This Spooky Unexplained Phenomenon in Missouri Will Give You Goosebumps
Just west of Hornet, you will find the “Devil’s Promenade,” a well-known bizarre visual phenomenon also known as a “spooklight.” It is one of a type of “will-o-wisps” lights – strange lights that are often mistaken for ghosts and UFOs, and are mostly seen at night.
It is known by many names: The Ozark Spook Light, the Hornet Ghost Light, the Joplin Ghost Light, the Devil’s Jack-O-Lantern, and the Tri-State Spook Light. Reports of this mysterious glowing orb date back to as early as 1881, perhaps even earlier.
Many explanations for this phenomena include escaping natural gas or a luminescence created by rotting organic matter, reflected car lights, and electrical charges. In reality, no one really knows for sure what it is.
As with much of the unexplained, there are many urban legends and rumors surrounding the spook light. One story maintains that it is the spirits of a young Quapaw Indian couple. They were in love but forbidden to marry because the man did not have enough of a dowry. Unwilling to live without each other, they leapt to their deaths into the Spring River.
Other rumors insist that it is either the torch of a beheaded Quapaw or Osage Indian, the spirit of a miner decapitated in a mining accident, or the spirit of a Confederate sergeant killed by cannon fire, all looking for their heads. It has even been said that it is the spirit of a miner searching for his children who were kidnapped by Indians.
The building and sign of the Spooklight Museum still remain, even though it is no longer in business. It now serves as a symbol for the location of the spook light itself.
Spooklight Road is eleven miles southwest of Joplin, just past the village of Hornet. It is in the area where Missouri borders both Oklahoma and Kansas. It can be seen from a couple different locations, but coming from Joplin, it’s pretty easy to get to.
Interstate 44 takes you to Route 43, go south, turn right onto Coyote Road. Pass through the town of Hornet. Then, you take a right on Gum Road, a left onto State Line Road, then the first right after that is what they locally call "Spook Light Road." Along this four-mile stretch of road, you will find markings where people park and watch for the light.
Check out this great video capture of the light by bl4good!
Have you seen this mysterious phenomenon? What was your experience? Share your pictures, stories, and thoughts.
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