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Old mines, abandoned buildings, and the occasional curse: Ghost towns cover the United States, and they make for a fun detour

Some ghost towns are protected by parks departments. But Bodie, California, protects itself—with a curse.
For years, visitors to this ghost town have learned that bad luck will befall anyone who makes off with an artifact—a curse that is lifted only when the piece of contraband is returned. Sure enough, park ranger Mark Langner says that a couple times a month, he gets something in the mail—"an old nail or a piece of glass, with an anonymous letter apologizing—they know they've done something wrong." Curse or no curse, he says, "karma is karma."





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April 2015

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