Spook Lights Shine Across America
Spook Lights Shine Across America
by Rhetta Akamatsu
While researching a book on paranormal phenomena, I have been amazed at the number of "Ghost lights," "Spooke lights," or "Mystery lights" that occur all around the country. Many of these lights occur
near railroad tracks. Many have legends attached to them concerning engineers or train passengers who were involved in a terrible wreck in which they lost their heads, and the lights are generally flashlights or lanterns with which the ghosts are seeking to find their heads.
Whatever the explanation, it's amazing how many there are.
In Arkansas, one light occurs near an old railroad track near Crossett. It has been seen by many people since the early 1900's. It is seen as an eerie red, white, amber, or blue light about head high.
The Gurden Lights are more famous Arkansas lights, occurring in this small town about 75 miles from Little Rock. Both the Crossett and Gurden lights have the railroad decapitation legend attached to them.
In Silver City, Colorado, there is a variation on the theme. The mystery lights here are seen in the old Silver City cemetery. They are usually blue-white and about the size of a silver dollar, and appear in groups of two or three.
Georgia is home to the Surrency light. Surrency is a very tiny town near Macon. This bright yellow ball of light has been seen near the railroad tracks since the early 1900's. Science may have found an explanation for it in a strange pool of liquid that has been found far underground under Surrency. But the liquid itself is a puzzle, as liquid is not supposed to be able to form nine miles underground, where seismic equipment seems to indicate this liquid lies!
Michigan has the well-known Paulding Light. It occurs in Paulding near Wintersmeet, Michigan, and appears usually as a blue or white light. It is one of the lights alleged to be the lantern of a brakeman who was decapitated.
North Carolina has the famous Brown Mountain Lights, which have never been explained sufficiently and which the Cherokee and Catawba tribes believe to be the spirits of long-dead warriors who fought each other to the death long before the white man came to the mountains.
The Brown Mountain Lights are not the only spook lights in North Carolina, though. Wilmington has the Maco Station Lights, which actually could be the result of the death of
a railroad man named Joe Baldwin in 1867.
Oklahoma has the Joplin, or Hornet, Spooklight. It is sometimes a single orb and sometimes a chain of glowing lights, usually gold or red, and sightings go all the way back to the days of wagon trains.
Bragg, Texas has another occurance of a mysterious light, and another decapitated brakeman legend. This light starts small and grows to about the size of a flashlight beam, and is orange.
Texas also has the very well-known Marfa Lights. The first recorded account of these lights was by a rancher in 1893. The Apache have legends that the lights are stars that fell from the sky. Today, they can be seen from US 90. They vary in color and intensity and appear to move about. Some skeptics claim they are reflections of car lights, but, of course, they were being seen in exactly the same way long before there were cars.
Whatever the spooklights are, they are not just an American phenomenon, of course. There are spooklights in Canada, in the UK, in Norway, and in many other places around the world.
Someday, we may be able to explain them, but in the meantime, it's nice to have a little mystery in our world.