Apalatea/Burlando House
Photo: Courtesy of the Silver City Ghost Town
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When Considering a New Home, Scrutinize the Neighborhood

In California's Kern River Valley is a patchwork quilt of a town made up of swatches of historic mining camps. Silver City Ghost Town, a museum and film location, is kept by its owners in "arrested decay", as if it were only yesterday that the Gold Rush ran dry. If you've got a ghost town, you'd better have some ghosts, and among the historic structures hauled onto the site, none is more accommodating to that crowd than the Apalatea/Burlando House. The oldest building in the Valley was once the home of the prolific Francisco Apalatea, husband to three and father of 13. The house is haunted by his last wife, Mattie, who lifts shot glasses into the air and rocks in the "unoccupied" rocker. But she's not the only undead here. Apparently those '49ers threw a heck of a party: a caretaker once overheard a haunted hoe-down, complete with ghost fiddle, phantom card shuffling, and incorporeal laughter.
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