The 2008 debut novel of Doug Dorst focuses on a rookie cop who begins encountering restless souls while pounding the nighttime beat in the Northern California city. Colma is famous for being the Bay Area’s go-to place for burials, with 73 percent of its land dedicated to graveyards. About 1,600 people live there, while the underground population soars to around 1.5 million. (The town’s slogan is “It’s great to be alive in Colma.”)
Dorst’s novel was praised for taking the naturally eerie setting and fusing it with both supernatural elements and a by-the-book approach of a police procedural. The producers are aiming to give it a Chinatown or Se7en vibe, joined with the creepiness of The Sixth Sense!