Where is it? Bodie, California What’s the story? Perhaps one of the best preserved of America’s ghost towns, typical of the boom and bust of the gold mines. At the height of its success it had several newspapers, 65 saloons – and even a brass band. However, as the mining industry went into the decline, the town also started to empty and was effectively a ghost town by the 1940s. It is now a National Historic Landmark and run by California’s State Parks.