Bodie, California, following the discovery of gold in 1859, became a bustling, Wild West, gold mining boom-town. Bodie had all the amenities of some of the larger towns. At the town’s peak of prosperity around 1876, sixty-five saloons lined the mile long Main Street. Businesses included; four volunteer fire companies, a Wells Fargo Bank, various merchant stores, a brass band, a railroad, unions for the miners and mechanics, several daily Bodie newspapers and a busy jail. Shootouts, murders, saloon brawls, and stagecoach holdups were often regular occurrences.
Today Bodie is nothing more than a deserted, ghost town. Left with only memories of its wild days past, only a small part of the town survived the years which includes one gold mill out of the many that once existed there. There are about 110 structures still standing in weathered decay, but the interiors of some structures are still stocked with goods and relics of the past.
Visitors walk the deserted streets of a town that once was a bustling area of Wild West activity and peer in windows soaking up the nostalgia of it all and maybe listening for and reminiscing of Bodies somewhat active past.
Peering through a window, a visitor might see much more than old relics and briefly catch a glimpse of one of Bodies 10,000 residents from the past. That is because; the old mining town has been reported to be one of the most haunted, historic towns in America. Legend has it that at least a dozen ghosts may still roam the streets and buildings and on occasion, appear to some ghost town visitors. With a history so rich with violence and murder, there has to be some residue left behind from that sometimes unruly past.
Several ghosts are reputed to haunt the ghost town which includes such specters as;
A ghostly man who gazes out a second floor window at visitors below.
A young girl who was accidentally killed by a miner, that eerily walks through the old cemetery.
An elderly woman who sits in a rocking chair and rocks away.
A mule roams the grounds of Bodie apparently a victim of an accident in a mine shaft that had collapsed. Some claim they have heard clattering from the mule trotting along and smell the strong aroma of mule droppings.
Then there is the scary specter of the revengeful, dangerous specter named Ed. He supposedly shot his wife in a drunken rage and killed her. Three men came and beat Ed viciously to death because he murdered his own wife. His angered spirit came back seeking revenge and according to folklore, all three men were mysteriously killed as retribution.
If you love visiting old ghost towns, then this one you may not want to miss.
By Billie Peel
Billie is an expert analyst of captured paranormal audio recordings offering her services to several paranormal investigating teams and guests on T.V. for the R.I.P Files. She has authored several books and has put out a CD with a collection of spirit voices. You can find out more about Billie at Spookmanor.com.