Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Ghosts of Bodie, California


Karen Michelle Nutt & Jack

Paranormal View of
Bodie, California
by Karen Michelle Nutt
Copyright © 2012 Karen Michelle Nutt


What’s a ghost town without a few ghosts to haunt it? Bodie is located in California north of Mono Lake, high on the eastern side of the Sierras. Bodie was named after W. S. Bodey who discovered gold in the nearby hills in 1859.

Cain House in Bodie

One of the most famous ghost stories is the haunted Cain house. Jim Cain, a shrewd businessman, brought lumber to the treeless Bodie. Everything in Bodie was made of wood. Homes were heated with wood and the mills used wood for their steam engines. So you can imagine how Jim Cain made his fortune.

Cain built his house on the corner of Green and Park Street. He hired a Chinese woman to be the family maid. It wasn’t long before rumors were spread about Cain and the maid having an affair. Mrs. Cain immediately fired the maid. The poor woman’s reputation was ruined and she couldn’t find a job. She ended up committing suicide.

It is reported that her ghost still haunts the Cain home. Over the years the house has served as the park ranger housing and it was also open to visitors. Children have reported seeing the maid in the upstairs bedroom. Some of the park rangers have reported strange experiences. A ranger was sleeping in one of the rooms upstairs and felt a pressure on his chest. He reported it felt like someone was on top of him, trying to suffocate him. Another said he managed to push the entity off after a difficult struggle. Another reported the door opening and shutting throughout the night. A daughter of a park ranger had a room upstairs where the lights kept turning back on during the night.


Mendocini House in Bodie

Another haunted house is the Mendocini house. There have been reports of children laughing outside. Another ranger reported that it sounded as if a party was going on inside the house, but once the ranger investigated he could find no one there. This house is also rumored to smell like someone is cooking Italian food. Maybe it’s for the ghostly party that’s going on night after night. 

Bodie also has a curse attached to it. According to legend, the spirits of the former residents are determined to protect their town from theft. Anyone who removes something will be cursed with bad luck. According to park rangers, every year they receive objects in the mail that were taken from Bodie. Some even have letters begging for forgiveness from these ghostly residents.

Bodie, California is open to the public and offers something for everyone: history, scenery, and the paranormal.

My story Storm Riders takes place in Bodie, California, during its Wild West era when ghosts couldn’t be heard over the gun shooting and loud music.

Storm Riders is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords.

Win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate!

Contest question: If you could travel back in time to a western town, where would you go and why? Was there someone there you wanted to meet?  One commenter will win an Amazon Gift Certificate for $10!
Drawing will be held May 6 at 9pm Pacific Time. Your email address must be included to be eligible! Otherwise, we can't contact you and we'll have to draw another winner.

20 comments:

  1. Readers, What would you do if you saw a ghost? Or if you have seen one, share your experience with us.

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    1. We actually took a trip to Bodie this summer. I had no idea of the haunted history and stories. I'm a professional photographer and just wanted to go take pictures of the buildings. That night in our hotel room, we were looking at the pictures and actually captured images of what look like spirits. We went back trying to see if there were mannequins or anything else that could have reflected but there was no explanation. I can't wait to go back to bodie.

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  2. Hi Karen! Very interesting blog. In answer to your question, go change my underwear! Storm Riders sounds like a great read. I love stories about the Old West. Congratulations on the release!

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    1. Thanks Patsy for the good wishes and coming by to say hi. :)

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)
      So-- You'd be a wee bit scared if a ghost appeared to you. lol

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  3. I love all things ghostly and Bodie sounds like the place to go to find a few. what an interesting blog. Did you choose Body for your story because of the ghost stories? are any of the characters from the real Bodie?
    I think I mentioned this before but, if I could go back in time to a western town, it would be Tombstone. I would love to meet the Earp brothers and chat with them a while.
    A most entertaining blog, Karen. Storm Chasers sounds fantastic. Did you create the cover?

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  4. Hi Sarah,

    One summer after our vacation in Tahoe, I rode home with my uncle, aunt and cousins. We stopped off at Bodie. My cousin and I had so much fun exploring this old town. Even though it has been some thirty years since I've been there (hmm, I can't believe it has been that long) I still remember that vacation and how interesting the place was. It was the perfect town for my story to take place with Opium dens that were legal, gunfights, miners--the wild west at its best.

    Tombstone is actally the next place the storm riders are going to visit. :) Another intersting place to visit. My husband and I took the kids there few years back.

    Re: the book cover. Yep, I designed the book cover. Next to writing tales, I enjoy creating book covers!

    Thanks so much for coming by. :)

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  5. Hmm. Thats a hard question! Im not sure what id do or who id meet. Ive never really thought of it before. I think id really love to jump on a train and just tour the country, this way i can see everything and meet a bunch of people! :) (Though im not sure if that answer counts, am i being to greedy?) lol Thank you for sharing! Wishing you all the best!
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I love ghost stories and lived in a house that was haunted..you could hear some one walking across the attic dragging chains. I agree with another I would love to see and visit Tombstone . sue garysue@dejazzd.com

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  6. I love Bodie! We travel across 395 a few times a year and when it's not closed for snows we stop in and visit. I'm excited to read your story.

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    1. Hi Kate!

      Thanks so much for dropping by. I'm so happy Storm Riders caught your interest. :)

      Bodie was quite an adventure for me.

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  7. Yes - I would love to travel back in time to Tombstone Arizona and meet up with Wyatt Earp! carol5g43@aim.com

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    1. Hi Carol,

      Wyatt Earp would be quite interesting. Doc Holiday, too. :)

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  8. Karen, I live in Tahoe and have been to Bodie a few times. I loved sitting on a windswept hill, looking down at the town and imagining what it was like back in its hay day. It truly is a wonderful example of an old west ghost town for those who have a chance to visit. Thanks for the great post.

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    1. Jannine,

      I loved Bodie. It was like stepping back in time for a glimpse of what it was like back then. Of course it was a lot quiter than in its heyday. lol

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  9. I'd love to go back and visit some of the towns around Prescott AZ - I love history! I'd just want to meet the people there.

    But, I also want to go to Bodie and meet the ghosts now.

    Jacki
    shelby15@clearwire.net

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    1. Hi Jacki,

      I have a passion for history, too. I haven't been to Prescott AZ.
      Tombstone was interesting. We arrived late and most of the town was closed. (We were waiting to take a ghost tour.) It was a full moon, too. My husband took some really great photos.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  10. I always like to hear ghost stories. Interesting post. Now I'll have to see if I can visit Bodie.


    Tombstone is where I would want to visit.

    cnickol at verizon dot net

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    1. Hi Cathy,

      I hope you find the time to visit Bodie. It will be worth your time. :)

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  11. Tempprarily, of course, I would like to go back to San Francisco. I'd also like to go back to Fort Worth and meet some of those famous and infamous then. But I don't want to live in a past era, just read and write about them. Thanks for educating us about Bodie in a fun way. I had heard about the objects being returned, but had forgotten the name of the town.

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    1. Hi Caroline,

      If I was to visit the past, I would want a sure way back to now. lol

      Thanks for coming by. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

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