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Mendocini House

Haunted Place - Mendocini House


Hwy 395, Bridgeport
California 93517
(760) 647-6445

Bodie State Historic Park, California - A deserted Gold Town

While the park is open all year, this area has been known to get 12 feet of snow, and is accessible only by snow mobile or skis. The park is staffed by park rangers and volunteers, some of whom live in the houses in Bodie.

California State Parks - Bodie State Historic Park


Near the Nevada - California border, Bodie was home to 10,000 people in its heyday, in the late 1870s. In 1849, a W.S. Bodie, and his partner, Black Turner discovered large gold deposits in the hills near where Bodie was destined to be built. In 1870, investment money from New York, funneled through contacts in San Francisco, was used to build shaft and tunnel mine systems, improving the mines' harvest of gold. The town of Bodie bloomed and grew tremendously. Being a mining town, it had its share of violence, pain, greed and immorality, though it also had its civilized side as well. Its nick name was "Big Bad Bodie."

The booming economy revolved around these 30 gold mines in the hills above the town, which supported 70 saloons, 3 breweries, 3 newspapers, several whorehouses, churches, pine slat homes, banks and one school.

As is the case in other mine towns, the population became less and less numerous as the mines petered out. What helped to quicken the demise of the town was a devastating fire in 1932 that destroyed 95 percent of the buildings, caused by a child playing with matches.

However, people still lived there until after World War 2, when the last producing mine, Lucky Boy was shut down. Only 6 people were left in town. 5 of the six died untimely, strange deaths, relating to one of the men shooting his wife. When his wife died, three of the other men killed the man who shot his wife. They in turn died of strange diseases after the ghost of the man they killed appeared to them and shook his fist at them.

Today, 168 of the town's buildings and homes are still standing, and in good shape. Some date back all the way to 1849. The houses have the original owners' private possessions, and give the visitor a good idea about what it was like to live here. There is a museum of artifacts from the town's history, located in the Miner's Union Hall building. The main streets are intact, with a saloon, a bank, a livery stable, various buildings, an inn, a school and a church.

The graveyard is also still in good shape. The mines are also still there, though collapsed. One can see them by tour only.


Around 12 ghosts, plus an apparition of white mule in the mines, still call Bodie their home.

Mendocini House

Appears to be haunted by a mother, perhaps Mrs. Mendocini, and her children.

  1. They have been known to haunt visitors to the house, following them around.

  2. Upon opening up the house, after a long winter when no one had been living there, a ranger was greeted by the wonderful aroma of Italian food cooking.

  3. Another ranger, who had just moved into the house, made himself some lasagna, but regretted the fact that he didn't have any garlic to add, because he loved seasoning. As he sat there, eating his lasagna, his eyes started to water, his sinuses felt a burning sensation. He had to go outside quickly to get some air. When he came back, the house smelled of garlic. He realized that some kind presence was trying to give him his garlic. Mrs. Mendocini likes to look after the needs of her guests.

  4. On his second night in the house, he sitting by himself, reading. Suddenly he heard the sounds of a party going on, various people talking. As no radio was on in the house, he went outside and heard nothing coming from his neighbors. When he came back inside, the level of voices had risen, the party being in full swing. He courteously thanked Mrs. Mendocini for trying to brighten up his existence by inviting him to her party, but that he had a lot of reading to do. She must have respected his wishes because the voices disappeared.

  5. The sounds of children laughing and playing can be heard outside of the house.

Still Haunted?

Yes indeed. The resident spirits mingle amiably with visitors and the rangers and aids who work in Bodie, with the exception of the Chinese maid who has a bad attitude toward adults living in the Cain House.



All photos © Tom Carr.