HALLOWEEN SPECIAL: THE JOPLIN SPOOKLIGHT!
It’s October again, and that means we’re fast approaching Halloween, one of our favorite holidays around here at Landers Chevrolet Cadillac of Joplin. Costumes, free candy and spooky stories around the campfire! What’s not to love?
While Granny always told us not to believe in ghosts, there’s an apparently ghostly phenomenon right here in our neck of the woods that has been confounding everyone from native Americans to early explorers to government scientists for years: The Joplin Spook Light!
One of several “ghost lights” found all over the U.S., the Joplin Spooklight — which is also sometimes known as the Tri-State Spooklight and the Hornet Spooklight, after the small town of Hornet, Missouri near where they light is seen — is actually just over the border in extreme Northeast Oklahoma along a dirt road called “Spooklight Road,” due to its association with the ghostly light.
Consistently described as a pulsing orange, basketball-sized orb of light that looks something like the glow from an old-school kerosene lantern, the Joplin Spooklight moves east to west along the road, as is most easily seen from the east, which is why it is most associated with Joplin and Hornet, which lie to the east. Originally reported by Native American tribes in the area, the first written account of the light appeared in an 1881 account called “The Ozark Spook Light.”
According to locals, the light appears most every night on Spooklight Road, with peak viewing hours apparently between 10 p.m. and midnight. Eyewitnesses say that while the light sometimes hovers motionless, while other times it puts on an energetic show, bobbing, swaying, shooting back and forth and at times appearing to rise high enough to rival the treetops along the road.
Though several paranormal research groups and scientists have studied the light, including employees of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the cause of the Joplin Spooklight is unknown. Explanations over the years have included many of the factors cited in other spook light appearances across the nation, including naturally-occuring luminescent gas, freak reflections from nearby car headlights, refraction of far-away lights by gas in the air and electric discharges caused by minerals in the ground.
The light seems willing to appear in snow, sleet, rain and high winds, however, so none of these explanations are completely satisfactory to true believers. Legends that attempt to explain the light, meanwhile, run the gamut, from the ghost of a lost explorer to a Quapaw woman who killed herself by jumping into a nearby river rather than be separated from a man of whom her father didn’t approve.
So, do you have the courage to go see the Joplin Spooklight for yourself? Spooklight Road can be found near the tiny town of Hornet near the junction of the borders of Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas, about 11 miles southwest of Joplin. To get there, use your smartphone or in-vehicle navigation system to search for “Spook Light Road” (AKA E50 Road) in Quapaw, Oklahoma. There’s a spot where viewers pull off and park to see the light about 1.5 miles down Spook Light Road.
There’s a lot of mystery going on out on Spook Light Road, but at Landers Chevrolet Cadillac of Joplin, we’ve got the answers on the best vehicles around. And if you need a scary good deal on a new Chevrolet, Cadillac or quality used vehicle, come haunt our lot at Landers Chevrolet Cadillac of Joplin, where we treat every customer like the most important person we’ll see all day, because they are. Stop in today for a test drive, or check out our full selection online right now! Happy Halloween from your friends in the car business at Landers Chevrolet Cadillac of Joplin.