Recently, we took a trip up to Carthage, Missouri on business. We had to be back early the next morning so we didn’t have much time for loitering, but I couldn’t resist the chance to head for the Oklahoma line and scout out the South’s most famous ghost light, the Hornet Spooklight.
Sure it wouldn’t seem like much fun to visit a spooklight area in the daytime, but scouting a location before dark is an important part of research. Topography can fool you at night. GPS waymarks, altitude readings, and compass bearings done on site are always more accurate than the computer generated version. Plus, daytime scouting gives a real feel for the lay of the land and helps identify any possible artificial light sources before night fall.
The first thing you notice as you arrive at the Spooklight road is that unlike the old pictures there is a nice layer of blacktop. Several correspondents have assured me that the new road surface has not effected the appearance of the Hornet light as road work has with other ghost lights. The ditches are deep. It would not pay to pull too far off the shoulder here. While good for drainage, its bad for paranormal tourism. I doubt Ottawa county cares, anyway. The people who built the nice new houses along the Devil’s Promenade are reputed to dislike light hunters and hate the nocturnal traffic the Spooklight brings.
Which begs the question.
Why buy property on a public road and then complain about the public? It’s especially ludicrous since the Spooklight has drawn paranormal thrill seekers for more than a hundred years. Who would build a house in a known and popular sighting area if they didn’t like the attention the phenomenon brings? That’s like building next to an elementary school and demanding that the children keep it quiet during recess.
But not all the residents along Spooklight Road are inhospitable. One trotted right up to us as we took readings and pictures near the site of Spooky Middleton’s old museum.
He Bit a big chunk out of the plants Mrs. Austen had just bought on sale at Home Repo in Joplin, gave us a nod, and headed toward home.
We had little time to visit and unfortunately couldn’t wait for dark. On the way back to the main drag toward Fayetteville, we saw something that caused us to back up and snatch a few more pictures. It just may be me, but in South Arkansas we just don’t have that many submarines, especially submarines mounted on poles.
Due to all the bullet holes, I’m sure it will submerge. Surfacing is the question. You can see just about anything around Hornet. And it gets stranger after dark.
We shall return.