Local lore reflected in Spook Light, Ghosthunter findings

Colby Williams

On a two-lane road just across the Oklahoma border, a crowd met on the center yellow line.

Before and after this meeting, the gatherers are strangers. For a few short hours, however, between the chirps and cracks from the woods on the left and the groans and shuffles of a cow pasture on the right, the gatherers assembled as friends and adventurers in a common goal: to see the Spook Light.

One group from Wichita came to celebrate a grandparent’s 100th birthday. Eighty years ago their patriarch saw the Light. Couples and friends populated the crowd, hailing from Seneca, Joplin, Tulsa, Miami and a small town in Arkansas that GPS has not yet located.

“It seems to be a night for it,” said an old man with a walrus mustache. He and his wife claimed to have seen the Light three times already tonight.

While some watchers succumbed to boredom while waiting to experience the unknown, dread overtook others.

Debates flared about the origin and cause of the Light: an Indian lover looks for his princess, murdered on the Trail of Tears; a miner with a lantern searches for his wife and child; natural gas flares up from the earth’s crust; a ghost haunts the fields.

“I got a chill,” someone from the crowd says. “I think it’s going to show up.”

The crowd quiets down and looks to the west.

The MoSo Ghosthunters are no strangers to the marvel of the human psyche. During their paranormal investigations, people frequently have “weird feelings” and see things out of the corners of their eyes. But who can blame them?

“That’s not enough for me,” said Nicholas Haring, president of the Ghosthunters. “I need cold, hard evidence.”

The Ghosthunters go to seemingly haunted places around the four-state area, such as the Peace Church Cemetery, the Prosperity Bed and Breakfast and the Webb City Health and Rehab Center. Ghost stories abound at each of these locations.

The Ghosthunters visit these sites in the middle of the night and try to explain away these myths using scientific experiments and simple tools like digital voice recorders and video cameras.

“For most of these places, we have scientific reasons for what happens,” Haring said. “I remember at the Webb City Health and Rehab Center, we tried to sleep in this room where most of the stories came from about people waking up seeing things flying around. It was hard to breathe. Some people felt like something was pressing down on their chests. Dogs wouldn’t even go up there. We found out, though, that there was a large concentration of carbon monoxide in the room.”

Sometimes, however, places like the Prosperity Bed and Breakfast offer a serving of spiritual surprise that no one can explain. Here, the Ghosthunters captured a picture of a face on a mirror that not even professionals can recreate.

“I don’t even think it’s a reflection in the mirror,” Haring said. “If you look close enough it’s in front of a lamp but behind the picture frame, so it’s not actually light reflecting out of the mirror.”

Only a random chance provided the opportunity to take that photo, and no one has explained this apparition. But the MoSo Ghosthunters know that the ghost hunting game balances perception and chance.

Luck seemed to be on the side of the gawkers on that crowded road in Oklahoma. Unexpectedly, a faint light flares up in the distance. A woman’s fingers faltered across her upper lip.

“There it is!” she said.

Within three seconds, the Light brightened and grew. Then, it vanished just as it appeared, without fanfare. Like the Light, the spectators dispersed in the darkness and disappeared down the road, destined to spread the story.