Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

Their populations are zero. But their past still lives on.

Ghost towns that were born, thrived and died haunt the American landscape. I’m Janet Stauble with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

W. Bodey discovered gold in the high desert hills of Bodie, California in 1859. The settlement was isolated until it boomed in 1876 when ore was discovered there. Miners then left to find fortune elsewhere. The last mine in the town was closed in 1942. Today, for a nominal price, you can walk Bodie’s dusty streets and enter its still in-tact buildings.

Mormon pioneers established Piedmont, Wyoming around 1867 to supply ties for the Union Pacific Railroad. But as the tracks were rerouted, Piedmont lost its economic locomotive and was empty by 1940. Today, admission is free at the Piedmont Charcoal Kilns State Historic Site. You can see remaining pine log homes and sandstone kilns.

An amusement park was built on the peninsula of Pleasure Beach, Connecticut in 1892. The park closed in the 1950s and its only access, a wooden bridge, burned in 1996. Its cottages are abandoned and visits are discouraged.

Want to learn more? Log onto Bankrate.com. I’m Janet Stauble.