There are quite a few ‘ghost towns’ around the United States, that is once thriving places now pretty much deserted. However many people feel that one of the most atmospheric places is Bodie – a ghost town with it’s own curse. The curse is actually quite a recent occurrence and was actually invented by a Park ranger in order to stop people stealing artifacts from the town. It basically says you’ll get back luck, health or misfortune if you take as much as a stone from the ghost town.
If you want to investigate this place then a little local knowledge goes a long way especially as the town is rather isolated. There are no tarmac roads directly to the town and you should fill up with fuel before you got there. It’s not hard to find though and there are loads of resources about the town on the internet. If you research before online then you can find out all about the place. For example I did some research using a proxy server to access US resources before travelling. The advantage was that I could use the UK version to stream the BBC when I got over there, not that Bodie has any wireless connectivity though!
Text Transcript below:
Good morning everybody today we’re going to be out in Bodie There it is the Ghost Town of Bodie. It’s supposed to be one of the best preserved ghost towns in the area. I think they said there’s about 200 buildings left here. At its height there was over 10,000 people that lived there. Bodie not only attracted miners, Bodie also attracted everyone from gamblers to gun fighters and staged robbers. They say it was better known for its lawlessness than for its riches. and people often refer to it as the bad man from Bodie. So this is the bank here? I think so. And maybe one of these is a jail or something? Yeah.
So somewhere down here Even though the sun’s out it’s still pretty cool out here today. I think it’s because the elevation is around 8,000 feet. Go over here to the stamp mill. In 1875 a mine cave-in revealed a rich strike and then in 1878 there was another rich strike discovered up there. And in just six weeks they shipped out over a million dollars of gold bullion. Here we are at the crossing of the Bodie and Benton Railroad line.
Where it’s crossing Hwy 167. From Mono Mills all the way up the hills to Bodie. I don’t think we’re gonna be able follow it into Bodie like I wanted to. A steady decline of mining and then the abandoned Bodie railway in 1917. A devastating fire in 1932 destroyed a lot of the town. Even with the new strikes in the 1950s Bodie had become a ghost town. An interesting thing about Bodie is it seems frozen in time. The people seem to have left just as suddenly as they arrived. They left even the canned goods on the shelves inside their homes. This is a great place to visit. I think I’d like to come back here again someday.