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The Spooklight - Hornet, MO

Location Information

Date:27th July, 2013     Type:Residential

Location Title:The Spooklight     City/State:Hornet, MO

Investigation Times:08:30 PM - 11:00 PM     Status:Analysis


Weather Information

Sunrise:06:19 AM   Sunset:08:29 PM

High Temperature:79 °F   Low Temperature:60 °F

Sky Condition:Clear   Wind:NNE at 5 mph

Humidity:100%   Precipitation:0%

Lunar Phase:Waning Gibbous   % disk visible:70%

Solar X-Rays:Active   Geomagnetic Field:Quiet

Pressure:30.01 mmHg  


Investigators Present

Laura Moon

Becky Ray

Jennifer Sprague

GUEST: John Winterbauer

Location History

The Spooklight, also called the Hornet Spooklight, Hollis Light, Tri-State Spooklight, and Joplin Spook Light, is a mysterious visual phenomenon allegedly experienced by witnesses in a small area known locally as the "Devil's Promenade" on the border between southwestern Missouri and northeastern Oklahoma west of the small town of Hornet, Missouri.
Despite the fact that it is named after a small, unincorporated community in Missouri from which it is most commonly accessed, the light is most commonly described as being visible from inside the Oklahoma border looking to the west. The Spooklight is commonly described as a single ball of light or a tight grouping of lights that is said to appear in the area regularly, usually at night. Although the description of the light is similar to that of other visual phenomena witnessed throughout the world, the term "Spooklight" when standing alone generally refers to this specific case. Numerous legends exist that attempt to describe the origin of the Spooklight, one of which involves the ghosts of two young Native American lovers looking for each other.
According to most accounts, it has appeared continually since the late 19th Century, although it was generally not well known to anyone but locals until after World War II. Some date the first encounters with the light back to the Trail of Tears in the 1830s. However, the first documented sighting is generally accepted to have occurred in 1881, although some report sightings as far back as 1866. The earliest published report dates back to 1936 in the Kansas City Star. In 1946 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers supposedly studied the "Hornet Light", but could not find a cause for it. In their words, it was a "mysterious light of unknown origin". Early residents of the area reported seeing lights in the forest, over their land, or even in their yards.
During the 1960s, there was a general store in Hornet that gave out information about the light to sightseers. It included a "Spooklight museum". There have also been various establishments along the Missouri-Oklahoma state line that served a similar function, but they have since closed. During the 1960s and 1970s the roads where the Spooklight usually appears were often packed with parked vehicles and people hoping to get a glimpse of the mysterious light.

Investigators Notes

Becky Ray:This was my third trip to the Spooklight area, and pretty much the same as my other trips. A few times in the past I saw things I was not sure what they were, but they were only visible for a few moments - then gone.
There were several other people out looking for the Spooklight this night as the weather was perfect. I'm not sure if anyone saw anything or not.
From Wikipedia: Explanations for the lights appearance vary widely from the extraordinary to the mundane. The area of Oklahoma in which the light is seen is very hilly and forested and out to the west of where the light is seen lies Interstate 44. It has been suggested that the headlights of cars seen over the hills explain the light's appearance, which is sometimes said to bob up and down, dance, or even split into multiple globules of light. In William Least Heat-Moon's 2008 book Roads to Quoz, the author suggests that the lights seen at the end of E 50 are explained perfectly by the fact that the road aligns directly with Route 66 across the interstate and the river valley, some three miles distant. He also claims that earlier sightings of the light from E 40 Road, one block to the north, are explained by an earlier alignment of Route 66 to the north of the town of Quapaw, Oklahoma, and also aligned with E 40 Road. The author suggests that there are no reliable sightings of the light in any location but directly west along the road and therefore explainable by the Route 66 connection.
A far-fetched explanation details an old, lost miner, and the spooklight is actually his lantern. This explanation results from the Spooklight being situated in an area with a past of intense lead and zinc mining in Southwest Missouri and Northeast Oklahoma.
However, most people prefer to state that they cannot explain the almost nightly appearance of mysterious lights in the area, and descriptions of the lights date back to an era prior to the highway's construction. Other explanations for the light's appearance includes atmospheric gases being affected by electrical fields. A University of Arkansas professor studied the light in the 1960s and suggested that it was from a fixed object.


Jennifer Sprague:This was my first trip to investigate and try to witness the "Spooklight." I had heard stories about it over the years so I was naturally curious to see if I could witness it myself. There are many explanations and stories of what the "Spooklight" is. Becky stated some great ideas and explanations of what it could possibly be in her notes above. All together we spent about three hours on two different roads waiting to spot something, but nothing appeared. It was interesting to see others in the area as well searching for it. The conditions and weather were perfect. Unfortunately, nothing appeared this time around. Since I wasn't able to view it, I can't really say what it could be. But it sounds from what I have read from accounts that it might be something more natural in the atmosphere that is causing it to occur rather than something paranormal. But again, since it didnt appear this time around I can't really say for sure what it is or could be. Whatever it is it is definitely interesting and has kept people talking for a very long time.

No EVPS for this Investigation at this time
No PHOTOS for this Investigation at this time
No VIDEOS for this Investigation at this time
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