The Perfect Ghost Town—Using paranormal elements in your writing
When truth is stranger than fiction

One of the items on my bucket list is a plan to visit all 50 states. Because my home is in South Carolina I’ve seen many states on the east coast but few on the west coast.

Rhyolite, Nevada, is one town I’m dying to visit (pun fully intended). The town is northeast of Death Valley national Park’s a ghost town. Thoroughly abandoned although numerous remains are visible.

But Rhyolite wasn’t always a ghost town.

In 1904 it was reported that two men, Eddie Cross and “Shorty” Harris, struck a rich ore in Rhyolite. In 1905 and during the gold rush, Rhyolite quickly established and grew to a population of 10,000. So large, the town sported an opera house, electricity, water, two schools, a jail, and a stock exchange. As quickly as it grew the town began to fall. In 1907 a financial panic started the downward spiral. By 1911, only a few hundred people remained, dwindling eventually to a few dozen, and then abandoned.

As we near Halloween, paranormal books will be higher than usual on the list of many fiction readers, including myself. And no wonder, because the paranormal has always incited our interest.
One of my WIP’s novels touches upon a Romany fortuneteller and Gypsy superstitions. Utterly fascinating and believable. Or not.

But this ghost town proves that truth is stranger than fiction. The town is open for tourists and has been used in movie shootings. The rocky landscape surrounding the ghost town provides the perfect setting.

As I mentioned, it’s on my bucket list. Would you be interested in joining me on a ghost town excursion? We can visit during the day if you prefer.


  1. Mary Marvella // October 19, 2014 at 7:15 PM  

    What a cool place!

  2. Barbara Monajem // October 20, 2014 at 8:55 AM  

    I would love to go visit a ghost town. I remember driving through one in British Columbia as a child, and thinking it was very cool.

  3. debjulienne // October 22, 2014 at 10:50 AM  

    Josie, if you come to California, take me with you...I'd love to hit several of them in the surrounding states. I'm putting a pinch of paranormal in my cowboy westerns and trying to figure out how/where to do it now.

  4. Josie // October 26, 2014 at 9:06 AM  

    Yes, I agree. It's fascinating.

  5. Josie // October 26, 2014 at 9:06 AM  

    I'd love to visit a ghost town, also. On the east coast, there aren't as many to choose from.

  6. Josie // October 26, 2014 at 9:07 AM  

    I will be certain to call on you if I travel to California. You can use ghost towns as cool settings for your westerns, especially if you're exploring paranormal.