Colma, California, in San Mateo County had previously been reserved for burials which became increasingly valuable. The dead inhabit the living by a thousand to one. Even with hundreds of thousands of corpses moved from their initial resting place, Colma is now home to some of the most famous American history names. There are 17 cemeteries in the City of the Dead. Several of Colma’s graveyards are home to mass graves. Unless families paid $10 to have their loved ones moved, their bodies ended up being reburied in mass graves. When the massive 1906 San Francisco Earth hot, they moved even more bodies to the City of the Dead; while San Francisco paid to have the bodies removed, tombstones were left behind if no loved ones didn’t come forward and pay the cost to move them.
In the 1900s every body had been moved from San Francisco, and cemeteries were banned. Sadly, some gravestones were reused for gutters in the city or reinforced sea barriers keeping the San Francisco Bay at bay. Although 155,000 bodies have been moved from San Francisco to Colma, some didn’t make the trip. Construction workers can’t dig a hole on the University of San Francisco’s campus because they consistently stable across human remains. What is even more disturbing is when crews laid down plumbing pipes and disturbed the gravesites in the 1920s the workers would sometimes throw bones into the ocean.
There are some famous names buried in Colma. From like: Phineas Gage, Wyatt Earp, Levi Strauss, William Randolph Hearst, Charles Crocker, and Abigail Folger, to name a few. Phineas Gage was a railroad worker. In 1848 Gage was packing black powder into a rod when it exploded. The rod went through the left side of his face and out the back of his head. He became the first patient to lead the neurologists to identify the connection between brain injuries and changes in behavior and traits. Gage passed away in 1860 due to seizures and is laid to rest in one of Colma’s cemeteries. Wyatt Earp a famous Wild-West sheriff and is also known for his involvement in the gunfight at O.K. Corral in 1881. Levi Strauss is known for being the pants pioneer when he invented the blue jeans in 1873. William Randolph Hearst, the nation’s largest newspaper chain. Charles Crocker, the chief contractor in the building of the Central Pacific (later the Southern Pacific) Railroad. And last but not least, Abigail Folger, the heiress to Folgers Coffee and sadly a victim of Charles Manson.
Ghost Hunters, in 2012, conducted an official paranormal investigation in Colma. They were able to capture voices on their recorders, strange anomalies on their photos and concluded that the City of Souls is haunted. The City Council officially gave the town the slogan ” It’s great to be alive in Colma.” Would you visit the City of Souls?