By Jack Williams
Those hunting for a real-life ghost town in time for Halloween need look no further than this haunting spot.
Bodie, California, USA, – which requires special access to photograph at night – is one of the best preserved ghost towns in America, still featuring the abodes of the former miners who inhabited it more than 100 years ago.
Renowned abandoned location photographer Matthew Christopher, 39, visited the site numerous times over the past 12 months, capturing the Milky Way glittering above the likes of ramshackle houses, clapped-out trucks, and stores that once served Bodie’s locals.
The settlement was founded in 1859, following the discovery of gold in the hills east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
However, Bodie’s prominence did not begin to rise until 1876, when a larger deposit of gold ore drew more settlers, leaving the town with some five- to seven-thousand inhabitants by 1879.
By 1910, though, strikes had drawn inhabitants away from Brodie, leaving it with the “ghost town” tag by 1915.
Those final residents remained into the 1940s, and in 1962 the property was made into a state park.
Matthew, who is the author of “Abandoned America: Dismantling The Dream” and “Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences”, said: “Each place has its own personality or spirit; you want to capture what makes it magical and unique, and what makes you fall in love with it.
“In Bodie’s case, it’s how amazingly well preserved it is, how unique it is to have a whole town in arrested decay, and how breathtaking the scenery is.
“It’s a special place, and I hope that people who haven’t been there can get a sense of that otherworldly quality, and maybe fall in love with it too.
“People who are fans of ghost towns or have visited Bodie get very excited when they see the images, as they love the town and the night photos show a different side that they haven’t seen before.
“It’s hard to imagine how beautiful the town is with the Milky Way visible overhead.
“With almost no light pollution, you get a really amazing view. One thing is remarkably consistent: people who see it remember it for the rest of their lives.”
You can follow Matthew on Twitter at @abandonedameric or Instagram at @abandoned_america