If there is one country that is full of many ghost towns, it is the United States. Yet one of them clearly stands out because it has the reputation of being haunted and at the same time cursed: it is the city of Bodie.
The history of the city of Bodie
Located in the State of California and not far from the Sierra Nevada slope, Bodie was founded in 1859 by prospector William Body. The city was renowned for its large quantities of gold, which would explain why William Body wanted to build what was originally a camp around the deposit. In 1874, the Bodie mine reached its peak.
Then in 1880 the city developed more and more. Indeed, more than thirty gold mining mines were created, saloons, shops, opium dens, breweries, gambling rooms and a prison were built, among others. At that time, Bodie had more than 10,000 inhabitants during the gold rush.
Nevertheless, like any American city of that time, delinquency was also very present. Armed robberies, fights and murders were common in this Californian city.
From 1882 onwards, the gold deposits began to run out and Bodie experienced two major fires:
The first one took place in 1882 and destroyed the entire commercial district. The second one took place 50 years later and ravaged a large part of the buildings that had survived the first fire.
However, gold mines were active until the Second World War, when they were initially to be closed temporarily. Then in 1940, the few buildings that were still in operation were definitively closed, quickly leaving the city of Bodie abandoned. Today, it has become a tourist attraction and has been classified as a historic site.
Bodie, the haunted and cursed city
Before we look at the paranormal phenomena found in Bodie and the reasons that could explain why it is cursed, it is important to know that during mining activities many miners have died. Some could not withstand the heavy winter frosts and others were killed in fights. In addition, it is located on a plateau surrounded by mountains. In addition, the nearest town is located about 170 km away, so it was common for lack of supplies during the harsh winters to cause many casualties.
This being said, here are some examples of paranormal demonstrations observed by visitors;
- The first place to be the site of strange phenomena would be the home of Jim Cain, an extremely wealthy and renowned businessman from the time of the gold rush in Bodie. It is said that a young woman’s mind would appear regularly. Sounds of music would be heard as the house is abandoned, doors and windows would slam by themselves, unusual noises would also occur. We also noticed the appearance of a face on a second floor window, a ghost or a simple paréidolia? In any case, several people think that the entity haunting the place would be a young Chinese servant who killed herself after being dishonoured and fired.
- The second place where paranormal events would take place is still a house that would have belonged to an Italian family named Mendocini. We noticed children’s laughter and a very present smell of Italian cuisine.
- The third place is the Dechambeau house where a female figure has been noticed many times in a window on the first floor.
- The fourth place that would be full of strange manifestations would be the cemetery of the city. The spirit of a 3-year-old child would haunt him not far from a statue that overlooks the deceased’s grave and that has been nicknamed “The Angel”. The child was reportedly accidentally killed when he was hit in the head by one of his classmates. During visits with tourists, one of them revealed that he caught his daughter playing and laughing with what appeared to be another invisible child. He was initially thinking of an imaginary friend, but after learning of the tragic story of the grave they visited, the parent remained convinced that his daughter had had contact with an entity.
But the most disturbing facts that have been identified in Bodie are his mysterious movements of objects throughout the city and to places that one would not even suspect.
As for the so-called Bodie curse, it seems that it was the tourists who suggested it. Indeed, several of them reported that after picking up objects they found in the city (e.g. coins), they were victims of a curse in the sense that family members were killed in car accidents or other accidents. Following this they would have sent the items in question by mail to the rangers supervising and preserving the Bodie site and apologizing for “stealing” his past items.
Image credit on the front page: through the Maison Monde website.