Location: Codgell, Georgia
Appearance: White, greenish, or red-orange light, approximately basketball-sized, which may grow larger as it approaches the observer. May pass under or through a vehicle.
- The light is said to be that of a railroad worker who was decapitated in an accident.
Other explanations: Perhaps swamp gas, but nothing conclusive was ever decided.
Additional notes: This light appears to be defunct.
The Codgell Spooklight, located in the small unincorporated burg of Codgell, Georgia, appears to be another one of the lesser-known lights. Like many other ghost lights, it involves a railroad employee losing his head and searching for it with his lantern. The railroad tracks are long gone now, replaced by a dirt road. This legend features the frequent “instructions” included in many of these stories, which directs the observer to drive their car down the road where the light appears, turn the car around, and flash their headlights to “call” the light.
Accounts describe a basketball-sized light, which may grow to become larger as it approaches the observer in their car, and may pass through or under the vehicle. The most common color reported is greenish or white, or rarely red-orange. It seems probable that this is an older urban legend that has been mostly forgotten in modern times. The few firsthand accounts I could find were from many decades ago and there is a complete lack of modern sightings.
Date received: Sun, 13 Feb 2000
I grew up in Clinch County, Georgia. The small town of Cogdell was famous in South Georgia and North Florida for its spooklight. I grew up hearing the legends of the Cogdell Spooklight. It was visible on a dead end road that paralleled the old train track. As the legend goes, the conductor was killed in a train accident and was decapitated. The light was supposedly from his lantern as he searched for his head.
My close friend’s parents owned the only motel in the county and she tells me that she remembers travelers coming to Clinch County specifically to attempt to see the light. This was in the early 1960s. I have since moved from that location, and have not heard anything about the Cogdell Spooklight in years. Most of the reports were that the light would follow the vehicle for miles, then disappear abruptly. Cynics said that it was swamp gas or hunters with flashlight helmets.
I remember that as a child my uncle and aunt took us one time to look for the light. We parked in the center of the road (remember it was a dead end road) and sat absolutely quiet. The most recent firsthand report came from a person I met that had encountered the phenomenon without ever having heard of it. She had just moved to the area from up north, and to say the least she was shaken by the event, and even more concerned when the locals told her not to worry, “That was just the Cogdell Spooklight.”
If you have any knowledge of the light I would like to hear from you. Thanks.