Spectral Sightings

Experts in Paranormal Investigation

Abandoned But Not Deserted

Imagine driving for hours with not a single sign of human life in sight. You pull off on the first dirt road you see only because it's the first. This road takes you to a small little town and you breathe a sigh of relief because you've finally found people again, but then you take a closer look. The town is silent, and utterly and completely deserted. You've stumbled across one of the many, many ghost towns in the United States.

Of course, it's hard to happen upon these by chance. Ghost towns are incredibly popular tourist sites nowadays, because they stand as strange museums of history. They tell us what housing and community looked like at the time of the town's creation, but they also spark a morbid curiosity for those who think there's more to the name 'ghost town' than just being deserted.

Ghost towns exist for a number of reasons, but the most common explanation for why an entire town suddenly moved away is that of the Gold Rush. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, there was a mass exodus to the American west as people became convinced that they could strike gold in the mountains of California. It was the first get rich quick scheme. Towns across the west were quickly built for miners and their families to live in, and just as quickly abandoned when the luster of the Gold Rush wore off. That sudden abandonment left the towns standing around to have forests grow around them, weather erode them, and in once case, flood until it is underwater.

This leaves the real question: are there ghosts in a ghost town? I believe the answer lies in the circumstances of each specific town. Miners who fell victim to accidents potentially haunt the Gold Rush monuments that they had called home, abandoned by their families and communities like the town itself. A similar story is true for Bannack, a ghost town supposedly haunted by the spirits of two women who drowned in a nearby lake. Some may have less sinister origins, such as a town by the name of Murphys, where children can be heard playing when there are none in sight. Who's to say what else lies in the walls of homes not lived in for a century?

Perhaps you would like to read more about these towns, or find some near you. There are many online resources to do so, such as Ghost Towns of America and GhostTowns.com. If you visit one and find paranormal activity, the team at Spectral Sightings would be excited to hear.