Inside an eerie California gold rush town that laid abandoned for 70 years

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In 1859, gold was discovered in California by a group of prospectors, including a tin manufacturer named W.S. Bodey. And the Gold Rush began.

The following November, Bodey died in a blizzard while making a supply trip to Mono County, California. Mines with gold were later found in Mono County around 1861, and the town of Bodey — later spelled "Bodie" — was born, though its namesake never lived to see the town.

People established a community there, full of wooden structures including a church, jail, hotel, bank and schoolhouse, as well as shops and homes. At its peak in 1880, an estimated 10,000 residents lived there, but Bodie was abandoned during the early '40s.

Today, it's a ghost town.

Bodie is now recognized as a National Historic Landmark, and about 200,000 people visit annually, though it still gives off a creepy vibe.

Jeff Sullivan, a California-based photographer, has been capturing images of Bodie since the 1970s, and now leads nighttime photography workshops there. He shared some of his modern-day images of the town.

Located east of the sierra Nevada moutains in California, Bodie has approximately 100 buildings still standing today. A fire ravaged much of the downtown business disctrict jn 1932.

Explore the ghost town from the comfort of your own home:

47 PHOTOS
Inside an abandoned gold rush town
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Inside an abandoned gold rush town
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, Antique Pick-up Truck. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, Informational Monument. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, Tom Miller House interior. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, Monument Entrance Sign and Ore Cart. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, Boone Store and Warehouse. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, Hydroelectric Building. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, James Stuart Cain House. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, Tom Miller House interior. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, Surrey Shed, Morgue and Miners Union Hall. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, 1927 Dodge Graham at Antique Shell Gas Pumps. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, Tom Miller House interior. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, Tom Miller House interior. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town Methodist Church interior. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, D.V. Cain House. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town Methodist Church. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, Miners Shack on Cottonwood Canyon Road. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, McDonald House. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, Swazey Hotel. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town, Barn and Saddle Room. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
California, Bodie State Historic Park, Gold Mining Ghost Town Methodist Church. (Photo By: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] A rusty old car sits in a field, bathe in the golden rays of the sertting sun, in the old gold mining town of Bodie. Bodie is a ghost town in the Bodie Hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California, United States. As Bodie Historic District, the U.S. Department of the Interior recognizes it as a National Historic Landmark. Also registered as a California Historical Landmark, the ghost town officially became a public California State park called the Bodie State Historic Park
UNITED STATES - MARCH 24: View of Bodie, now abandoned 19th century mining centre, California, United States of America. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
Lola L.Falantes[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] Store and camion at Bodie, a mining ghost town.
An old mine at the ghost town of Bodie. Thousands of leaves from trees and brush change color as the fall season moves in the eastern side of the Sierra Mountain Range in California. (Photo by Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images)
The ghost town of Bodie in autumn light. The autumn season in the Eastern High Sierra area of California. Thousands of trees are changing colors and producing brilliant and vibrant colors leaves all over the Eastern Sierra valley. (Photo by Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images)
The ghost town of Bodie in autumn light. The autumn season in the Eastern High Sierra area of California. Thousands of trees are changing colors and producing brilliant and vibrant colors leaves all over the Eastern Sierra valley. (Photo by Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images)
[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] bodie, california, usa, abandoned, ghost town, old building, heritage, historical sight
[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] Built in 1882, this was the only Protestant Church in Bodie. It closed its doors in 1932.
BODIE STATE HISTORIC PARK, CA - MAY 20, 2012: Visitors to Bodie can take photographs, walk the dusty streets and peek through the windows of long-abandoned buildings and homes in the gold-mining ghost town from the late 1800's. Bodie is in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The mining town is preserved in a state of 'arrested decay' by the California State Parks System. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images) 5104602RA_Bodie38.jpg
BODIE STATE HISTORIC PARK, CA - MAY 20, 2012: The old Standard Company ore mill is a landmark at Bodie, a gold-mining ghost town from the late 1800's in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The mining town is preserved in a state of 'arrested decay' by the California State Parks System. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images) 5104602RA_Bodie37.jpg
BODIE STATE HISTORIC PARK, CA - MAY 20, 2012: A log-abandoned miner's cabin is used as a ranger station at Bodie, a gold-mining ghost town from the late 1800's in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The mining town is preserved in a state of 'arrested decay' by the California State Parks System. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images) 5104602RA_Bodie40.jpg
BODIE STATE HISTORIC PARK, CA - MAY 20, 2012: The old Standard Mine and Ore Mill is a landmark at Bodie, a gold-mining ghost town from the late 1800's in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The mining town is preserved in a state of 'arrested decay' by the California State Parks System. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images) 5104602RA_Bodie35.jpg
BODIE STATE HISTORIC PARK, CA - MAY 20, 2012: An old well at Bodie State Historic Park is a much photographed relic from the past. Bodie is a gold-mining ghost town from the late 1800's in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The mining townis preserved in a state of 'arrested decay' by the California State Parks System. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images) 5104602RA_Bodie30.jpg
BODIE STATE HISTORIC PARK, CA - MAY 20, 2012: Visitors to Bodie can peek through the windows of the long-abandoned general store. The gold-mining ghost town from the late 1800's is in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The mining town is preserved in a state of 'arrested decay' by the California State Parks System. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images) 5104602RA_Bodie27.jpg
BODIE STATE HISTORIC PARK, CA - MAY 20, 2012: Visitors to Bodie can peek through the windows of long-abandoned buildings and homes in the gold-mining ghost town from the late 1800's in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The mining town is preserved in a state of 'arrested decay' by the California State Parks System. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images) 5104602RA_Bodie25.jpg
BODIE STATE HISTORIC PARK, CA - MAY 20, 2012: Visitors to Bodie can peek through the windows of long-abandoned buildings and homes in the gold-mining ghost town from the late 1800's in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The mining town is preserved in a state of 'arrested decay' by the California State Parks System. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images)5104602RA_Bodie29.jpg
BODIE STATE HISTORIC PARK, CA - MAY 20, 2012: Visitors to Bodie State Historic Park can peek through the windows of the long-abandoned Bodie Hotel in Bodie, a gold-mining ghost town from the late 1800's in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The mining town is preserved in a state of 'arrested decay' by the California State Parks System. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images) 5104602RA_Bodie19.jpg
BODIE STATE HISTORIC PARK, CA - MAY 20, 2012: Visitors to Bodie State Historic Park can peek through the windows of the long-abandoned Boone Store at Bodie, a gold-mining ghost town from the late 1800's in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The mining town is preserved in a state of 'arrested decay' by the California State Parks System. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images) 5104602RA_Bodie15.jpg
USA, California, Bodie Ghost Town, Abandoned saloon at ghost town (Photo by: JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images)
USA, California, Bodie Ghost Town, Old fashioned Hearse at museum (Photo by: JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images)
USA, California, Bodie Ghost Town, Damage of home interior (Photo by: JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images)
USA, California, Bodie Ghost Town, Damaged of home interior (Photo by: JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images)
USA, California, Bodie Ghost Town, Abandoned coffin in ghost room (Photo by: JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images)
USA, California, Bodie Ghost Town, Abandoned coffin in ghost room (Photo by: JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images)
USA, California, Bodie Ghost Town, Abandoned shop (Photo by: JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images)
USA, California, Bodie Ghost Town, Abandoned shop (Photo by: JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images)
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