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Scary Legends of California: Bodie the Ghost Town

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In northern California along the Nevada border, by Yosemite National Park, is an old abandoned mining town known as Bodie. It is now a State Historic Park. The town was built around the Bunker Hill Mine 1861. The town was named after the miner William S. Bodey who discovered gold in the area in 1859, but unfortunately died the winter after his discovery.

For a long while, Bodie was a seedy mining town filled with all kinds of illicit businesses. The town faced many hardships, including harsh winters and numerous fires. Despite all of that, the town did have a population of nearly 10,000 around 1879. Eventually, the gold mine stopped producing ore, and the citizens began to leave the area.


In 1932, a young boy, only 2 ½, accidently started a fire while play with matches that proceeded to burn down 95% of the town. Soon after, only six people were left residing in Bodie.


Here is where things begin to get interesting. One of the men still living in the town shot and killed his wife. Three of the remaining men in the town then proceeded to kill the murder. After that, those three men would be continually visited by the ghost of the murder until they all died due to strange illnesses.

Bodie is a ghost town in two ways. First, it was a town that was completely abandoned by the 1940’s. Second, it is a town haunted by the spirits of its old residents.

Legend says that if anyone takes something from the town, they will be cursed with bad luck until the item is returned. The ghosts of this place like their stuff, and will curse anyone who tries to take it from them. Many people have tried taking things from the town, and they have all returned the items due to the bad luck they endured.

Park rangers have dozens of stories of the different ghosts that haunt the buildings. Some are kind, while others are more vengeful. Some are the spirits of residents who faced untimely deaths, and so they refuse to leave their homes. Others are the spirits of children, taken too soon from this world. While all of the ghosts may have their own unique stories, they all call Bodie home.

A Brief History of Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a Latin American holiday that is celebrated on November first. It is a holiday for people to remember and celebrate their ancestors. While mostly associated with Mexico, Day of the dead is a holiday that is celebrated throughout Latin America as is beginning to spread in popularity across the US as well.


Dia de los Muertos and its origins can be traced back to the ancient Aztecs. In their beliefs, death was simply another stage of life, much like being born.


A person dying was not a sad occasion, it just meant that the person was moving on to the afterlife. Death was not something to be mourned, but celebrated. The Aztecs had a month long celebration around August to pay their respects to their ancestors and honor the gods of the underworld.

During the 16th century, Spaniards became to colonize many of the territories within Latin America. As they did this, they brought with them their Catholic traditions and beliefs. Two of those traditions were All Saints Day, and All Souls Day. All Saints Day was celebrated on November 1st, and All Souls Day was celebrated on November 2nd. These were days meant for honoring ancestors, and so, with pressure from the conquistadors, the ancient traditions were moved to coincide with these two church approved holidays.

Contrary to its name, the day of the dead is actually a 2 day celebration. According to belief, starting at midnight, October 31st, the spirits of ancestors are able to cross over into the real world 24 hours. The first spirits to come are the youngest, babies and children. They walk the earth for 24 hours, spending time with their families, before returning to the spirit world at midnight on November 1st. After the young ones, the adults come next. They too, spend the next 24 hours with their loved ones before returning to the spirit world.

Dia de los Muertos is chance for families to pay their respects to their ancestors. They do this by sharing stories, playing games, and simply bonding as a family. By doing all of this, they ensure that their loved ones will never be forgotten.

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Tips for Staying Safe on Halloween

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October is here, and that means Halloween is fast approaching. Halloween is a lot of fun for many people, especially for kids. They love dressing up in their costumes and going trick or treating to get as much candy as possible. While trick or treating can be very fun, it is important to remember to stay safe.

Here are a few tips on how you can do that this Halloween:

  • Stay in groups, and children under the age of 12 should not trick or treat alone.
  • Take a flashlight trick or treating to help you see, and to help others see you.
  • Costume accessories such as knifes and swords should be soft and flexible to avoid injuries.
  • Always look both ways before crossing the street, and try to cross at street corners.
  • Walk on sidewalks when they are available, and stick to the far edge of the road when they aren’t.
  • Never enter stranger’s homes, and never accept rides from strangers.
  • Do not accept homemade treats.
  • Only visit well-lit houses.
  • Parents should examine all of their kids’ candy for any signs of tampering before along the kids to eat it.

By following these tips, you and your kids should be able to have a safe and fun Halloween this year.


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Good Workouts You Can Do Indoors

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Fall is upon us, and that means the holiday season is approaching fast. For many, this is a time when keeping of that pesky extra few pounds becomes difficult. This is, after all, why it is referred to as winter weight.

Part of the problem, is that the weather can become too cold for some to work outside like they’d prefer. These people do not have the money, or maybe even the desire, to go to a public gym. They also do not have the capability to create an in home gym. For these people, it can become a real hassle to try to work out and keep those extra pounds at bay.

Luckily, there are a number of great exercises that a person can do with some dumbbells and other regular household objects. Here are a few examples:

    Single-Leg Dead Lift
    Start in a standing position with a dumbbell in each hand. Slowly bend forward at the hip until your torso is parallel to the ground, and allowing both arms to flow freely to the ground. As your torso bends forward, raise one leg back for balance and stop when it too is parallel to the ground. Then return to a standing position and repeat.

    Shoulder Press Squats
    Start in a standing position with your feet a shoulder length apart, and a dumbbell in each hand. Bring the dumbbells to shoulder height. Begin with a basic squat by bending your knees and lowering your waist to the ground while keeping your torso upright. Descend as far as your flexibility will allow, all the while, keeping the dumbbells at your shoulders. Remain squatting for a moment, before rising to a standing position once again. After you are standing again, raises your arms straight above your head, then return them to your shoulders. After that, repeat the process again, starting with the squat.

    Bulgarian Split Squat
    Start by standing in front of an object of your choosing, such as a couch or chair, that is around knee height and with a dumbbell in each hand. With your back to the object, bring one foot up and let it rest on this object. Begin by lowering yourself to the ground, allowing your arms to hang freely at your side. Be sure to keep your front knee in line with your foot. After you have lowered yourself as far as you can, bring yourself back to a standing position. Repeat the process.

    One-Arm Dumbbell Row
    Start in a push-up position, with one hand on the floor, and the other holding a dumbbell. Stay in this position as you raise the dumbbell to the side of your chest. Lower it, then repeat the process for the desired number of reps. After that, switch sides and repeat.


This is just a small sample of what exercises a person can do within their own home, and there are many more out there. Go out and find the best workouts that work for you. Do not let the colder weather prevent you from having the body you want.


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Be Wary of Bail Scams

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We all have those family members that we would do anything for. Then we have those family members who we’d help if they were in trouble because there are family. However, we don’t really talk to them that often. Unfortunately, there are scammers out there who will take advantage of that fact.

There is a popular scam out there were someone pretends to be a distant family member of another person. They usually like to pretend to be the grandchild of a person because they know grandparents will do just about anything to help their grandchildren. The scammer will pretend to be the grandchild, or another family member, and say that they have been arrested in some far off place.


The scammer will ask for two things, bail money and secrecy. They will say something along the lines of: “I don’t want anyone else in the family to know about this.” They will ask that several thousands of dollars be wired to them. They do this because the money will not be able to be reclaimed, and they do not want their victim to talk to anyone else about the problem.


To counteract this, it is important that you always check in with the people who know the person who claims to be calling you. Talk to the person’s parents or friends, someone who would know where that relative is. You may learn that he or she is safe in their room, not in some random jail. Just by doing this simple thing, you can save yourself thousands of dollars.

Whenever you get a call from a random number, and the person on the other end is asking for any amount money, proceed with caution. Think about how often, if at all, your family members would do something like this. If you are ever in a situation like this, and it doesn’t feel quite right, trust your instincts and investigate the matter before accepting that it is true. It could save you thousands of dollars, and numerous headaches.

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Creating an Emergency Kit

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As Californians, many of us know that the “Big One” could be just around the corner. We have to live in a constant state of preparedness. This means having plans for what to do in the event of an earthquake, and having supplies ready. The following is a list of supplies that every household should have stashed away in a safe place where everybody knows, just in case.

  • 3 gallons of water per person. This should last each individual 3 days.
  • A 3 day supply of non-perishable foods
  • Baby food, diapers, and wipes if you have a baby
  • Pet food and extra water if you have a pet
  • A can opener
  • Cups, utensils, and plates
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Battery powered, or crank powered, radio and flashlight. Plus extra batteries.
  • A whistle
  • Portable phone charger
  • Prescription medicine and glasses for those who need them
  • List of contact info for family members and friends
  • Important documents in a waterproof and fireproof container
  • Waterproof matches
  • A blanket
  • A supply of cash for food and travel for at least a week
  • A change of clothes and shoes for each family member
  • Activities for young children, such as crayons and coloring books

All of this can be very helpful in the event of any emergency. While this can offer a great amount of peace of mind, it is important to remember that certain items should be refreshed every six months or so. Things like canned foods, water, and batteries should be replaced from time to time to ensure they are still good in the event of an earthquake.


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Scary California Legends: The Monster of Elizabeth Lake

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It is finally October, which means Halloween is right around the corner. It is the time of the year when the weather gets colder, and scary stories reign supreme. With as large a state as California is, it should come as no surprise that there are a lot of scary myths and legends out there about the place we call home.


One such story, is the legend of the Devil’s Pet hiding in Elizabeth Lake in Los Angeles County. Spanish missionaries named the lake Laguna del Diablo.


According to several legends, the Devil himself carved the lake to house his pet. It was a fearsome creature with bat-like wings, a long neck, six legs, and a short face. The creature was rumored to emit a horrible stench, and was around 50 feet in length!

The first sighting of this horrible creature, was in 1830 when a rancher built his ranch along the shores of the Lake. Everything seemed fine, until a fire burnt down every structure in a single night.

Later, in the 1850’s when the property was resettled, the settlers all eventually fled to strange circumstances surrounding the area. They would be awoken in the middle of the night by screams and other unholy noises. They were plagued by strange visions until they fled the area for the sake of their own sanity.

As the years progressed, countless ranchers and settlers tried to build a life along the shores of lake, but each was chased away in time. Many ranchers reported that something was out there, eating their livestock. Others experienced giant, winged shadows flying over their homes. Those who saw the beast, tried to end the creatures existence with their guns. Unfortunately for those people, the bullets bounced harmlessly of the monsters hide.

While this creature chased away many men, there was one who refused to back down. Miguel Leonis would not let this creature continue to make a meal of his livestock. He lay in wait for the beast, and he got his chance, he opened fire on the monster. Just as the legends stated, the bullets ricocheted off the creature. They didn’t even scratch the monster.

Leonis, however, was not deterred. He charged the beast, attacking it with the butt of his rifle. He managed to land blows on the creature’s face, damaging its eye. The monster fled into the lake, where it lay in hiding, recovering from the attack, and waiting to make its next move and gets its revenge.