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Ghost Town Hunting  


Ghost town hunting has become a very popular recreational activity for people all across the county. There is something about walking the streets of a place that was once crowded with people...people of all types...that triggers something in the beholder's mind. There is a fascination of the history that occured there. There are the struggles of a people that dealt with all manners of hardships that we cannot fathom dealing with today. Perhaps it is tracing the path of family long past. Whatever the reason, exploring a ghost town is adventurous, interesting, and down right fun.


What is a Ghost Town?


Say the word 'Ghost Town," and you probably have a picture pop up in you mind. It probably is a rerun of an old black & white movie of old wooden store fronts, with dust blowing and tumbleweeds rolling down the street. Not a soul in sight, save the few on horseback slowly walking their steeds down the street.


Those places do exist. But, after the ravages of time and weather, they are few and far between. Those few ghost towns that remain in that condition are usually museum towns (like Bodie, CA and Animas Forks, CO). More tourist attraction than anything else. They can be fascinating to visit, and their preservation is a wealth of history. But, ghost towns are much more than that.


To define exactly what a ghost town is, we must face the reality that there is no one definition of a "Ghost Town." There are many definitions. Every writer of a book listing ghost towns is going to develop his/her own definition for a ghost town (stated or not). The below definition is loosely written, but often quoted in author circles. So, we will use it here.


Generally speaking, a ghost town is a town that has lost at least 80% of the population it had at its high point, due to the loss of its ecomomic support due to natural disaster (drought, flood, fires, earthquakes, etc), or man-made conditions (war, resource depletion (gold, silver, trees, etc), trade route (i.e., railroad) detours, etc).


  • A town does not need to be totally abandoned to be considered 'ghost.'

  • An influx of current residents after the intial exodus does not erase the history that once made a town considered 'ghost.'


Ghost town hunting is the investigation, visitation, exploration or searching of ghost towns, and our RESEARCH area has hundreds of treasure stories and ghost towns listed state-by-state, and county-by-county from which to start.


Bear in mind that local and federal laws may govern your activities at ghost towns. Everyone deserves the opportunity to experience the history of the town. Abide by all rules, regulations and laws covering visition, exploration, and searching of ghost towns.


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