My favorite places that give me a fright!
With Halloween fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to list 13 of the spookiest places where I have been for photos.
Spooky Places Countdown #13 Deadman's Creek.
How did such a serene place get this spooky name? Back in 1861 two prospectors went searching for a gold vein. The burned and headless body of the one partner, Robert Hume was discovered in a shallow grave near the creek and later his head was found floating in the stream. When questioned, his partner blamed the death on an Indian attack but he then disappeared before he was arrested!
Spooky Places Countdown #12 Convict Lake
How would a pristine lake clear as glass and set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada get such an ominous name? In 1871 a bunch of escaped convicts held up at this lake; there was a shootout with the local posse and two of the members were killed. On late fall afternoons; listen quietly and the sound of bullets may be heard echoing through the canyons.
Spooky Places Countdown #11 Death Valley
In this land of extreme contrast, a wrong turn could become fatal. One of the hottest places on Earth with a below-sea-level basin of salt flats as far as the eye can see. Death Valley was named by gold prospectors in 1849 when they traveled across the valley and many perished in the attempt.
Spooky Places Countdown #10 Rhyolite, Nevada
Nevada’s ghost town near Death Valley was a short-lived success story. When its gold mines played out in 1909 so did the town. On a full moon night, looking through the remaining structures, you can feel the spirits of the old west, and maybe catch a glimpse of some spirits who refuse to move on.
Spooky Places Countdown #9 Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
The ranch house seems a peaceful place to visit during the day. But beware on those long, dark winter nights when drawers rattle and doors slam and nobody is there except for a lonely ranger. This working cattle ranch was owned by the famed German actress Vera Krupp of Krupp diamond fame and she still protects her legacy from unwanted intruders.
Spooky Places Countdown #8 Bodie Ghost Town State Park, California
Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town where visitors can walk the deserted streets that once housed 10,000 residents. However beware and take only memories or the Bodie Curse will get you! Many an unfortunate person has been known to return even the smallest pebble. For you see, Waterman Bodie for whom the town was named, keeps a close watch over anyone tempted to collect any souvenirs not for sale in the gift shop.
Spooky Places Countdown #7 Chemung Mine, California
Founded in 1906, the Chemung Mine was a good producer of gold, however legal issues were a constant problem. It was torn down and rebuilt 3 times and then abandoned by 1939. A warning to all visitors--stay away on Saturdays, especially at night because that is when the ghosts of dead miners come out. There are reports of unfortunate campers who did not head this warning never to be seen again
Spooky Places Countdown #6 Stokes Castle, Austin, Nevada
Who would ever think a three-story stone castle would be built out in the lonely desert of Central Nevada? Anson Phelps Stokes was a mine developer, railroad magnate and banker that designed his1897 castle after visiting Italy. Built by the sweat and brawn of local workers with large pieces of native granite, it was only used as a summer home by Stokes for a short time. Sitting abandoned today, but by the light of the moon you might catch a glimpse of the workers toiling away.
Spooky Places Countdown #5 Goldfield, Nevada
Boarded up buildings are desolate reminders at Nevada’s most haunted ghost town. The boomtown that once housed 30,000 residents and produced $11million in gold was short lived when the veins ran shallow. On a dark, snowy day there’s a shiver up your back, could it be the wind or a spirit coming to indulge at the longest bar in the history of mining towns?
Spooky Places Countdown #4 Delamar, Nevada
A lonely arch seems welcoming to the ghost town of Delamar. And in the late 1800’s, the mines produced $13.5 million in gold. However, the town had a dark side, when the gold was crushed it created a fine dust from the quartzite which gave the miners silicosis. Thus the town became known as the “Widowmaker”!
Spooky Places Countdown #3 Aurora, Nevada
The mining town of Aurora, Nevada was founded in 1860 and named for Aurora, the goddess of dawn. In it’s heyday, the population had grown to 10,000 and produced $27 million worth of gold by 1869. Today, much of the town has been destroyed by vandals except for the graveyard which is protected by many a long departed spirit.
Spooky Places Countdown #2 Pioche, Nevada
In the 1860’s the mining town of Pioche had a reputation for being the baddest town in the west, badder than Tombstone or even Dodge City! The “Hanging Tree” still stands and can be seen silhouetted against a full moon.
Spooky Places Countdown #1 Spooky Rock Outcropping, Nevada
Spooky Rock Outcroppings are actual formations from lava flows in the Garfield Flat Thrust that go back million of years. Resembling a scene from The Danse Macabre, the curved and elongated rocks appear as hooded characters with grimacing looks that definitely send chills up the spine as the sun sets on a late autumn day.
What an exciting and interesting photo-adventure this day has been. I love it when I am drawn to an area and not knowing what to expect I get treated to new experiences.
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