The topic of Papel Picado yesterday somehow led me down the dead rabbit hole. I found a Photostream on Flickr showcasing some beautiful Aztec dancers, Los Muertos skulls and clicking on, what appeared to be a color splash of old western Gold Town Ghost Town Boom.
According to several users on FLickr, Bodie is a photographers dream location. Structure decay and lighting. To paranormal researchers it offers not only a curse but ghost stories as well. Bodie is a ghost town in the Bodie Hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California, United States. 75 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe.
In 1859 William S. Bodey discovered gold during the big rush and miners began to flock. A mill was established in 1861 and by 1880 it was estimated 10,000 people lived in the town and surrounding area. Geological maps show little to no earthquake activity in this area historically, which made well for residents and miners.
The town like many Gold Towns has a rampart past of sin and deadly tales. For the adventurer today two things stick out. The Bodie Curse and The Ghost of Bodie.
There are still about 100 structures that remain from the lives of Bodie. Of those most have contents left by their former owners. Kitchens with dishes and tablecloths still on the table, food staples still on the shelves. Bedrooms with beds linens and even toiletries still intact.
Vandals over the years have not been kind to Bodie, and the structures have not been restored. They are considered in a state of arrested decay. The elements still affect them and they are as they were when the last town members left.
“The Cain family, who owned much of the land the town is situated upon, hired caretakers to protect and to maintain the town’s structures. Martin Gianettoni, one of the last three people in Bodie in 1943, was also a caretaker.“
In 1962 Bodie became a historic park with designation under the protection act for Rangers to be placed on site full-time. The Park Service has items mailed back every year they put on display then try to, based on the letter, return to the exact spot where it was taken. The curse goes: Any item removed from Bodie will give its owner nothing but misfortune and ruin until returned. The speculation of the origins are unknown but letter after letter still arrives returning Bodie property.
The Cain House and Family – who ended up owning most of Bodie also host one of the most infamous ghost stories. Mr Cain had apparently had a torrid affair with a maid. On finding out, she was fired by Mrs Cain. Unable to find work now disgraced in the town she committed suicide. Park rangers who use the house, and others have reported all sorts of activity.
This is getting added to my must see places. Some other resources if you are interested in playing in the odd past.
Full Map of Bodie and structures
Yelp tips planning and how to’s