Warding Off Spirits at Bodie State Historic Park in California
Barreling down US 395—that long, lonely highway paralleling the saw-toothed backside of the mighty Sierra Nevada—it’s easy to zip right past the turnoff for Bodie State Historic Park, one of the West’s great ghost towns. It’s as if a neutron bomb hit the place. The town boomed in 1879, soaring nearly overnight to a population of 10,000. Within a year or so, the gold mines went bust and everyone left, abandoning their possessions. This is one creepy place. Countless souls died miserable deaths in Bodie. Shootouts, robberies, and whiskey-fueled, bloody brawls were commonplace. A little binder in the back of the museum shows page after page of hand-written letters from people who have taken, then mailed things back to the park in an effort to undo the curse they wrought. My favorite, "My father is in ICU bleeding from the nose and mouth." Scary.
- Adam Rugel (Editor) Congratulations! You won Honorable Mention in the September 12, 2012 Contest.