Cerro Gordo: Ghost town, Quarantine hangout, and murder town
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If you asked most people what they wanted to spend their life savings on, most of us would probably not answer with “ghost town.” HOWEVER, most of us would probably be wrong. Enter: Ghosts of Cerro Gordo.
Where is Cerro Gordo?
Somewhere about 200 miles north of Los Angeles, 400 miles southeast of San Francisco and 200 miles west of Las Vegas sits Cerro Gordo – “Fat Hill.” A remote town (it’s about 25 miles from the nearest grocery store), it is nestled on the edge of the Inyo Mountains overlooking Death Valley National Park.
The town is appropriately creepy for a ghost town, and definitely haunted. Back in its heyday, Cerro Gordo averaged a murder per week, and they even built tunnels to allow for escape during labor disputes. Because, obviously things like that are necessary when you’re in a tiny town and someone is being killed off every week. With bullet holes in the walls of the saloon and blood stains on the floor, it’s not hard to imagine what went down. Cerro Gordo ghosts have some epic stories to tell.
For some wild stories, watch this:
That’s right, guys. Ghosts AND aliens, and a pretty badass back story. You can get the entire episode here.
Why would someone buy it?
So what would possess someone to buy a creepy old town full of 150+ year old buildings set on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere? Jon Bier and Brent Underwood, two young entrepreneurs, knew that the place was special. Over the past year, they have been working to revamp it into a retreat/conference space/film set/generally amazing little hideaway.
Then, when the pandemic hit, Brent decided to lock himself up in the little town to ride out quarantine with the ghosts of Cerro Gordo. He had no idea that he’d immediately be buried under 4 ft. of snow. It made for some pretty great Insta shots, which is probably enough of a reason to buy a $2 million dollar ghost town.
The ghost stories are wild
When they purchased the town, they were warned that some visitors may be hanging around. Apparently, the town’s brothel owner (it’s always the brothel owner), and another who was murdered in a card game gone bad are still setting up shop. Now, Brent is an admitted skeptic, but even he came clean that he had an encounter that left him pretty uneasy.
If you can’t watch the video, here’s a recap. As he was walking toward the bunk house he looked at the window, the curtain pulled to the side, and a little face poked out. Under the assumption that the contractors were staying in the bunk house, he asked when they were leaving and was told that they’re been gone for two weeks. So, a little uneasy, he locked up the door and went for a hike. By the time he got back, the kitchen light was on, even with a lock still on the door.
“Ghosts? I don’t know.”
If you want to follow along with Brent’s Cerro Gordo quarantine, you can find him on Instagram. It’s a fun ride.
And if you need more creepy ghost town stories, check out this week’s Homespun Haints episode.
Image pictured: Artist unknown. Untitled (Group Portrait of Miners). 1870. The Art Institute of Chicago.