Forever frozen in time, Bodie is a classic ghost town — its decaying buildings and deserted streets unnerving those who head here to poke around in the past. It’s hard to believe that several thousand residents once lived here, some 75 miles from Lake Tahoe, with the imposing Sierra Nevada mountain range providing a spectacular backdrop.
Bodie’s boom — which peaked in 1876 — was due to California’s gold rush and, although the last mine to close here remained in operation until the 1940s, the decline set in long before. Less than 700 people remained by 1910, whilst just five years later, the ghost town tag was used for the first time. These days, the town exists in a state of ‘arrested decay’, meaning that, whilst the dilapidated buildings here are preserved, they’re not going to be restored. The effect is haunting, and those who do visit often find it an unsettling experience.