Near Joplin, Missouri, there’s a mysterious Spook Light that dates back to 1886 and has been described as a bobbing and weaving ball of light, about the size of a basketball. It sometimes splits and divides, and may be white, yellow, orange, red or purple. Armed with night vision video cameras, a Geiger counter, and a negative ion detector, the Ghost Research Society spent three nights near Spook Light road investigating it. Society president Dale Kaczmarek says the elevation of the land rules out car headlights. It’s not swamp gas, because there are no swamps. There are no nearby mines that might release gases. Fox fire is caused by decaying wood, but it produces a dull glow that doesn’t move around like the Spook Light. “What we’re left with is an anomaly, unless we assume it is some sort of spirit,” he says. “I know from my research that ghosts can often appear as balls of light. They don’t always appear as we look.”
Kaczmarek and his team saw nothing on the first night, but had better luck on their second. ?There was a momentary encounter at one of the outposts with what they described as a purplish light,? he says. ?Each outpost had two people and both members actually saw the purplish light. It was at treetop level for about 10 to 15 seconds.? On the third night the team moved further down the road, and had an encounter with the light at 1 am. ?In the distance, we observed a pinpoint of light, not on the road, but high above the road,? Kaczmarek says. ?It was definitely not on the road. We saw this light approach, lasting no longer than 30 seconds. It was whitish with a tinge of yellow.?
Jennifer Lunsford is a fourth generation Apache who was adopted into the Quapaw Tribe. She performs a ritual to bring out the Spook Light, which was passed down from her elders. ?Something they taught me is whenever you go where there are spiritual beings, (so) give them something as an offering,? she says. ?In general, when you go to visit an elder, you take tobacco or food.?
She then reassures the Spook Light, which she thinks is male. ?I tell him I?m not here to do any harm, I?m just visiting.? The Spook Light usually cooperates by making an appearance. She usually goes in the winter and tries to plan her visits when there aren?t a lot of other people on the road. ?Go about 11 (pm) and be prepared to sit,? she says.
Lunsford hasn?t heard of any Indian legends that explain the light. She has heard white people?s stories that say it?s the soul of an Indian chief who was murdered, a doctor and his pregnant wife murdered by Indians, a dead miner or a decapitated Civil War soldier. She says, ?There are just things in this world that won?t ever be explained.?
Linda and Darren Morris, who live in Yorkshire in the U.K., are haunted by a troublesome Roman ghost. “It’s really creepy,” says Linda. “Once I was in the kitchen watching TV and I felt this hand stroking my leg. At first I thought it was Darren feeling romantic, but when I turned around to tell him off, there was no one there. My husband was in the other room. We’ve been told the house is built on top of a Roman burial site, so I’m convinced it’s something to do with that.”
The hauntings began soon after the family moved into the house three years ago. “I saw a shadow of a man in the kitchen when I first moved in,” says Darren. “We’ve been watching TV a few times and the channels just start to change themselves. We’ll often hear banging noises upstairs and at one point the doorbell was ringing so often by itself I had to remove it.”
“According to local records, a Roman skeleton was found there in 1948,” says a local archeologist. “Romans buried their dead at the side of roads and this site is right next to an ancient highway.”
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