Ghost Town, Oakland, California

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For other uses, see Ghost town (disambiguation).

Ghost Town (sometimes spelled Ghosttown) is the informal name of the Foster Hoover Historic District neighborhood in West Oakland, Oakland, California.[1][2] The community is known for its violence and blight .[1][3][4] The name originates from a drug king pin who referred to the area as a ghost town due to the shortage of other drug dealers whose absence was attributed to the king pin's dominance over the area. [2] It stretches from 31st Street to 35th Street in the area immediately southwest of the Macarthur Maze.[1][2] This neighborhood has an active citizen crime patrol, including one group of seniors who walk the neighborhood weekly to get physical exercise and report blight.[5] Jerry Brown, governor of California and Mayor of Oakland stated: "Instead of an omnibus crime bill, you have to deal with shootings in Ghostown in West Oakland and sideshows in East Oakland."[6] Brown made attempts to turn around the blighted West Oakland neighborhood after 60 Minutes featured it in a television profile.[4]

The term "Ghost riding" has been attributed to this Oakland neighborhood. According to the Contra Costa Times and The Washington Post, local rapper Mistah F.A.B. popularized the term with his song "Ghost Ride It"[7] and speculated that its origins are in Ghosttown.[8]

City-County Neighborhood Initiative[edit]

Both Foster/Hoover Historic District(Ghosttown) and Sobrante Park, were targeted for youth intervention programs by the city of Oakland in their "Measure Y" campaigns.[9] The specific program is termed by the city the "City-County Neighborhood Initiative". Its strategy, according to the Human Services Department, is "based on best practices, has community builders going door-to-door to support and encourage neighbors to address their issues (e.g., typically truant youth, blight, and loitering) and help them ultimately to organize (e.g., Friends of Durant Park, West Oakland Mini-Grant Committee, Resident Action Council, Block captains, neighborhood watches, Home Alert, Renters or Home Owners’ Associations) and take ownership of their communities. This strategy is based on the theory that violence must be addressed in the context of the community in which it occurs."[9]


  1. ^ a b c Ostler, Scott (June 22, 2007). "Baseball Brings Life: Boy's death spurs Oakland couple to save neighborhood kids one game at a time The gang Ghosttown have gang rivals with Acorn, Campbel Village, Bottoms & the Lower Bottoms, but have a close bond with Cypress Village work=The San Francisco Chronicle". Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  2. ^ a b c Dan Antonioli. "A Short History of Ghost Town". Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  3. ^ Hatfield, Larry D. (July 9, 1998). "Oakland nabs drug suspects.". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  4. ^ a b Matier, Phillip; Ross, Andrew (January 24, 2001). "'Ghost Town' a Work in Progress.". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-09-25. So now, as Brown prepares to deliver his State of the City address tomorrow, how have things turned out in the mayor's little crusade to reshape the neighborhood known on the streets as "Ghost Town?" 
  5. ^ Heredia, Christopher (May 27, 2007). "Eyes, ears, feet on streets; Citizen groups gather to patrol neighborhoods, help law enforcement". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  6. ^ DeFao, Janine; Zamora, Jim Herron (October 9, 2005). "Dellums may face big reality check". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  7. ^ ."The hip list: best, worst of '06", Contra Costa Times, December 26, 2006. Accessed October 20, 2007.
  8. ^ Farhi, Paul. "Ghost-Riding: Brake-Dancing With Zip Under the Hood", The Washington Post, "F.A.B. (real name: Stanley Cox) says in an interview that he first saw people ghost-riding about 10 years ago in Oakland's "Ghosttown" section ( where he thinks the name might have originated)." December 27, 2006, p. C01. Accessed October 18, 2007.
  9. ^ a b "Programs for families and children". Oakland, California. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 

Coordinates: 37°49′23″N 122°16′17″W / 37.82295°N 122.27146°W / 37.82295; -122.27146