Photos from Various Web Sites



There are many new photos here ( plus photos of car lights in Quapaw... from the Mulvane web site ...

On May 2, 2002 I found a rather big site called 'Hypno Raygun' (

From the Spook Light site (

Here are some Day time pictures of the Spook Light Road. It may interest some of you? Here is The First one. This is the Second One. This is the Third one. And Finally the fourth one. I don't know if anyone cares, but I thought you may want to see them.

Hello there, I guess some people have actually seen this page. Wow that is neato. So here is a new article written by Janet Warford-Perry. (she has another older article below which is very good as well!) This article was supposed to be in the 10/31/01 edition of the Tulsa World, but I guess they didn't run it, so Janet said I could use it here! So Go read it by Clicking RIGHT here:

Thousands travel back roads to gaze at the Spooklight Dancing lights bounce over Ozark hills and hollers By Janet Warford-Perry MIAMI, Okla. and Hornet, Mo.-Thousands have traveled down these rough back roads with full intentions of disproving the existence of the mysterious Tri-State Spooklight. Several disbelievers fled the scene visibly frightened, yet went on to spread the tale of dancing lights flickering through the Ozark hills and hollers. And the stories vary greatly in detail, with little consistency in the description or action of the Spooklight, located three miles from the state lines where Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri converge. Some people say the light is rectangular in shape, others claim it is a round or spherical ball of light. Appearing in singular or multiple fractions of light, witnesses have reported seeing a variety of primary color combinations including red, green, blue, orange, and yellow. Although it is difficult and time-consuming to catch these rays of light, several pictures have been documented at the site, from professional and amateur photographers alike. The Spooklight has been described as floating, bouncing over the countryside, skipping down the road, zipping overhead, hovering above the trees, and even darting in and out of cars. Nearby farmers learned to keep livestock out of fields along Spooklight Road, animals seem to become just as unnerved over flashing lights and possibly more frightened from the human activity on the frequently traveled roadway. During the peak season, it is not unusual for 1,000 cars to travel along two roadways (E40 in Hornet, Mo. and E50 in Miami, Okla.) for a glimpse of the mystery refraction. Local sheriff's deputies from the tri-state area share responsibility for control of the resulting traffic problems. Some law enforcement officials believe episodes are heightened in direct proportion to how much alcohol is consumed prior to viewing. Craig Stevens, a resident of Kansas City, whose father lives in Seneca, has been visiting the Spooklight since 1985. Joined by his cousins, Brent and Brad Needham, of Tulsa, Craig said the trio has shared several unusual and funny experiences on their treks to the Spooklight. Brent has taken several digital photos of the lights and has also captured the mystery while making video documentaries at the site. Craig recalled one two episodes that took the boys aback. He said one night while catching a glimpse of the light a black bird swooped down out of nowhere and another time when a shooting star appeared to frazzle the trio. At least two families have capitalized on the steady stream of traffic flowing in the area throughout the years. Until 1962 Olivia Buzzard and her late husband O.W. "Bud" operated a general store on E 40 road in Hornet, Mo. The couple gave out directions and sold a Tri-State Spooklight pamphlet. The couple claimed the light attracted visitors from coast to coast. During the 1950s the tale had it the light moved to E 50 road near Miami, which is currently considered Spooklight Road but also referred to as Devil's Promenade. In actuality, residents had documented the sightings on both roads going back as far as the late 1800s. Beginning in the 1950s, successive proprietors Arthur "Spooky" Meadows and Garland "Spooky" Middleton ran a Spooklight museum on E 50 road. Visitors read newspaper articles hanging on the walls while locals playing pinball machines would spin fascinating yarns about their encounters. A telescope that cost a quarter to use was mounted outside the building and on weekends, cars lined the road with passengers hoping for a glimmer of light. Although hundreds have recalled contact with the mysterious light, nobody has reported being harmed from its presence. Several people have been hurt exercising poor judgment, however, while trying to shoot high-powered rifles into the light. More often they come into harms way while running into objects when attempting to flee the scene. Stevens recalled hearing stories of the light burning cars, but is quick to point out that he's never seen any kind of damage done by the refractions. It is however a spot recognized the world over. Stevens said when a friend of his traveling in Ireland was asked by one of the locals where she was from, she responded by saying, "It's a little town called Seneca, Missouri. To which the elderly Irishman quickly replied, "Oh yes, the Spooklight is there, isn't it?" Despite many theories, both folklore and scientific, a sound rational explanation for the light has never been proven beyond reasonable doubt. The Quapaw Indians were the first people to report seeing the light in the mid-to-late 1800s. Their account is of an old Indian who was beheaded after a feud with his wife. As the story goes, the wife hid the head and now his spirit continually searches for it. Since the area was predominately lead and zinc mining country, it comes as no surprise another legend is of a miner decapitated in an accident. The light represents his lantern scanning fields in search of his head. The Spooklight drew the attention of the U.S. Corps of Engineers during World War II. Reportedly many soldiers from nearby Camp Crowder viewed the light via escorted tours by the Buzzard couple that ran the general store in Hornet, Mo. The Corps tested an area cave, streams and highway routes but failed to draw a conclusion, indicating time erases the theory the light is caused by gas from marsh grasses, old stumps or mineral deposits. Since those things would have changed properties over the years, the light would have worn itself out by now. Not long after the Apollo moon landing in 1969, a university professor, John W. Northrip, accompanied by some students of physics and astronomy at Southwest Missouri State University, examined the scene and offered his explanation. He said the investigation proved rising heat from surrounding hills carried reflections from car lights traveling on nearby Highway 66. Northrip staunchly maintains the Spooklight is an Ozark folklore passed down after the invention of the automobile, but wasn't visible by Indians during the nineteenth century. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources book 'Geological Wonders and Curiosities of Missouri,' offers no explanation for the light, but documents the light being seen by many people long before Highway 66 or an airport was established in Quapaw, Okla. A publicity director for the Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C. accompanied Dr. George W. Ward and other companions to the site in 1945 as documented in Vincent H. Gaddis book 'Mysterious Fires and Lights.' Observing a colored flash of light about five feet in diameter, the publicity director reportedly said he had seen all he cared to see and promptly locked himself inside the automobile. Although many people profess a desire to solve the mystery of lights flashing in the light, others are perfectly content to keep the Tri-State Spooklight just the way it is-a source of harmless entertainment to be enjoyed by generations to come.

2/5/01 I video taped some of the Spook Light last night on my video camera. It turned out pretty good. My cousin and I also went out to the site this weekend and he got some digital pictures of it as well. We will try to have those posted as soon as possible. Thanks for checking out the site! 2/2/01 NEWS NEWS NEWS!! Okay first of all I have a lot of LINKS added at the bottom of the page! Go check them all out!! If you didn't know about the Spook Light before, after reading all of those pages, you will be an expert! Next, I have a few more articles to put up here. First is one that was in the Springfield, MO paper on Saturday, October 28, 2000. The scans are HUGE but you can at least see the words this way. The first one is not so big. I tried to reduce the size. Here is The first Page. Then the article below the picture. Now this one is big!. And here is The main bulk of the article.

And finally I added another article that I do not believe is in the Book Pictures from below. It is a small article on Arthur P. Meadows. He is THE man when it came to the Spook Light. Here is the article on Arthur P. Meadows.

NEW! Here are some pics from the Joplin Globe Article that show things a little better. Here is a map to get there. And another small picture. And one more of the Front page.

Hey there was an article written in the Joplin Globe Newspaper in the August 27, 2000 issue about the Spook Light (and some folks from MENSA who tried to figure it out) . Here is a link to the Article. I am also thinking of adding some more information here, so you may want to check back soon.?..

Here is an article from The Missouri Conservationist Web Site. It is an article that was written in the Jan. 1997 issue. Hey you can click here for the article and it will take you right there.


by Suzanne J. Wilson illustrated by David Besenger

A nocturnal light with a 100-year history glows along the Missouri Oklahoma border. A gusty wind stirs tree branches along the country road where we wait this mild November night. We stand beside our cars, looking westward where the road takes a rising and falling course over the hills. "There! Is that it?" We can't believe our good fortune; not everyone who comes here sees this mysterious glow. It's above the place where the road disappears over the brow of a hill, maddeningly obscured by near and far trees. We are genuine adults in terms of years-myself, my husband Jim Mueller, who is a photographer, and Roger "Buck" Buchanan, a high school art teacher and accomplished amateur astronomer-and we're saying, "Wow! Oh, yeah! Whoaaaa!" We're bobbing and weaving, seeking vantage points, looking through binoculars and a six-inch reflector telescope. What we watch for the next hour is a conglomeration of light that waxes and wanes, disappears and reappears. Full of surprises, it shimmers, or looks like a necklace of lights or shrinks to mere twinkles. Is its shape due to leaves in the way? And it's far away, but how far? The experience renders us somewhat inarticulate. Buck, looking through the telescope, says, "It's really, oh, it just fills, it's like a bright star that, it's not clear, oh, come here, there's four. Hello! Good grief!" This is exciting. This is just plain fun. We have seen the Hornet Spooklight. Or have we? Our experience is only one way this light phenomenon has been seen. The Spooklight has a nomadic history that may go back over 100 years in an area on either side of the Missouri-Oklahoma line, about three miles west of Hornet, a small community south of Joplin. The nocturnal light glows in the distance or moves up the road toward you as fast as a person could walk. At closer ranges, people have seen it as round, spherical or diamond-shaped, the size of a lantern light or large as a washtub. You can see trees and bushes through it, says one observer. It may float past you, dance around or split and shoot off in different directions. This itinerant mystery is in the road, in a field, in the woods, at the window of a house. It's golden or red, or it appears as multiple lights in various combinations of yellow, orange, red, green and blue. Sterling Barnett had a surprise encounter with the light around 1979, when he was a teenager living on the Missouri side of State Line Road. "My dad was always on me to get my chores done before it got dark, and I would put it off," says Sterling. In the barn one evening, he suddenly had light to work by and assumed his father had arrived with a flashlight. "But I turned around, and there it was, big as life, right there in the door. It gave me quite a start. I was probably about 15 feet from it. It illuminated enough that I could see pretty good. It stayed there for 15 or 20 seconds, and then it went out." He thought, "Holy smoke!" The Barnett farm is in an area where people saw the Spooklight in horse and buggy days, before some of the present roads were cut through. Ralph Bilke says his grandfather, Lloyd "Dutch" Bilke, told him of encountering the Spooklight around 1910. It was so bright, his grandfather told him, "I could count the buttons on your granny's dress." Oral tradition says the light was seen as early as the mid-1880s. In "Tri-State Spooklight," a booklet published in the mid-1950s, Juanita Kay reported, "Many settlers camped here on our property overnight when they used to travel by wagon. After investigating the place where they had seen campfires the night before, my mother and father became aware of the light because they found no ashes where the fiery lights had appeared. This was back in the 1800s." The tri-state marker where Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri meet is three miles north of the light's neighborhood. To generations of area families, the Spooklight is a delightful and mystifying part of growing up. Their stories conjure up a hundred years of images-those couples in buggies, families watching from cars, farm kids riding bicycles around in the dark, carloads of teenagers in a Spooklight rite of passage, hayrides, tourists from afar, lost Spooklight-seekers knocking on doors, characters alarming enough to bring the sheriff, skeptics chasing an elusive glow or being chased by it and scientists prowling for the answer. To wrestle with the Spooklight mystery, you need to know the lay of this land on the northern edge of the Ozarks. From Hornet, West Hymer Road runs west and ends at State Line Road. There, the Spooklight area of horse and buggy days is just to the south on the Missouri side, toward Warren Branch. If you jog north on State Line about .2 mile, you can turn west again where Oklahoma's E 40 Road begins. Or, if you jog south about .8 mile, you can go west on E 50 Road. Both of these east-west roads have been prime viewing spots. The hills in the region step down gradually from Hornet westward to Spring River in Oklahoma. My father-in-law, Byron Mueller, laughs about his partial view of the light on E 40 Road, the place to see it around 1939. A friend had persuaded Byron to go on a double date and arranged a blind date for him. The night turned out to be too cool for anyone to ride in the roadster's rumble seat, and Byron's date turned out to be rather plump. With four people squashed into the seat inside the car, Byron could barely see down the road, but he glimpsed the approach of a washtub-sized light. Karen Allen Morgan, Joplin, says her older sister Rita took her and their brother to that same road around 1944. Their outings required a cooler of pop and some popcorn, as there was usually a wait. Karen sat on the car fender and saw the light top a hill to the west, travel down through a valley and then uphill toward her. "I can remember probably three occasions when it actually came right by us," she says. "I would be terrified at that point and would dive into the window of the car. It was a goldish-red glow when it was close, and translucent." Her sister Rita Livingston, rural Riverton, Kan., relates another adventure around 1950. After watching without success, she and her husband Robert discovered their car had a flat tire. "My husband took the tire off," she says, "and here comes the Spooklight, right up the road. It was about the height of the top of the car, coming like a big orange ball of fire. It was scary, spinning like a ball, revolving. The light came on up, went over the top of the car and on down the road behind us." Until it closed in 1962, the general store in Hornet was a jumping-off place for Spooklighters. Proprietors Olivia Buzzard and her late husband O. W. "Bud" Buzzard gave out directions and sold the "Tri-State Spooklight" booklet. "We sent books everywhere, California, Chicago," Olivia recalls. "I've been on the bus down in Florida, and people have said to me, 'Oh, you live at the Hornet Spooklight' when they found out where I live." During World War II, she and her husband took Camp Crowder soldiers to see the Spooklight. In the 1950s, word went around that the light had moved south to E 50 road, currently considered "Spooklight Road," even though sightings continue on E 40. For years, successive proprietors Arthur "Spooky" Meadows and Garland "Spooky" Middleton ran a small Spooklight museum/pinball parlor on the Missouri side of State Line Road with soft drinks, a view down E 50 and a telescope that cost a quarter to use. On weekends, parked cars lined the road. L. J. Perkins of Carl Junction can laugh now about her Spooklight outing with out-of-town visitors: "It was a great experience, one I never believed would happen. We saw it off in the distance, and we thought, well, that's it. And then this light just kept getting closer and kind of danced in front of us. That was when I got kind of paranoid. We wanted to get away from it. It kept bouncing along beside us and on us and over us, circled around us. My husband took a dirt road, and the car was never quite the same; we damaged the oil pan getting away." Aside from such human mishaps, I've heard no stories of the light harming anyone. Most local residents seem to coexist easily with the phenomenon. "I grew up with it and saw it a thousand times," says Charles Dawes, whose family lived on E 40 Road. "I never paid much attention to it." Yet many visitors have watched for it in vain, and a couple living near the Spooklight area on State Line for 37 years have never seen it. During the 1980s, Ralph and Josie Bilke lived on the north side of E 50, one-eighth mile back from the road. Twice, after having bulldozer work done in back of the house, Ralph saw "a big green glow out over the trees." Another night, after they turned out the lights, Josie says, "We thought someone had pulled up in our drive. It was the Spooklight, and it just lit up our bedroom. It was right on our porch, and then it went out." One morning an hour before daylight, as Ralph drank a cup of coffee, he saw at the front window "two big red-it looked like eyes - within ten feet of the house." The lights to the north and south of the Bilkes' house contradict the idea that you must stare westward down a road to view the Spooklight. And as a child, when Ralph visited his grandfather just north of E 40, they'd sit on the front porch and watch the Spooklight in the pasture across the road. They were looking east. All the accounts I've heard leave me longing to see the Spooklight moving toward me, dancing in the woods or zipping over my head. And I wonder: are the far-away Spooklights and the close-up personal ones completely different phenomena? What did I see that November night? Something explainable, such as car headlights miles away, or a hesitant Spooklight that kept its distance? Not that I want the Hornet Spooklight explained. It's better to have that capricious glow remain everyone's mystery, promising delight, amusement and a few chills to generations to come. Suzanne Wilson lives near Joplin and has a long acquaintance with the Hornet Spooklight. Spellbinding Spooklore Mysterious lights have appeared around the world throughout history. Humans have proposed explanations: ball lightning, fox fire (bioluminescence of decayed vegetation), marsh gas (burning methane), peizo electricity created by pressures on crystalline substances in the earth. Observers in Norfolk, England in 1907 were convinced they saw "luminous owls" which had contracted a fungal disease or had come in contact with phosphorescent wood. Descriptions from many countries will sound familiar to Hornet Spooklighters: fiery colored, amber, yellow or white globes of light; shifts in color and shape; swinging motions; no rays. Some lights appear to interact with people, approaching them, retreating when approached, reappearing behind observers as if playing a game. Legends are similar too, often based on the theme of lantern-carrying ghosts. Hornet "Spooklore" includes stories about a cruel Confederate sergeant, executed by cannon fire, searching for his head, and a miner seeking his kidnapped children. Another tale tells of a Quapaw Indian couple, forbidden to marry and pursued by warriors. When they leaped from a cliff into Spring River, their spirits merged in a wandering light. Missouri has been host to other strange lights. During the New Madrid earthquake of 1811, bright flashes burst from the earth. Lights in the sky in the Piedmont area sparked "UFO fever" in 1973; sightings dwindled by 1980. Dr. Harley D. Rutledge, then a physics professor at Southeast Missouri State University, wrote about his study of the phenomenon in Project Identification. Paul Devereux, an English researcher, included the Hornet Spooklight in Earth Lights Revelation along with nine other persistent light phenomena in his chapter "American Spooklights." He suggests the cause of what he calls earth lights may be a complex matrix of conditions, not necessarily identical for all light phenomena. "We are looking at an end product that is challenging and must ultimately extend branches of our understanding beyond their current reach," Devereux writes.

We have an old book about the Spook Light that has some interesting pictures and articles in it. I scanned them off for your enjoyment. The pages that are not listed are ad's. So here it is. It is really cool, so check them out. I have them in .jpg format so they may take awhile to load if you have a slow computer or connection. But they are very interesting. I am sorry about the .jpg format, that is the only way I knew how to do it. So without further delay...Here they are.. (but I only show two of the pages...SO)

Here is an old map...

More pictures...from ( )

This is called an 'infrared picture'

Heres one that shows stars!!! Note that there are no star trails so the exposure could not have been longer than 10 seconds. The star patterns looks vaguely like Scorpius...(May 2, 2002)


Copyright (C) 2001 Dr. Sten Odenwald