By Austin Leonard
Mysterious ghost lights travel along the ridge before disappearing as quickly as they appeared on Brown Mountain in North Carolina. Many have tried to explain them as the reflection of a passing train, headlights from vehicles, foxfire (a bioluminescent light created by mushrooms on decaying wood), or moon dogs (moonlight reflecting on haze/fog). Others say St. Elmo’s fire (electric glows from sharp objects in a storm), aliens, too much moonshine, but none more famous than the tales of spirits who wander Brown Mountain.
The oldest tale of these mysterious lights comes from the Cherokee. A war fought between the Cherokee and Catawba in 1200 AD left many bodies in its wake. Many men lost their lives. The legend goes that the lights are Cherokee maidens with lanterns searching for their men in the night, still looking all these centuries later.
Or the story of the wicked husband who killed his wife and child and buried their bodies under stones in the mountains. When the concerned neighbors came looking for the missing woman and child, the lights appeared and guided them to a mound of rocks, which turned out to be their burial place. Some say the lights appear as a reminder to evildoers that the truth is always revealed.
Or the fateful love story gone sour. Tales of a man who would cross a dangerous patch of forest every night to see his girlfriend, who would wait for him and light a torch as a guide. On the eve of their wedding, she lit the torch, as she did every night, but he never came. Some believe her spirit still waits for him, shining a torch so he can find his way.
Some believe it to be the husband and father of a family who fought in the revolutionary war. He came home to his family missing, and his home burnt to ruins and so he wanders the mountains with a lantern, ever searching for his wife and children.
Or is it an omen? Locals believe that if you take your lover up to the mountain and see the lights dancing along the ridge, then you will be lucky in love. However, if the lights do not appear, the relationship will come to nothing.
Generations have told tales upon tales about the Brown Mountain Lights. Which one makes the most sense to you?
Watch videos by researcher Daniel Caton, who has caught the footage of The Brown Mountain Lights, by following this link to his channel on Youtube.com: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnEc7VgG3rlsgg2Ub4fWDZQ