back to Guadalajara by evening. Herradura is housed in the last tequila-producing Hacienda in the world, Hacienda San Jose del Refugio. Casa Herradura will be closed for visits and tours until Mexican health officials declare the coronavirus emergency over.

La Rojeña

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Casa Sauza

Founded in 1873, Casa Sauza offers four levels of tours including a visit to the La Perseverancia distillery, a visit to the Quinta Sauza estate, and for those willing to spend more, barrel tastings and a barbeque or a three-course meal. Casa Sauza is on hiatus until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, but should go on the distillery tour bucket list.

La Cofradia

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Veggie Loaded Kale & Risoni Soup

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Cheesy Red Pesto Chicken Melts

Everyone is familiar with classic green pesto, but have you ever tried red pesto? Red pesto offers way more complexity and oomph than its green counterpart. It is incredibly bright with rich notes of umami, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil and garlic. This rendition also features hits of chargrilled capsicum for a little extra zest. You get the exact amount of each ingredient and seasoning, as well as super detailed recipe cards, that make meal prep a breeze. Spread it over a glistening chicken bread and sprinkle with cheese for delectable chicken melts.

Winter Risotto

Risotto is a great winter warmer. It's packed full of veggies so your body will light up like fire, but it's also silky, sumptuous and a real crowd pleaser. HelloFresh's Winter Risotto features a heart helping of kale that pairs perfectly with nutty Parmesan and crunchy walnuts for a robust taste. Did we mention that it also comes with fennel seeds sprinkled throughout? This unique seasoning adds a distinctive, yet delicious flavor to this classic winter staple. We know these meals are pretty hardy, which is why we love having the option to pause our subscription or cancel a week when need be.

Cheat's Italian Pork & Veggie Bolognese

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Gone are the days of trekking through the frigid cold just for a few groceries. Sign-up for HelloFresh today and get your ingredients delivered right to your doorstep. Time to start cozying up the right way, with a delicious meal and a nice cup of hot cocoa.

Update: Our friends at HelloFresh are extending a special Black Friday offer to our readers. Follow this link to get $90 off across 4 boxes including free shipping!