By Robert Maynard
Telegram Columnist
 
Bodie Town, California, is one of the most well-preserved ghost towns of the old west.  This is almost inexplicable as the harsh summer weather, and incredibly cold and windy winters, should have turned these structures to dust a long time ago.  But the mystery of the structures is nothing compared to the mystery of the “curse of Bodie Town.”
W.S. Bodey discovered a mother lode gold mine in 1859.  Bodey had a full-blooded Cherokee for a partner, and their greed kept them panning for gold into the dangerous fall weather.  They were caught in a blinding blizzard that killed Bodey, one quarter of a mile from their cabin. Bodey’s partner survived, which everyone thought to be suspicious.
 He was scalped and beheaded the following year by fellow Indians who despised him for valuing the gold like a white man.
Bodey Town quickly grew to 10,000 people due to the influx of gold-hungry people.  The town eventually was abandoned when the gold ran out, and this is when “The Curse of Bodie” began.  If you take something from Bodey, a curse of bad luck is said to follow you.  This is backed up by countless testimonies.  If you go to the Weather Channel, they have an excellent documentary about it. 
The first known curse was on a couple of brothers who took a piano from Bodey.  On their way home, the brakes went out on their truck resulting in a crash.  When they got home their mom fell deathly ill.  Within a few days their sister was diagnosed with leukemia. After that they took the piano back to Bodey.  Another incident resulted in three trips to the emergency room in a seven-day period. 
The wife of the family discovered her husband had brought some glass back from Bodey the week before.  She mailed the glass back to Bodey.  Another man had three miserable days of bad luck after visiting Bodey.  Finally, when he noticed his tire was getting low, he found an old-fashioned square nail in his tire, that he had accidentally run over in Bodey.  He quickly mailed it back to Bodey. 
It is now a state park, and the director has a stack of papers four inches tall where people have confessed to pilfering, and mailed things back.  They also like to testify in their letters about the string of bad luck that has plagued them since leaving Bodey.  It seems the ghost of Bodey doesn’t like people taking things from his town.  The directory said he literally shakes the dust off his boots every night before going home.  So, if I ever get the chance to visit Bodey, I will not tempt fate.  I would suggest you do the same.
God bless you all -- RHM