Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Spooks and Curses of Bodie
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.
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.
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.