I haven’t written a new short story this week. Sorry about that. But, I have been busy with the full-length “Handsome Man”. It is not finished, but you can read chapter by chapter on Inkitt – https://www.inkitt.com/edit/964096


Something on BBC caught my attention. It is not strictly a “Dark Story”, it is odd, to say the least. Not new and I wonder why I’ve not heard about it before. Have you?

Have a look – at “The US’ Puzzling, Paranormal Mystery”.

It is about an odd orb of light. Bobbing and bouncing along a dirt road in northeast Oklahoma is the Hornet Spook Light. A paranormal enigma for more than a century. Described most often as an orange ball of light. The ball travels from east to west along a four-mile gravel road. It has been long called the Devil’s Promenade by area locals.

According to the legend, the spook light was first seen by Indians along the infamous Trail of Tears in 1836. The first “official” report occurred in 1881 in a publication called the Ozark Spook Light.

The ball of fire is described as varying from the size of a baseball to a basketball. It dances and spins down the centre of the road at high speeds. Rising and hovering above the treetops, before it retreats and disappears. Others have said it sways from side to side, like a lantern being carried by some invisible force. The orange fire-like ball has reportedly been appearing nightly for well over 100 years. According to locals, the best time to view the spook light is between the hours of 10 pm and midnight. It tends to shy away from large groups and loud sounds.

Though many paranormal and scientific investigators have studied the light. Including the Army Corps of Engineers. No one has been able to provide a conclusive answer about the origin of the light.

Many explanations have been presented over the years. Including escaping natural gas, reflecting car lights and billboards, and will-o’-the-wisps. Even a luminescence created by rotting organic matter. These explanations all fall short of being conclusive.

Photo by Ruslan Alekso on Pexels.com

As to the theory of escaping natural gas? This is common in marshy areas, but the Hornet Light is seemingly not affected by wind or by rain. How would it self-ignite? The idea that it might be a will-o’-the-wisp is discounted. This biological phenomenon does not display the intensity of the ball of light seen along the Devil’s Promenade. Explanations of headlights or billboards are easily discarded. The light was seen years before automobiles or billboards were made. And before a road even existed in the area.

One possible explanation that is not as easily discounted, is that the lights are electrical atmospheric charges. In areas where rocks, deep below the earth’s surface, are shifting and grinding, an electrical charge can be created. The place lies on a fault line. It runs east from New Madrid, Missouri, westward to Oklahoma was the site of four earthquakes during the eighteenth century. These types of electrical fields are most commonly associated with earthquakes.

Other interesting legends also abound about the light that provides a more ghostly explanation. The oldest is the story of a Quapaw Indian maiden who fell in love with a young brave. Her father would not allow her to marry the man as he did not have a large enough dowry. The pair eloped but were soon pursued by a party of warriors. According to the legend, when the couple was close to being apprehended, they joined hands above the Spring River and leapt to their deaths. It was shortly after this event, that the light began to appear and was attributed to the spirits of the young lovers.

Another legend tells of a miner whose cabin was attacked by Indians while he was away. Upon his return, he found his wife and children missing and is said to continue looking for them along the old road, searching with his lantern.

Others say the Spook Light is the ghost of an Osage Indian chief who was decapitated in the area. It continues to search for his lost head, with a lantern held high in his hand.

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

Another legend tells of a miner whose cabin was attacked by Indians while he was away. He found his wife and children missing and is said to continue looking for them along the old road, searching with his lantern.

Sightings of the Spook Light are common. Sometimes even reported to be seen inside vehicles. A few people, who have been walking along the road at night, have even claimed to have felt the heat of the ball as it passed near them.

Reportedly, the moving anomaly, growing brighter and dimmer, larger and smaller. It can be seen approximately 12 miles southwest of Joplin, Missouri. Do you want to see it for yourself? Take Interstate 44 west from Joplin before you reach the Oklahoma border, and take the next to the last Missouri exit onto Star Route 43. Travelling south for about four miles, you will reach a crossroads which is Devil’s Promenade Road.

More on this tale at: https://www.legendsofamerica.com/mo-spooklight/

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