Spook Lights

 

[July 2003] I first heard about Spook Lights while reading William R. Corliss' 'Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomena' some years back. I have always enjoyed reading through this book because it seems to be rather dispassionate in cataloging odd things that people have seen (mostly reports from the 1800's!!) including ball lightning (a real phenomenon) and unusual natural sounds. Among his list are Spook Lights or 'Earth Lights'. Apparently, there are many different varieties of these, but in nearly all cases they are accompanied by lots of local folk tales.

What I am going to try to do at this web page is create an archive that will serve as my notepad for what I hope is a very dispassionate study of these curious phenomena. I will try to collect only the best information that I can about them. I don't claim that I will come to a better understanding of what they are, but I do want to reduce their study to a bare set of facts that seem indisputable...at least for now. Besides, there is no centralized place on the web where you can get the complete story of all of the known sightings, and the few pages available vary enormously in their content and quality.

I have borrowed text and images from many web sites and have fully cited them via specific names and URLs. The material I have collected is roughly current to about 2001. This site is provided for educational purposes only.

Here are some of my thoughts about the general problem of studying these phenomena, and why scientists may never be able to 'prove' what is really going on with them:

Why it's Hard to Investigate Unusual Phenomena that Have Captured the Popular Imagination.

 

Marfa Lights..............................Marfa, Texas

Big Thicket Lights...................Sarasota, Texas

Hornet Lights............................Joplin, Missouri

Brown Mountain Lights...........Morganton,North Carolina

Gurdon Lights...........................Gurdon,Arkansas

Maco Lights..............................Wilmington,North Carolina

Paulding Light...........................Watersmeet,Michigan

Maple Lake Light....................Willow Springs, Il

Saint Louis Light.......................St. Louis, Saskatchewan

Dog Meadow Light..................Eagle River, Wisconcin

Hebron Light............................Hebron, Maryland

Cohoke Light............................West Point, Virginia

Surrency Light.......................Surrency, Georgia

Bingham Light..........................Dillon, South Carolina

Cogdell Light...........................Cogdell, Georgia

Dover Light.............................Dover, Ozarks

McDermott Light..................McDermott, Nevada

Scugog Light...........................Scugog, Ontario

Senath Light...........................Senath,Missouri

Old Brewery Hill Light.........Le Sueur, Minnesota

Illinois Central Light.............Beauregard, Mississippi

Haldeman Light.......................Haldeman, Kentucky - No Details

Hansel Light............................Bucks County, Pennsylvania - No Details

Oxford Light..........................Oxford, Ohio

Elsey's Light...........................Crisfield, Maryland

Cal's Light..............................Andrews, Maryland

Silver Cliff Cemetary Light.......................Silver Cliff, Colorado

Oviedo Lights.........................Oviedo, Florida

Gonzales Lights.......................Gonzales, Louisiana

Grosse Tete Lights..................Grosse Tete, Louisiana

 

Notes of Interest:

 My Comparisons of the above reports to extract similarities and differences

 The Science of Mirages - Some comments about a popular explanation

 The Condon Report, Chapter 4, on Mirages

 The Science of Atmospheric Light Amplification

 Bibliography

 A general article

 British Lights

 Legal Status of Eyewitness Accounts Part 1

 Legal Status of Eyewitness Accounts Part 2