STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Let's take another journey now to the Middle East. Our guide is David Plotz. He runs the website Atlas Obscura. And as we finish this summer visiting unlikely places, David takes us to two locations, starting with the Herodium in Israel's West Bank.
DAVID PLOTZ: You're driving through the desert and all of a sudden, this cone juts up from it. And as you get closer, you realize they've taken this mountain and built a huge structure on top of it. The they in this case was Herod, the king of Judea. You emerge in this open space at the top of the mountain. You can then look out and have this incredible expansive view of the whole desert around you. So it has a human story and then this strange, artificial wonder about its appearance that are magical for me.
If you want the chance to live a horror movie, you can do it at the Clown Motel. Is there anything creepier than a motel located next to an abandoned cemetery and has in its office thousands of clown decorations? Now, you would think that with a place like the Clown Motel, there would be all sorts of horror stories. But, you know, it seems to just be a regular place. One explanation is it's just a regular place. The other is that no one has made it out alive.
INSKEEP: David Plotz of Atlas Obscura. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.