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Bodie Cemetery –
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Haunted Place: Bodie Cemetery

Address:

Bodie Cemetery
Cemetery Road
Bridgeport, CA 93517

Bodie.com web site

Location:

The Bodie Cemetery is located up on a ridge just northwest of the entrance to Bodie State Historic Park. Return to top

Description:

Bodie Cemetery has around eighty tombstones still marking the graves of the departed. There are three official large sections of sub-cemeteries that make up the majority of graves in Bodie Cemetery: The Miner's Union Cemetery area; (38 marked graves), for the general public: the Wards Cemetery area; (29 marked graves), and The Masonic Cemetery area; (9 marked graves).

The other people while alive that didn't quite measure up to social ethnic standards (Chinese) and/or behavioral standards; (prostitutes, thugs, etc,) were buried outside the perimeters of the Bodie official cemetery plots, due to their line of work when they were alive.

Just west of the three sub-cemeteries, was the Chinese Cemetery. The Chinese who died in California, wanted to be buried only long enough for their bones to be clean, so their family members could take their bones back to the homeland. Unfortunately, several hundred Chinese remain buried in their cemetery section because of the need for their relatives to leave Bodie due to violent prejudice and to find work elsewhere.

The outcasts of Bodie, that include gunmen, murderers, prostitutes, children born out of wedlock, were buried in their own section, marked with only posts or piles of rocks.

There is now a website. bodie.com, that lists who was buried in Bodie Cemetery, to help people find out if their lost relatives were indeed buried here.

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History:

Because of the early violence that plagued the wild mining town, Bodie, the sweep of deadly disease, death by childbirth gone terribly wrong, mining deaths, deaths by accidents and death by natural causes, Bodie's cemetery has been full for a long time.

A lot more remains of people once alive are buried in Bodie Cemetery, but wooden markers have wasted away, leaving unmarked graves. People with some money had stone grave markers. Even then, many of the stone markers were stolen by vandals. Several hundred unmarked graves of Chinese people, and lots of other people, with shameful pasts, also still remain.

One little three year old girl, Evelyn Myers; daughter of the general store owner, who was well-loved by the townspeople, died in an tragic accident, breaking a lot of hearts in town, besides her grieving family. Because of a collection taken by people of Bodie to help her family, a really nice likeness of her as an angel leaning against a scroll, was lovingly carved into a stone statue marker, which made everyone feel better. It was placed on her grave in the general Wards cemetery. She has been known since then as The Angel of Bodie.

A well-loved, kind-hearted prostitute, by the name of Rosa May was buried outside the graveyard, but had a wooden fence surrounding her grave, with a wooden marker. Years later, a descendant of a former Bodie resident came back and put a proper headstone on her grave, because of all the good works she did in town.

Her final act of kindness was nursing sick miners from whom she caught the disease and died herself. On the Bodie website, they state, "This headstone was placed here around 1965 by Louis Serventi. Louis’s Uncle, Antonio, apparently lived near Rosa May when she was in Bodie. Uncle Antonio shared stories of Bodie with the children of his family. Many years later, after Louis had read Ella Cain’s book The Story of Bodie, that told about Rosa's caring works, he went to Bodie and erected the marker."

The section of the cemetery that has the most tombstones was the Miner's Union section. While they were well-paid for doing such dangerous work, some ran out of luck and died while on the job. There were a lot of ways to be killed; ranging from human inattention to explosions. Bodie was a union town, and the Miner's Union made sure that their deceased former members had good stone grave markers.

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History of Manifestations:

Sometimes when people have a continuous method of mourning a loved one that gives them relief while alive, they continue to visit the grave and continue on with this comforting way to remember their loved one, despite being in spirt-form themselves.

( Chapel of the Cross * Virginia City Cemetery * Pioneer Boot Hill Cemetery )

Children who died unexpectedly sometimes are on a quest to find their loved ones in this world. They sometimes are lonely and can appear in front of other children of the same age, or other adults who may know where parents are.

( Monteleone Hotel-Maurice * The Old Faithful Inn-Yellowstone * Mission San Miguel )

A three year old girl, Evelyn Myers mentioned above who was loved by the townspeople, probably because she "helped" around her Daddy's store, getting to know everyone. Her parents had hired a miner to dig a drainage ditch around the Myer's home. Evelyn had been curious and bent over the porch railing to see what he was doing, and he accidentally hit her in the head with his pick axe. Her parents moved away from Bodie, leaving their beloved angel behind.

People whose wishes on their internment of their remains are ignored, forgotten, or suffered some irreverent omission by the living, can be restless.

( Liberty Hall * Gettysburg Cemetery * Maunmee Bay Brewery Company * General Wayne Inn * Rose Hill Cemetery * El Campo Santo Cemetery ) Return to top

Manifestations:

Witnessed:

A Woman in a White Dress -

Despite being in spirit form herself, she is seen sitting serenely by her loved-one's grave, knitting. She is making herself feel better, spending time with his/her grave, enjoying the peaceful view of the town, remembering the wonderful times she had with her loved one.

A female entity of a three year old child - Evelyn Myers

This young spirit girl likes to appear to young children and tries to play with them in the graveyard near her resting place.

A family was visiting the Bodie Cemetery, when their youngest preschooler was sitting by the young spirit girl's grave, she began laughing and giggling with someone her parents couldn't see. When asked by her father, she told him that she was playing with another little girl, that had a hole in her head.

This same little spirit girl, Evelyn, is looking for her family.

A male tourist was standing by the Miner's Union Hall, and heard a plaintive, hopeful little cry from an unseen, young female child presence, "Daddy?"

Other possible entities that haven't been identified yet that haven't been witnessed yet or identified.

The entities of Chinese people - whose bones still remain in unmarked graves in the Chinese Cemetery; forgotten by their families and yearning to be buried in China with their ancestors.

Their energy could be waiting by their burial place for relatives to come and get their bones.

Their unseen presences could be contributing to the paranormal occurrences that staff experience with the lights, doors, electrical equipment in the structures or areas where the Chinese spirits had once worked, as the Chinatown where they lived is gone; probably burned down in the 1932 fire.

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Paranormal Findings:

Park rangers and visitors have experienced the woman in a white dress, and little Evelyn sometimes in personal ways.

No hard evidence has been presented to the public, perhaps because catching these spirits on film or other means would be hard.

Perhaps, state officials don't want to attract ghost hunters, who may bother these resident spirits, that must have protective status as well; being attached to the buildings and grounds of Bodie.

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Still Haunted?

A big Yes Indeed! Though there is no hard evidence to back up the claims that have been experienced, staff members and visitors and locals for many years know what they have experienced and seen in the Bodie Cemetery. Other possible hauntings that haven't been reported could be from Chinese spirits who still lie buried in unmarked graves, forgotten by their families and yearning to be buried in China with their ancestors.

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Sources Include:

Bodie Cemetery featured as cemetery of the week on cemeterytravel.com

Cemetery history page at bodie.com

Rosa May Oalaque tombstone in Bodie cemetery

Cemetery maps at bodie.com

— Bodie.com, under Creative Commons License: Attribution

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