Friday, October 28, 2016

The Old Washoe Club

  We're returning to Virginia City, Nevada one more time to finish out the month of October with one more haunted location and it's a fun one, to us at least. The Old Washoe Club's history is rich, literally and figuratively. During the peak of mining in Virginia City this is the place you found the highest of the high rollers. Here you can see where Mark Twain, Ulysses S Grant, General Robert Sherman, Artemus Ward, and Darius Ogden Mills would play poker in a back room. You will also see the actual table they sat at (according to the Washoe anyway.)
  This building is the site of more than one murder and as is the case in many haunted locations, a suicide took place here. These incidents have led to what the owners claim to be an extremely active paranormal hot spot. The interesting thing about the Washoe is that they have embraced the checkered past and the activity and turned it into a profit. The Old Washoe Club has become a household name after being featured on Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures" and Syfy's "Ghost Hunters." Today you too can be like the guys on these television shows and you can investigate the building for yourself, for a fee of course. If a full blown investigation isn't for you then you can opt for a guided tour of the building where you'll learn of the building's history of powerful men and it's violent past. We chose to take the tour during our visit in August and we weren't disappointed.
 Fee paid and an EMF (electromagnetic field) detector in my son's hands we set off on our 45 minute tour of the Washoe. As we were entering the first room on the tour (pictured) our guide was waiting for everyone in the room to gather and while we were waiting he and I both heard footsteps walking above us. He turned and asked, "Did you just hear that?" in which I smiled and told him that I did. He mentioned that we were the only people that were in the building and I admit that there is only one way out in the current set up of the building and we never ran into anyone else so I believed him.
 I enjoyed the tour because you were being given a history lesson about the building and the town while at the same time listening to the creepy and disturbing stories of the past. The guide also had a really good EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) recording that he played for us which to hear one first hand that wasn't actually on the television is extra creepy. The EMF meter that Jeremy carried did go off quite a few times during our tour that kept things interesting, however, with everyone with a camera or a phone in their hand seemed to cause it some issues so in my opinion it was more fun for the kid's to play with as opposed to being accurate.
  The tour ends when they take you down inside what they called the "body chute." This small, cool, and musty room was used during the winter to hold corpses of locals that were unfortunate enough to pass away when the ground was frozen solid. The bodies would pile up in the room until the spring thaw when they could be laid to rest properly. I'm not sure but I suppose a few people might find that to be a good enough excuse to hang around and rattle some chains late at night. Overall I found this to be the highlight to our Virginia City visit and to be honest it wouldn't be hard to convince me to do it again. Just hearing a few footsteps cross the wooden floorboards above was enough to wet my appetite for more ghostly investigations. If your even remotely interested in history or the paranormal then make sure you take the time to visit the Old Washoe Club if you find yourself in Virginia City. Also for your information, the Washoe isn't the only haunted building that you can tour in town. We also toured the Mackay Mansion that also boasts paranormal activity but that's another story.

Brandan


  Also it wouldn't be right of me not to mention that we have had to say goodbye to our beloved pal Jeep, also referred to on this blog as Jeep the Adventure Dog. He had been suffering from degenerative disc disease which is common in Dachshunds. He had been in pain on and off for the last eight months and we did all that we could to keep him happy and healthy until yesterday when his body just couldn't keep up with his free spirit. We "accidentally" picked him up at a pet store while we were trying to replace a dead crab. They didn't have a crab so we ended up with a dog. I'm not going to get into that though. He was a good friend to us all but especially our son Jeremy. He will be missed dearly but we are comforted knowing that he can run and play again free of pain.

Jeep Rowley
2012-2016



 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Griffith Park, California

  If there is one thing I've learned about California it's that they like to do things big. The state itself is big, it's cities are big and their parks are big. Over the weekend we decided to sneak out of the house to take a quick trip to one of these parks to see what it had to offer. We ended up taking a drive through Griffith Park in Los Angeles and were taken aback by all it had to offer.
  Griffith Park takes up 4,310 acres of prime SoCal real estate, is host to two golf courses, the L.A. Zoo, the Griffith Observatory, a merry go round, railroad museums, a theater and plenty of places to have a picnic. None of this did we get the chance to explore but only because we were taking more of an exploratory drive rather than looking for a picnic. We did learn one valuable lesson for when we do decide to stop in and hang out that I'll pass on to those of you that may want to visit sometime. Go early in the morning. If you wait too long then you can plan on fighting for parking and picnic tables. Of course if you do happen to find a place to park there is plenty of space to spread out and still have a good time. So why am I bringing up Griffith Park if we didn't get to explore it? Because it's still October and rumor has it that the park is haunted. You wouldn't expect me to skip out on another ghost story would you? I didn't think so. Let's get to it.
  The property has been shrouded by rumors of a curse for around 150 years stemming from stories that a politician swindeled the property from the family of the original property owner Don Antonio Feliz while he lay on his death bed. Because of the so called curse the property and it's ever changing owners experienced things that would make even the most staunch skeptic question the truth. Murder, dead cattle and lost crops have ruined property owners over the years and all of them lead to the parks namesake Griffith J Griffith.
  While Griffith owned the property a lightning storm knocked down tress and created a flash flood that wound it's way down the canyons destroying most of Griffith's ranch. Some ranch hands even claim they saw Don Antonio Feliz's ghost riding the waves down the canyon. Now that's a guy that can hold a grudge. After this, Griffith decided that it would be best to rid himself of the property so in 1896 he donated it to Los Angeles as a Christmas present. But if you think Griffith escaped the curse you'd be wrong. He believed that his wife was trying to poison him to take his fortune so he did what any sensible rich guy would do. He shot her. She survived and Griffith went to San Quentin prison for two years. When he got out no one would do business with him anymore and he was ruined. Before he died he did managed to ensure the construction of the observatory and an amphitheater.
  So that's the end of the curse right? Eh, not so fast. One famous tragedy has occurred since the city took ownership. L.A.'s worst fire in history took place in Griffith Park. Twenty nine Civilian Conservation Corp employees were killed fighting a wildfire in 1933. This is the worst fire related incident in Los Angeles history.
  Don Feliz has been seen in multiple places throughout the park even taking the time to crash a little party and to chase attendees back to their horses and off of his property. His niece, Dona Petranilla, the woman who created the curse after the property was commandeered, has been seen wandering the park in white and even occasionally riding a horse. Do you know who else likes to ride a horse around the property? Good old Griffith J. Griffith has been spotted doing just that. I guess he's still checking in on the place as well.
  Unfortunately there are others that seem to haunt the grounds that don't exactly relate to the so called curse. A young girl seems to be searching for something. Most stories point to her being abandoned by her parents in the park resulting in her succumbing to the elements. Now, confused and scared, she continues to look for the loved ones that left her behind.
 No Griffith Park story on ghosts would be complete if it didn't talk about L.A.'s most famous ghost. Her name is Peg Entwistle and her story starts out like so many young, ambitious people that flock to Los Angeles. She was an up and comer on Broadway and decided to head west to make it big in Hollywoodland. But fate is cruel and she found that she wasn't the only young, blonde, bombshell in town and she struggled to find work. When she finally did get a break her part wound up on the cutting room floor which sealed the deal for Peg. She drunkenly hiked her way up to the Hollywoodland sign and made the terrifying climb up the rickety service ladder on the back side of the "H" where she jumped. Her body was found the next day by a hiker. Today hikers and rangers alike have seen her white figure floating around the area accompanied by the smell of gardenias which some claim was her favorite perfume. It's a tragic story that for her it seems may never end.  From the Griffith Park Observatory you can get a great view of that famous sign.
  This weekend is the last for October which brings us to the end of our ghostly tales for this year. We'll finish strong by telling you about our tour through the haunted Washoe Club in Virginia City, Nevada. This building has been featured on "Ghost Hunters" and "Ghost Adventures" and was the highlight of our visit. Come on back on Friday to get the story. I look forward to seeing you.

Brandan    

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Suicide Table

  It's not uncommon to come across places or items that have strange stories attached to them. Some stories are of course a little far fetched while others have histories too strange to forget such as the case with the "Suicide Table" in Virginia City, Nevada.
  Located in a lonely corner of the Delta Saloon sits an old Faro table. Glass covers what's left of the faded and torn felt and velvet ropes keep a safe perimeter from what some people believe to be a cursed relic from the 1860's. Had only one person committed suicide at this table it probably wouldn't be famous but that isn't the case. No, three of the tables owners have ended it all which makes us wonder what it is about the table that causes such extreme action.
  The first owner, "Blake Jake" had been having a run of terrible luck and ended up being $70,000 in the hole. Desperate for a solution he decided that it would be best to just shoot himself in the head.
 The next owner would be lost to history not only by death but by name. No one recalls the name of this man but his story, like the man before him, had a very bad night and was "unable to payoff his losses." This story is a little more mysterious because there is no official record that clears up whether he actually committed suicide or if he was, er, assisted, if you know what I mean.
  After the second death attributed to the table occurred the table was placed in storage because no one would deal on it. Of course as any good cursed object goes, it would come back into Virginia City history only this time disguised as a "21" table. The shiny new look helped people forget it's dark history and play resumed. It was only a matter of time, however, that the table would take another life. One very drunk and very lucky miner sat at the table and could do no wrong. He played all night and in the end won $86,000, horses, and an interest in a gold mine. Not a bad haul. All of these items were the possessions of the table owner who by the end of the night was left with nothing and once more a man found himself staring at fate through the barrel of a revolver.
  The Suicide Table's dark history is a window into the past of Virginia City. A time where times were tough and people were tougher. A time when money, booze and women ruled the community. As we know now this combination rarely makes people rich or happy and eventually all three dried up until all that's was left is a tiny tourist trap where people flock every year to peer through that window and wonder what it would have been like "back in the day." Lucky for us, we can roll into town with little worry about our fortunes while we spend time here, at least as long as you stay away from the Faro tables.

Brandan

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Happiest Haunted Place On Earth

  If you're from Utah and you have any children it wouldn't be a stretch to say that you've been to or are on your way to Disneyland right about now. Why, asks the rest of the readers? Because mid October is when Utah has it's annual Fall break. This gives folks a four day weekend to hang out with one another and for many Utahn's it's just enough time to make a quick trip to Disneyland. But while you are all out having fun with taking in the Halloween decorations, eating Mickey Mouse ice creams, and of course riding all the rides, it would only be fair for me to bring a fact that many folks at Disney won't talk about. Disneyland is haunted.
  While they won't mention it during your visit others have talked about it behind the scenes and of course stories worth telling will always get around so it wouldn't be fair of me to not pass them along for those that don't know about them. So let's get into it.
  The most famous haunting in the park of course is rumored to be that of Walt himself. He has been seen in multiple places throughout the park but it seems that his favorite place to reside may be in the Main Street Firehouse. Footsteps and knocking have been reported coming from his apartment on the second floor. A lamp burns day and night in the window of this apartment as a symbol of Walt's memory but some stories indicate that it's on because Walt won't let it be turned off. Fair enough, Walt. They'll leave the light on for you.
  It would be too easy for someone to claim that the Haunted Mansion is haunted. But some claim that it is. A common problem has sprung up over the years where has become popular for people to attempt to spread the ashes of deceased loved ones inside the mansion as well as Pirates of the Caribbean. For this reason, at least for some, has caused the attractions to hold more than just our favorite whimsical spooks and buccaneers. Some say that real spirits have taken up residence and like to shut the lights off while the night shift does their nightly maintenance. I think I would be a little spooked if animatronic pirates were moving around while the power was off too. If that's not enough how about the lone boy that likes to ride in empty boats on Pirates. He is often seen by security cameras having a good time but when the boat comes around to the platform he is never there to get off.
  Today when you visit Disneyland you can enjoy Star Wars and Marvel exhibits in a building that was once Innoventions and America Sings before that. I remember visiting this building when it was Innoventions and I was impressed with the lower level of the building as it revolved like a giant turntable. It didn't move very quick but on a day in 1974 an eighteen year old employee was unfortunately crushed to death between the moving wall. Since then people have heard a mysterious voice whispering "Be careful."
  There are other rides that are rumored to be haunted as well as some of the shops on Main Street. Some spirits, whether a former creator, employee, or enthusiast, just can't let go of Disneyland. It's a special place for millions of people around the world and while I'm not sure I would choose to spend my eternity there I can understand why others would. Whether these stories are true or not isn't my place to say but the stories exist and in my storyteller mindset I think they should be passed along. If only because it's fun to believe and isn't that what Disneyland is all about?
  One more story before I go. If you take the chance to ride Space mountain alone and a man with reddish hair and reddish face gets into the seat next to you, don't be surprised if he isn't there when the ride arrives back at the station. That's just ol' "Mr. One Way" and he has been known to hitch a ride with single riders since his death on the ride sometime in the 1970's. Just smile and know you got to ride with another Disneyland lover that has taken his love to the extreme. We'll see you on Friday. Have a good week, All!

Brandan

Friday, October 14, 2016

Boo at the Zoo. A Visit to Utah's Hogle Zoo.

Fall is changing leaves and pumpkin flavored everything.  Fall is trick or treats and autumn leaves coloring the skyline.  Fall is one of the most fun times of the year and the animals at Utah's Hogle Zoo can say the same thing.  Located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon, the zoo covers 42 acres.  They recently just finished a new addition called the African Savanna and it is incredible.  Through our travels we have realized what a gem this place really is.  Its right up there with the big well known zoos in our book.  Its so much more than just animals in cages.  The animals seem very happy here and the employees all seem to love their jobs.



The zoo takes a great effort to keep the animals entertained and stimulated.  You can often find toys, balls, tools, foods frozen in ice chunks or other seemingly random things the animals are exploring. They put things in their environment to keep them active and curious.   This is just one glimpse of fun times.  They put a box in with the Rhinos for them to mash up and demolish.  





While I've never been to Africa I have been here a few times and I think this must be close to what the lions are doing in their natural environment.  They can sprawl out over grassy hills or run and leap around their homes here.  In the African Savanna you can see zebras, giraffes, lions and ostriches.  You can also catch a ride on their train and get a tour around the park. 

Like most zoos they take in animals that can't be out in the wild to live the rest of their lives.  They feed this eagle lab test rats from a local college.  I thought that little tidbit of information was interesting.  Obviously they aren't lab tested with scary things and are still safe for consumption.  When we watched them at feeding time the zoo keeper would toss the rat into the grass and the eagle would go find it.  The rat is frozen and not about to scamper away but the eagle still gets to experience the food it would eat in the wild and on its terms.  It was fun and kinda gross to watch.  


My absolute favorite spot in the zoo is their Rocky Shores area.  Bears, sea lions, seals and otters live here and put on fun shows.  The polar bear loves to swim up to the glass and surprise the guests.  I wish I had some pictures to show you but all I got was video and I cant get the video to upload.  I borrowed this video from YouTube.  Not ours but a great video of a great place.  



 Through out the month of October Hogle Zoo gets in a festive mood and decorates the animal enclosures with spooky scenes. At night they have BooLights which is crazy cool.  They have awesome lights set up through out the park and even with in the animals areas.  I found a video on YouTube that gives you a quick tour.  This wasn't taken by us so we cant take any credit, but its the next best thing next to being there. 





Thank you for touring this place with us.  Its a great place to spend some time with the family.  Do you know of other zoos that should be on our must see list?  We would love to hear about it below in the comments.



XO Misty

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Dark Side Of Beautiful Places

Yellowstone National Park
  Millions of people enjoy national parks each year. These people are typically looking for an opportunity to trade the hustle and bustle of home for a more remote and quiet place to unwind away from computers and Facebook. It's easy to get lost in the breathtaking vistas, clean fresh air, and incredible wildlife. I imagine that this is why the parks have been around for so long. But have you ever wondered what happens when there aren't any noisy crowds and bumper to bumper traffic? Have you ever thought of what goes on inside the park when the lights go out and the stars come out? Have you ever thought that you heard something strange or maybe felt like you were being watched while visiting a park? If so there just might be some validity to what you've experienced. In our continuing saga of the strange and spooky for the month of October we're exploring some of the haunted locations that reside under the National Parks Service's umbrella. That's right, some national parks have claims of hauntings and we're going to tell you about some of them. So let's get to it.

Yellowstone National Park- The Old Faithful Inn will always come up when you mention ghost stories in Yellowstone. Some stories have explanations, some have claims of being made up, while others still can't be explained. Claims here range from floating apparitions, doors opening and closing by themselves, to rotating fire extinguishers which I would very much like to see for myself. Of course there are many more strange stories from Yellowstone that don't involve the Old Faithful Inn. Some of these stories speak of hitchhikers that vanish into thin air and even a ghost bear that guards his former stomping grounds. I guess you're never really alone when you visit Yellowstone. It's a beloved place for the living and the dead.

USS Arizona- Tragedy is a common theme when one investigates the paranormal. One common thought about why spirits hang around is because their lives were ended in some tragic or unexpected way. I think that just about sums up what happened on the morning of December 7, 1941 when Japan surprised the United States' Pacific Naval fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. More than 2,400 Americans died in the attack and the damage to the fleet was devastating. Despite the damages nearly all of the the US battle ships would return to service and fight on. The USS Arizona would not, however. A bomb crashed into the ship's powder magazine and detonated creating devastating and irreparable destruction which resulted in the sinking of the ship. 1,177 officers and crewmen perished in the attack. Witnesses claim to hear bells or alarms coming from the memorial constructed above the wreckage while even more claim that you can hear screams echoing from the area. What may be the saddest of all are the sightings of crew men still walking the deck as if they were still on the job.

Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park- The Grand Canyon is known for it's awe inspiring vistas and it's massive size. But it has a ghost story of it's own. The story of the "Wailing Woman" is another tragic story that could have happened to any one of us, after all, accidents happen  and this story is no exception.
  There are a few variances of the story but the most popular version tells of a man and his son dying during a hike which having experienced Arizona's heat in person I can believe. But upon hearing of the incident the man's wife was heartbroken and committed suicide along the Transept Trail. Since then she has been seen hanging around the trail and the nearby Grand Canyon Lodge where she is rumored to slam doors and cause minor disruptions throughout the building. I suppose grief has no time frame.

Gettysburg National Military Park- Perhaps the most haunted place on our list, Gettysburg's bloody wounds still run deep for everyone in the United States. I had mentioned tragic events have a close relationship with haunted locations and Gettysburg is a perfect example. For the first three days of July, 1863 soldiers from the Confederate and Union armies faced off in what would be the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. Friend battled friend and families were torn apart. Imaging the sound of non stop gun fire popping off in every direction, booming canons sending deadly balls of lead bounding through the fields and the smell of burning gun powder seeping into your nose. The man on the left of you falling dead, the man next to you lay dying and all you can do is question when your moment will come. It would have been difficult to push through the thoughts of one's mortality and keep fighting but that's what happened until finally the canons were silenced and the battle ended.
  These hollowed grounds are preserved as they were back in 1863 but some say that the battle is far from over for some of these soldiers. Often their voices are heard calling out to one other barking orders and some even scream. The hauntings aren't limited to just the battle field either. Many of the houses here were used as make shift hospitals where soldiers were treated for injuries while others were made comfortable while they waited to die. There are countless stories of tourists running in to uniformed soldiers that vanish into thin air and some hear distant bangs that sound eerily similar to canon fire. There are many battlefields related to the American Civil War but I think if you would have to concede that Gettysburg was the most tragic. This place is very high on our list of places to see strictly because of it's historical importance but I admit that I'm a sucker for a ghost story.

Yosemite National Park
    Yosemite- Known for it's beautiful granite cliffs and flowing water falls, Yosemite is another place on the list that most people wouldn't associate with ghosts but you would be wrong. Yosemite is proof that you don't need buildings to have ghosts.
  The Miwok Indians inhabited this area long before it was a national treasure and throughout this time a legend has been passed down. This legend is of Po-ho-no, or an evil wind as it is described. Po-ho-no will lure the innocent near toward the waters edge and once in position will blow you into the water which swiftly carries you away. With fast waters and countless waterfalls the likely hood of survival isn't in your favor.
  Grouse Lake also has a way of luring you into it's waters but it comes in the form of a crying boy. The first story reporting the crying boy came from a ranger in 1857. He heard the voice of a child calling out but as he went to investigate he was told by the local Native Americans that he was looking for a ghost. A young boy had drown in the lake a few years prior and now calls to those passing by in hopes of luring them into the water to drown. Legend or not I think I'll keep my distance if I hear disembodied voices calling out to go for a swim.
  And finally the Ahwahanee Hotel located in the park is said to be haunted by a former caretaker, Mary Curry Tresidder. She is known to float through the hallways checking in on guests and employees and some say that she likes to relax in a rocking chair in a suite on the fourth floor. However to despite people seeing the rocking chair it actually isn't really there. That's right, the suite does not contain a rocking chair for anyone's use. I suppose that as long as she's just overseeing things she's alright by me.

 There are many more locations in the parks system that have claims of paranormal activity, some more well known than others. Just like any ghost story some people like to talk about it while others do not and whether you believe these stories is completely up to you. For me the thought of an afterlife intrigues me and it has since I was young. If it's something you're interested in then I urge you to take advantage of your parks and take in a little more than just the scenery. Delve into the history and learn about the people that looked after these places before it was our turn. For those of you who don't believe then by all means head out to the parks and enjoy their beauty and don't forget that when you see a woman resting in her rocking chair staring at you while you sleep, remind her that she isn't real and go back to sleep. Sweet dreams.

Brandan

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Ghosts of Calico

Calico's Main Street
  It seems that just about every ghost town has there very own tales of lingering spirits and Calico, California is no different. We have visited Calico on two occasions now since 2010 and I've found that they were a lot more open to advertising their ghost stories on our visit back in January of this year. I'm not sure if you still can but I do remember there being ghost "tours" available and had we had more time to spend there that day I may have taken them up on that offer but there's always next time I suppose. So who's energy is still hanging around Calico? Well let's get into it.
  On occasion you come across a place that you just can't get enough of. Maybe you make it a repeat travel destination. Maybe you move there. Who knows? This may be what it was like for Lucy Lane. She had lived near Calico with her family when she was young and in her late teens she married John Robert Lane and for a short time had a successful general store in town until Calico's decline. They moved away when the mines dried up but they wouldn't be gone for long. John would pass away in 1934 but Lucy would remain in Calico for another 33 years when she finally passed at the age of 93.
  Her spirit is known to roam the area around the general store and the home she had lived in. So if you're in town and you see a woman wondering the streets in a long, black, period dress I would suggest just smiling and saying hello. No need to be rude. You can hear more stories from the employees in the old general store where footsteps and strange noises are quite common.
Calico School House
  The school house is one of my favorite buildings in Calico. I'm not sure why exactly, it just is. Here it's not uncommon for witness to see former school teachers still preparing for class as well as a young girl who will appear in the window, curious of what's happening outside. I would also advise you to keep your cool if you experience tugging on your pant legs or maybe a pinch. That may just be another ghostly child just begging for some attention.
  Spirits seem to be hanging out all over town as if they had never passed on. This place must have been an interesting place to be in it's prime if it's still good enough to hang out in during the afterlife. Sounds of cheering and laughter can be heard coming from the barn, the former host of dancing and town gatherings. The town's former peace keeper known as Tumbleweed Harris still roams main street and other buildings. He is known for his large white beard.
  The more I've looked into this little town the more stories I find. The mines are rumored to be haunted. The streets are haunted and of course multiple buildings seem to have claims of the paranormal. It makes this sleepy little tourist trap even more interesting and I may have to try to make a little more time (like overnight) to take a more in depth look at the town's history. If you're interested in visiting Calico it is located on Ghost Town Road, 19 miles northeast of Barstow, California. It's just a few miles off of I-15 so if you need to stretch you might as well check this place out. Just make sure you don't upset old Tumbleweed. Unless you're looking for a night behind bars that is.

Brandan

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Spooks and Curses of Bodie

   Well with the arrival of October it is now safe to mention the Halloween season. Yes that time of year where everyone, not just those of us enthusiasts, can get excited about everything strange and scary without odd looks or judgement. To kick off our month of the strange we're going to visit Bodie, California. Bodie was created out of strange circumstances and rumors of a curse still haunt visitors to this day. So let's get into it.
  Today Bodie is a state historic park where just over 100 buildings still stand making it one of the largest and complete ghost towns left in the western United States. It was founded after W.S Bodey and a group of prospectors discovered gold in 1859. Bad news for Bodey though, he never got to see the town that would take his name grow from the harsh ground to become a fairly successful mining town. He wound up freezing to death during a blizzard while making a supply run. Some say that his early exit and anger of not getting to reap the rewards of his claims cursed the land and anyone who would take even a tiny pebble from it's borders. Of course that seems a little silly considering how successful the town was albeit for a short time. I personally like the theory that the curse was likely created by the town's people as a whole whose greed was so strong that it lasts even to this day.
 So what exactly is the curse? Well there really isn't anything written down, no etchings in rocks or creepy poems to be recited but the stories told by those that have become victims of the alleged curse are eerily similar and at times dangerous. However, each story has the same beginning. Someone took it upon themselves to take something from town. Maybe it was an old square nail. Perhaps a tin can or even something as unimportant as a rock but in the eyes of Bodie it all belongs to the town and for anyone foolish enough to steal from the town will have to pay the price.
  Horrible bad luck follows the thief. Some have lost their jobs while others have had severe health problems. There seems to be only one way to break the curse and that it to return item back to Bodie and apologize for the wrong doing. The park's rangers get mail each year from those that have ignored the warnings and included in the envelopes are apology letters and the items that they took. While the rangers and the park service will give no official stance on the curse they will show you some of the letters and items returned over the years and strongly urge visitors to not take souvenirs.
  We joked about the curse for eight months prior to our visit and while in the end none of us had the guts to tempt fate there was one joker in the group that came up with a brilliant scheme. He purchased some old souvenir nails from a different ghost town we visited prior to our Bodie arrival and hid them in someone else's Jeep when they weren't looking. I can attest that I have never seen someone so upset over a couple of nails in my life. Just the thought of having Bodie's curse brought down upon you can change a persons demeanor in an instant. Of course we all had a good laugh at this because it was a pretty good joke but there wasn't one person that didn't take a second look in their rigs before we left town.
  A ghost town wouldn't be a ghost town if it didn't have any ghost stories and Bodie has a few. Bodie is remote and to help protect the town the rangers live on site in some of the old buildings here. No one has a more intimate relationship with the town. Stories coming from these good folks range from footsteps to voices to physical contact. This sounds like a party to me but to others it is a very unwelcome experience. One of the most haunted buildings in Bodie is the Cain home. In this home a Chinese woman hired as a maid committed suicide after rumors that she had been having an affair with the wealthy Jim Cain, the town's main lumber supplier, and was fired by Mrs. Cain. It is believed that this woman is responsible for the supernatural occurrences in the home.
  There are other buildings with similar stories scattered throughout Bodie, each of them with their own tragic history much like the town of Bodie itself. With it's reputation of being a dangerous place full of greed and murder it wouldn't be hard to believe that the scars of Bodie's past may have left an impression that transcends time. Today we can visit at our leisure and reflect on the hard work that these people put in to pull a living out of the ground. The skeletons of the past stand as a reminder of their efforts. Whether or not you believe in the curse or the ghost stories you cannot deny the power that this place seems to have even today. People come form far and wide to visit Bodie each year for their own reasons and they will continue to do so as long as there are still buildings standing and stories of curses to be told.

Brandan