By John R. Beyer

An apparition in the schoolhouse? Nope, just John's reflection in the window.

This past January, I wrote an entry concerning the history of California Historical Landmark No. 782. Those in the know would recognize that as the official status given to Calico in 1962 by the state.

In a proclamation signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005, the town actually became the Official State Silver Rush Ghost Town. Another old mining town, Bodie, a little farther north on 395, became known as the Official State Gold Rush Ghost Town.

Not sure where the Official State Bronze, Tin or Recycled Beer Can ghost towns are, but we will keep looking fervently. Actually, I’m not going to bother to look, but a recycled beer can ghost town could be fun. Probably a lot of happy spirits reside there.

With Halloween just around the corner, we wanted to see if there is any truth to how haunted this once-bustling mining town of Calico really is.

Maybe there's a ghost in this old deserted mine.

Of course, when visiting such places in search of the paranormal, it is crucial never to trespass or do anything else that may be considered illegal or in poor taste.

An example of illegal would be breaking and entering supposed haunted buildings, houses or other property. In poor taste, would be running down the street with a sheet over your head, screaming for ghosts to show themselves.

There are some pretty interesting hauntings going on in the little burg of Calico. I mean really interesting in the realm of: “OMG, there’s a ghosty right there. I can’t wait to Instagram my friends with this selfie. Well, after I post what I had for lunch, of course.”

Laureen and I decided to take our four-legged wards on an overnight camping trip to the historical 1881 silver mining town, but not before I made a sensible suggestion.

“You know, we can leave them home. They are dogs, after all.”

Laureen looked at me solemnly. “They’ll miss us.”

“For five minutes, and then they’ll be sleeping and drooling all over the furniture.”

We loaded our four beasts into the motorhome, and we were off for the jaunt to Calico.

The San Bernardino County park has plenty of spaces for camping large and not-so-large rigs, tents and even cabins for rent. Some guests haul out their off road toys and enjoy cruising the hills behind Calico looking at this or that.

When looking at this or that, though, be mindful that there are open vertical mine shafts — those are the ones that go straight into the earth. Some of these old mines are not safe and very deep. So deep that I’ve heard colonies of trolls live in one. There, they wait for an unsuspecting off-roader to miscalculate and end up as an entree for troll dinner.

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