(ODD)yssey, Blog Post

Our visit to the site of the mysterious Brown Mountain Lights

A low-lying ridge in North Carolina is the site of a ghostly phenomenon known as the Brown Mountain Lights.

After Sweetums and I detoured to see the home covered in coffee mugs (the Cup House of Collettsville; click here to see it), we realized to get to our next destination would take us past Brown Mountain. Sweetums was familiar with the legend, which has even been featured on an episode of “The X-Files.”

BrownMountainLights.com says: “For perhaps 800 years or more, ghostly lights have been seen flaring and creeping along, and below, the ridge at night. Some of the earliest reports came from Cherokee and Catawba Indians, settlers, and Civil War soldiers. Thousands have witnessed the spectacle, which is ongoing to this day.”

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A marker at the site of the Brown Mountain Lights. (Photo by Wil Elrick/Permission Required)

The site also claims the lights have been investigated by the federal government but no source was found.

We visited the mountain in the daytime so, of course, we saw no lights, but we were fascinated to find a marker at the overlook that explained the phenomenon. The stories on the plaque were pretty typical urban legends for mountain overlooks. One legend claims the lights are the spirts of Cherokee maidens who search for their loved ones killed in a battle against Catawba Indians. Another story says a young mother-to-be was murdered by her husband and the lights first appeared to help searchers find her body. Then there are scientific explanations, such as marsh gas.

Read the history of the site and hear a song about the Brown Mountain Lights here.

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Brown Mountain in North Carolina. (Photo by Wil Elrick/Permission Required)
brown mtn 6 across road
This is a view from the opposite side of the overlook. (Photo by Wil Elrick/Permission Required)
brown mtn 7 kk
Brown Mountain in North Carolina. Notice the graffiti. (Photo by Kelly Kazek/Permission Required)
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The legends on the marker at the site.
brown mtn lights 4
Brown Mountain in North Carolina. (Photo by Wil Elrick/Permission Required)


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