by Jose Kevo
December 9, 2004
Around turn of the century, mining dominated the four-state region, though not in this immediate area. Some type of unidentifiable gas seeping from the earth is the most practical, logical explanation, but most disbelievers swear that it's reflecting headlights from passing cars on the busy interstate about 10 miles north. That's impossible considering that my parents were watching the Spooklight long before traffic was present. As for when the light was initially discovered, no one knows but my grandparents knew of it when cars were still a rarity.
Numerous myths and legends encompass the Spooklight; my favorites involve the Cherokee Indians and Trail of Tears, which ended in this area. Whether a young brave looking for his lost love or a squaw in search of her papoose, the Spooklight projects a disturbing tingle of someone walking down the darkened road carrying a lantern. The first scared-to-death memories of the Spooklight come while sitting on the lap of an adult in a crowded backseat. It was dead of winter; patches of snow were on the ground and the heater in the '57 Chevy was cranking full blast. Coming here was a family thing with parents and friends. Eventually, station wagons gave way to church buses and hayrides and teenage summer nights with six-packs and convertibles.
As you might expect, there's plenty of bogus tales of attacks, phony bewitchings, and the light appearing within cars. The abandoned road runs for quite some distance, and we've tried getting close to the light, but no matter how far you walk or drive, it's always further off in middle of the road, regardless of how close it seems. The light comes and goes; sometimes with intense flashing and swinging, especially after rainfall, when the humidity is high. There's also been appearances when I've seen it split in two.
There's not a time I ever remember coming here and not seeing it briefly, though others will swear it's not really there. Weekend nights are the worst for viewing thanks to a steady parade of cars and headlights interrupting the darkness while casting speculations. Weekday nights are preferable, sitting for hours along the road without interruptions and proving beyond shadow of a doubt that the thing is real! Believing without actually seeing isn't expected. More than once while living in Kansas City, road trips were made confirming its existence. When bringing NYC Youth Center kids, owls hooting and coyotes yapping on a full-moon night had the homeboys ready to bolt for the safety of the ghetto!
Finding the abandoned road just across Oklahoma's border will likely be the biggest challenge, even with clear-cut directions. Send a message for specifics, or I'll be happy to drive as the official escort.
From journal Weekend at Kevo's