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The Ghosts of Haunted Calico Ghost Town

Updated on November 18, 2014

Ghost Town Calico

Looking for a ghost town in California? How about Calico, which is near Barstow in Yerma? Many spirits are said to inhabit this once bustling mining town including men, women, children and even a dog.

Built in the 1880s, this location has many different spirits in numerous spots throughout the area. Come take a tour with me of some of the many buildings that makes this site so haunted.

Calico Ghost Town image of the entrance by WriterJanis.

Calico Barstow - Calico Print Shop

Although most people associate the location of Calico Ghost Town as being in Barstow, CA, it's actually a short drive from Barstow to the town of Yermo, CA. where the town is located.

The Calico Print Shop is a known haunted location in there. A ghost by the name of John is said to reside there. This is just the first of many haunted locations in Calico Ghost Town.

Print shop image by WriterJanis.

Haunting in California

This is the inside of the Calico Print Store. It's in the back right corner that John the ghost is supposed to hang out.This is a picture of that corner of the store.

Some people claim to feel his presence. Other times, children seem to encounter him. If you've ever seen him, I would love to hear about your experience.Calico

Print Store image by WriterJanis.

Calico Schoolhouse

You need to cross a bridge to get to the Calico Schoolhouse. There are several ghosts that are rumored to be here. In talking to one of the locals on my recent trip here, I was told that the spirit of a little girl is often experienced here.

What I find to be so fascinating is that this isn't the original schoolhouse structure. This is a recreation that was built at 1/3 of the size of the original.

Calico schoolhouse image by WriterJanis

Have you ever visited Calico Ghost Town?

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Calico Mystery Shack

This is the waiting area for guests who are visiting the Mystery Shack in Calico which is an attraction that seems to defy gravity. Due to the heat, thankfully, it is in the shade.

An elderly male ghost is said to inhabit the waiting area. He's not real active, but many people can sense his presence.

Mystery Shack image by WriterJanis.

Lane's General Store

This is one of Calico Ghost Town's original buildings from back in the 1880s. Like many other locations in Calico, this building is said to be haunted. There are reports of objects moving by themselves.

Lane's General Store image by WriterJanis.

The Ballad of Calico

This album by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition was inspired by Calico Ghost Town. The selection I have for you here is "Dorsey, the Mail Carrying Dog." This is a fun nostalgic tune about a real dog that used to carry mail back and forth between Calico and Bismarck. It is said his ghost remains in Calico.

Calico Dorsey

Calico Dorsey: Mail Dog of the Mining Camps
Calico Dorsey: Mail Dog of the Mining Camps

Read about the real Dorsey who worked as a mail carrier back in the 1880s. He went from a stray dog to one of the most cherished residents of Calico.

 

Hank's Hotel Calico

Another haunted location in Calico? You bet! This hotel is rumored to have both a female and male entity in residence. It's not uncommon to hear strange sounds in this building coming from other worldly sources.

Hank's Hotel image by WriterJanis.

Calico Ghost Town Picture

If you visit Calico today, you'll only see a portion of what the town used to be and much of that is the main street in town. Pictured here is the location of what used to be a residential area which was away from the town bars and other unsuitable locations for families.

Wonder why Calico is so haunted? Perhaps from all the deaths that occurred during it's mining town days. Being an old west town, one might assume that many deaths occurred due to drunken shootouts.

This couldn't be any further from the truth. This was a working mining town where miners worked in three shifts.Disease was a big cause of death with Typhoid and Cholera being two of the biggest causes. The desert heat was also responsible for claiming some lives.

Image by WriterJanis.

Bill Cook's Ghostly Guide to Calico Ghost Town

Bill Cook's Ghostly Guide to Calico Ghost Town
Bill Cook's Ghostly Guide to Calico Ghost Town

If you're interested in learning more about the ghosts of Calico Ghost Town, this book is your guide. For years, Bill held weekend ghosts walks throughout the town and has many interesting tales to tell, along with pictures of each haunted location. To my knowledge, it's the only book that details haunted Calico. It's especially nice to have if you're visiting there. I know it really came in handy on my visit.

 

Haunted California Books

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Calico Cemetery

Even the Calico Cemetery is haunted. Should you visit there, listen quietly. You may hear some sobbing sounds.So is this it for haunted locations in Calico? Not at all.

Many other haunted places are waiting for you including the R&D Fossil Shop, Lil's Saloon, and the Calico Candle Shop, to name but a few.

Cemetery image by WriterJanis.

Calico Cemetery Picture

Here's a look inside the cemetery.

Cemetery photo by WriterJanis.

It was Walter Knott of Knott's Berry Farm fame who was originally responsible for making Calico Ghost Town what it is today.After the town was abandoned and left for a ghost town, Knott purchased it, restored it and then donated it to the county of San Bernadino, CA.

California Travel Books

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Have you ever visited a ghost town? If so, where?

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    • Aladdins Cave profile image

      Aladdins Cave 2 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Hi Janis

      not been to the States yet, but I'd like to check this Town out

      Thank you for the info.

      I'm going to Tweet this to someone who does a lot of writing about

      Ghost Towns. Her Name is Tui, and she might like this as well

      Cheers from DOWNUNDER

    • profile image

      kristinaparsons83 3 years ago

      I visit calico about every 2 years - One time at the school house I got extremely sick -I got very lightheaded and felt like i was going to throw up -- soon as we left the area I was FINE - I told a worker -she said Sounded like the Dark entity that is over there... went back over there a few years later -never had it happen again.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      @MelaniePaige13: I hope you enjoy your visit when you come to the United States. There is so much to see here.

    • MelaniePaige13 profile image

      Melanie Paige 3 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Such an interesting lens :) This is definitely on the list of "must see" places when travel to America (which won't be for a few years yet, but time has a way of flying, so I'll be travelling all over the place before I know it!) Thank you for sharing, can't wait to visit and check it out for myself :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      @CaztyBon: They are quite interesting to see.

    • CaztyBon profile image

      CaztyBon 4 years ago

      I've never been to a ghost town I would love to go to one. I really enjoyed reading about Calico ghost town.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @qikey1 lm: You should. By the way, have any of your kind of spirits to share?

    • qikey1 lm profile image

      qikey1 lm 4 years ago

      The only kind of spirits I want to encounter are the ones that come in a bottle. Ha! Ha! I just had to click on it because it made me laugh!! :D We never made it to Calico when we lived out west. :( Looks like if we are in the neighborhood again we should definitely check it out!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @lesliesinclair: That must have been quite an experience. I love a good ghost story.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Not really, although I once saw a ghost inside a house.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Last time I visited with my family to Calico. My Dad, Mom, and I were walking through the mining tunnel they have to show how their living conditions were. While we were walking the tunnel cuts into two ways. One way ends and you have to turn around to walk back to the other tunnel to exit. When we got into the tunnel I got a cold eerie feeling. Then when we got to the fork in tunnels I couldn't walk though it anymore. Something told me to get out and it shivered my whole body. I had to get out my Dad didn't understand and called me a chicken but my mom understood. When I said I was leaving I started to walk backwards tears almost coming out of my eyes. My mom grabbed my wrist and tried to pull me into the tunnel but I refused. I dragged her out of the tunnel with me to the exit. I felt nausea and I was shivering. There was something in that tunnel and I will never go in there again.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @RinchenChodron: It's really a fun place to visit.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @aesta1: Actually, this is quite a lively ghost town.

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      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      Fun place to know about.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      It is sad to look at some of these ghost towns.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @CoolFool83: I hope you get to. They are so interesting.

    • CoolFool83 profile image

      CoolFool83 4 years ago

      I've always wanted to visit one.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @dean_w: That sounds like it must have been so much fun.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @hntrssthmpsn: There's more than one in California, but Calico is one of the most popular.

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      dean_w 4 years ago

      The summer between my junior and senior year in college a couple of us packed a tent and camping gear in the back of a car and headed to New Mexico. We made a big circle around the state camping along the way. We visited several ghost towns and the graves of a few old west legends.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      I have a fuzzy memory of visiting a ghost town with my best friend in elementary school... we're in California, and I'm sure it wasn't outside of the state, but I couldn't say beyond that!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @anonymous: That would be fun.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I hope you get to see a ghost one day.

    • audrey07 profile image

      audrey07 4 years ago

      I have not visited a ghost town before. I wouldn't mind if we go in a large group in the middle of the day. But I don't think I would want to if it is in the middle of the night!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Have been visiting calico every year for the past 33 years! Great place lots to see! Haven' t seen a ghost yet, but I want to go to one of there ghost tours!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I really like the paranormal. It has kept my interest for years. I haven't seen a ghost yet. really don't know how I would react to one. I would probably be a little scared, but in the same breath I would be intrigued by them. Thank you for the great lens.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @audrey07: But that's when the fun begins!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Sounds like an awesome experience. I wish you could share your pictures, too. Why not write a lens about it?

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @ERD1966: So am I. Ghost Adventures is my favorite.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @DeborahDian: I think he would have fun there.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      We stopped in calico yesterday on the way home. I didn't know anything about it until then but I went in hoping so see or hear something out of the ordinary. We were told to talk to patty in the sweet shop she told us done crazy stories of sightings and told us to go into Maggie's mine. We went in there and as soon as I walked in I snapped 3 pics in a row and in every one there is a HUGE orb that is exactly the same in 2 pics and the 3rd pic you can make out a face of a man and a dog. We also had a very strange and heavy feeling the whole time we were in there and felt followed. We took over 25 pics while we were in there and every one appears smokey or just white. I whole heartledly believe in ghost spirits and energy of that kind. I'm so glad I stopped there and want to go again. I wish I could share our pics!!!!

    • profile image

      ERD1966 4 years ago

      I have not visited a ghost town but I would like to. I am hooked on all those ghost hunter shows.

    • profile image

      ERD1966 4 years ago

      I have not visited a ghost town but I would like to. I am hooked on all those ghost hunter shows.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      This is wonderful! We live in Southern California and we have been promising our 10 year old grandson that we would take him to Calico Ghost Town. After reading your lens, I am more serious than ever about taking him! Thanks!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @takkhisa: Thank you so much!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @sukkran trichy: I'm happy you stopped by.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @kabbalah lm: How cool!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @VspaBotanicals: It's so much fun.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      This is my favorite lens of 2012.This lens is very informative and most of all, it is unique to me.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 4 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      i would love to visit this ghost town. thanks for an interesting read.

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 5 years ago

      I've been to Calico

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

      Wow, I definitely want to go to this place. I wholeheartedly believe in ghosts.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @Two Crafty Paws: You live next to a castle? How cool is that!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @Two Crafty Paws: You live next to a castle? How cool is that!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @LogStoreSteve: That sounds like a place I would like to visit.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @victoriahaneveer: Oh that must have been fun.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @victoriahaneveer: Oh that must have been fun.

    • Two Crafty Paws profile image

      Two Crafty Paws 5 years ago

      No, not yet. Don't know if I dare though. I do live next to a castle though so who knows, they (if they exist) might be closer than I think haha.

    • LogStoreSteve profile image

      Steve 5 years ago from England

      Yes, I live near one: York in northern England. It's the most haunted city in Europe or so I've heard.

    • victoriahaneveer profile image

      victoriahaneveer 5 years ago

      Yes in Australia

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @Tonto Murray: Glad you paid a visit!

    • Tonto Murray profile image

      Tonto Murray 5 years ago

      Cool stuff Janis.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @piedromolinero: It sounds like it would be very interesting to see.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @Jan 1980: I'm sure you have lots of great places to visit there.

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 5 years ago

      Unfortunately I have never visited a ghost town. But we have one not so far away from where I live. It is abandoned since about 40 years after a war between Turkish and Greek Cypriots and nobody is allowed to go there until now. You only can see it from far away.

    • Jan 1980 profile image

      Jan 1980 5 years ago

      I like this place but unfortunately I don't visited it because I am from Europe :/

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @JamesThomasCalho: You're so very welcome!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @fastpass2disney: Maybe next time????

    • JamesThomasCalho profile image

      JamesThomasCalho 5 years ago

      It has been long years since I've been to Calico. Bless Walter Knott for saving it for us. Thanks for a wonderful lens and a fine memory from my childhood.

    • fastpass2disney profile image

      fastpass2disney 5 years ago

      We really enjoyed our day at Calico - didn't see any ghosts though!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @tkunstler: How fun that you've been there.

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      tkunstler 5 years ago

      I've been to Calico - it's a very cool piece of history. Great Lens!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @kislanyk: I do, too.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @flycatcherrr: Fingers crossed for you.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @kburns421 lm: I love them. They're so historical.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @TolovajWordsmith: Sounds like a quiet place to live.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @anonymous: That is so interesting! Would love to see the image.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @JoshK47: Hope you get the chance one day.

    • kislanyk profile image

      Marika 5 years ago from Cyprus

      Oh that would be something, to visit a ghost town...Love ghosties btw!

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      I've never been to a ghost town, but I'd sure like to start with a visit to Calico!

    • kburns421 lm profile image

      kburns421 lm 5 years ago

      I've actually never been to a ghost town, but this one looks cool, and I'd love to go!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Our city was looking like ghost town at 4 am years ago. Don't know how it is now, because now I prefer to sleep in these hours...Cool lens!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I sure do believe in spirit ghosts. Someone took a picture of my daughter's intended to by husband after he died. Its unmistakably his spirit and image. :)

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      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I've not - but I'd certainly like to! Blessed by a SquidAngel!