Unexplained mysteries and the paranormal are a hobby of mine. I enjoy hearing about it and I enjoy writing about it, but like most people I never really experienced it first hand.
Until I went to Marfa, Texas that is.
The Marfa Lights appear in the desert around the Chianti Mountains in West Texas at dusk and move through the air with no real pattern. The lights are most often described as yellow or white, but just about every color of the rainbow has been reported at one time or another. Like other ghost lights, they disappear when approached closely, making scientific observation difficult. The lights have been featured on the series Unsolved Mysteries.
Skeptics have made the claim that the ghost lights are nothing but the distant headlights of cars passing on a highway far off on the horizon, yet they offer no explanation for the sightings and stories passed down by the Apache who contended that the lights are the spirit of one of their chiefs. They also fail to take into account the sightings by cowboys and soldiers documented before the distant highway was built.
My personal experience with the Marfa Ghost Lights was in 1990. My family and I were vacationing in Big Bend National Park and, on our way back, we stopped in Marfa to get a load of these so-called mystery lights.
Well, they were out that night and in full force. They were orange and, as we watched, one tiny ball of light traveled across the mountains and then split into two… and then three… and then four. They were traveling much…much faster than a car would have been.
During this entire eerie display, our dog refused to get out of the car.
Then, much to our surprise and the surprise of the other spectators on the side of the road, a bright orange ball of light appeared over us, sizzled, and then disappeared. It happened quickly, but I remember the light was so bright that it made everything cast a shadow and everyone watching the lights duck.
I’ve heard the skeptic’s “explanation,” but I know what I know and I saw what I saw and there is no way anyone will ever convince me that I was watching a car in the distance.