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Ghost story debunked

Don't go overboard, fellas

Posted: August 24, 2009 - 3:30pm

So some guys in Pope County have supposedly found the source of the “Dover Lights,” a mysterious glow of some sort, observed for years, along Big Piney Creek.

These pseudo-ghosthunters explored the area and found a setup of aluminum foil and tiki torches that ostensibly would appear as otherwordly glowing orbs.

Well, OK, fine.

One mystery solved.

But others persist. The folks at www.casprquest.com have compiled a lengthy list of the state’s most noted ghouls and goblins.

The “Galloway Virgin” in Galloway Hall at Hendrix College is amongst them. She’s been walking around in the attic over there for generations.

Over on the University of Central Arkansas campus, there’s something strange going on in Room 219 of Hughes hall. Appliances turn on and off by themselves. Things fly through the air, and strange feelings come over those in the room.

But Conway isn’t the only haunted locale in the area. 

The spirit of a young boy supposedly haunts the old gym at Bigelow. The story is that the boy was playing basketball when the backboard broke. A piece of glass cut and killed him. That’s him screaming sometimes.

The legend of “Petit Jean,” or “Adrienne,” is familiar to those who know the history of Petit Jean State Park.

And Arkansas is known for a few significant paranormal or monstrous entities.

Boggy Creek near Fouke has long been the rumored home of some sort of “Bigfoot” creature. They made a movie out of some of those strange happenings.

Lesser-known but perhaps more identifiable was the “White River Monster,” which years ago wreaked havoc around Newport. Now that we know more about the potential size of alligator gars and have seen manatees hundreds of miles inland, the monster’s identity is a bit less fearful.

Similar to the lights outside Dover, an unexplained light of some sort has baffled folks near Gurdon, too. This legend dates to the 1931 beating death of a railroad employee. The swinging light near the tracks may be the worker’s ghost with his old-fashioned lantern. Or maybe not. “Unsolved Mysteries” tried to find out but couldn’t.

There’s something about the idea of living in a world that contains things we just can’t quite put our finger on. True enough, we like understanding most of what’s going on around us, but a bit of wonderment isn’t a bad thing.

We don’t begrudge those Dover Lights finders their right to track down the root of the phenomenon. They wanted to know the truth, and they found out.

But we hope that maybe a few of these natural questions can remain unanswered. We rather like not knowing everything about everything. If our imagination can escape for a little while, that’s not a bad thing.

We don’t mind wondering whether we’re gonna come around a curve somewhere in South Arkansas and come face to face with a huge hairy animal we can’t name.

And though we might not be walking along many train tracks at night, if we do, we’ll keep our eyes open for a swinging lantern.

 

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