Hwy 395, Bridgepor Calif.
Bodie State Historic Park, California - A deserted Gold Town
While the park is open all year, this area has been known to get 12 feet of snow, and is accessible only by snow mobile or skis. The park is staffed by park rangers and volunteers, some of whom live in the houses in Bodie.
California State Parks - Bodie State Historic Park
Bodie is part of Bodie State Historic Park, consisting of 500 acres on a spur range of the Sierra Nevada, at about 8000 feet above sea level. The land that the community was built on is high, dry, sandy ground that supports sage brush and antelope brush, but no trees. It is truly in the middle of nowhere, about 26 miles from Bridgeport, 15 miles off road from highway 270.
Near the Nevada - California border, Bodie was home to 10,000 people in its heyday, in the late 1870s. In 1849, a W.S. Bodie, and his partner, Black Turner discovered large gold deposits in the hills near where Bodie was destined to be built. In 1870, investment money from New York, funneled through contacts in San Francisco, was used to build shaft and tunnel mine systems, improving the mines' harvest of gold. The town of Bodie bloomed and grew tremendously. Being a mining town, it had its share of violence, pain, greed and immorality, though it also had its civilized side as well. Its nick name was "Big Bad Bodie." The booming economy revolved around these 30 gold mines in the hills above the town, which supported 70 saloons, 3 breweries, 3 newspapers, several whorehouses, churches, pine slat homes, banks and one school. As is the case in other mine towns, the population became less and less numerous as the mines petered out. What helped to quicken the demise of the town was a devastating fire in 1932 that destroyed 95 percent of the buildings, caused by a child playing with matches. However, people still lived there until after World War 2, when the last producing mine, Lucky Boy was shut down. Only 6 people were left in town. 5 of the six died untimely, strange deaths, relating to one of the men shooting his wife. When his wife died, three of the other men killed the man who shot his wife. They in turn died of strange diseases after the ghost of the man they killed appeared to them and shook his fist at them. Today, 168 of the town's buildings and homes are still standing, and in good shape. Some date back all the way to 1849. The houses have the original owners' private possessions, and give the visitor a good idea about what it was like to live here. There is a museum of artifacts from the town's history, located in the Miner's Union Hall building. The main streets are intact, with a saloon, a bank, a livery stable, various buildings, an inn, a school and a church. The graveyard is also still in good shape. The mines are also still there, though collapsed. One can see them by tour only.
Around 12 ghosts, plus an apparition of white mule in the mines, still call Bodie their home. Some individual homes, and the areas around them are haunted for a variety of reasons.
The John S. Cain House
John S. Cain was a prominent businessman who was the steam behind the business development in Bodie. The story goes that the Cain family had employed a pretty, but heavyset Chinese woman to be their maid. Mrs. Cain fired her. Some speculate that Mrs. Cain was jealous for some reason. Perhaps Mrs. Cain accused this maid of flirting with her husband. Anyway, it seems that the maid felt disgraced to a level where she thought that she was ruined, so she killed herself.
While she likes children, she likes to annoy teenagers and has a grudge against adults who spend the night or live in the Cain House.
1. This maid likes to smile at children, appearing to them in the bedroom upstairs.
2. Sounds of a music box can be heard coming from the upstairs bedroom.
3. Park rangers, who have lived in the house have physically experienced her in an alarming way.
• One ranger, while lying in bed in the first floor bedroom. He saw the bedroom door open by itself, felt a cold presence enter the room, and then felt a heavy pressure on top of him, and felt a feeling of suffocation.
• In this same bedroom, a ranger and his wife were in bed. The wife felt a heavy pressure on top of her, and couldn't move. She fought hard against it, and wound up on the ground.
4. A ranger's 15 year old daughter went to bed in the upstairs bedroom. As soon as she got into bed, the lights went on by themselves. She got out of bed, and turned them off again. The lights went on again. After 5 or 6 times, the girl yelled at the unseen prankster, and ran downstairs.
They mingle amiably with visitors and the rangers and aids who work in Bodie, with the exception of the Chinese maid who has a bad attitude toward adults living in the Cain House.