Note: For more information about this and other ghost lights, check out my book The True Ghost Stories Archive: Spooklights, available on Amazon in ebook and paperback. Below is a condensed version of the chapter in the book.
Location: Watersmeet Michigan
Appearance: White or red light that appears in the trees beyond the barrier at the end of the road. The light sometimes blinks in and out or changes colors. It is not possible to approach the lights; they can only be viewed from a distance. Rarely, strange noises have been reported.
- The light is said to be that of a railroad worker who was decapitated in an accident.
Other explanations: Probably car headlights from a nearby highway.
Additional notes: The light has appeared reliably since the 1960s.
“In the early evening we could see the faint light, but it wasn’t very active at all. However, as the skies got darker we could then see a red light appearing before the bright white light. When we were about to leave all of a sudden the light shined so bright it appeared to come down the hill and rest on top of the creek, we stayed and videotaped as the event unfolded, then we tried to approach the light.It disappeared into a red dot and appeared to be moving backwards as we started down the trail.” – Paul, July 2004
“Every time I’ve been there I have seen it. Usually you see the big white one and with binoculars you can see smaller ones that have been red and green. I have never seen it come close to where people sit to watch it but my Mother said she had seen it do that.” – Katy, November 2003
“A few years ago we made our first trip to Watersmeet. It was really amazing as the light would appear then disappear..then turn white and red..then what appeared to be long beams of light would shine thru the trees to the right of where we were.” – Quinn, February 2000
“There are many stories that go behind the paulding light. One story is that around the early times of the railroad in northwoods a switchman missed his lantern signal and the train went off the track killing a hundred people, and the switchman went into the woods to deal with his grief and was never seen again. Another story has the switchman getting his head cut off by the train. And another has the end conductor signaling the train behind them that there was trouble and the signal was messed up and the trains collided killing the conductor.” – Bath, March 2000
“I was just to the Paulding light for the tenth time. It was AMAZING! The light came within 100 feet of us and when we went back to the car we all had this genuine feeling that we were rolling backwards we were all completely sober.” – Steve, April 2000
“On one of our visits we tried to drive closer to the light to get a better view. We drove as close as the road permitted, but saw nothing. When we returned to the top of the hill other people said that the light had been circling around our car, yet we saw nothing!” – Anonymous, April 2000
“The light changed from white to red several times, and at one point, even split into two, resembling two shadowy looking figures walking along the trail. I got out of the car one time, and while I was outside alone, the light got so bright that it was reflecting off of the car. As soon as I got back in the car, the light faded again.” – Anonymous, April 2000
“When I was there just about two days ago it changed from white to red to blue and a light purple. Getting bright then very dim and then disappearing” – Brian, May 2000
“What we did see astounded me. I noticed the faint glow, like a light below the horizon, then several small red lights danced their way up into this glow. Soon, however, a white ball of light ascended beyond the notch. The light was spectacular. It seemed to be pointing straight at us. My friend and I both witnessed the light change shapes from an octagon to a multi-pointed star, to a diamond shape, then back to round. It even sort of spun, but didn’t seem to be giving off the beam of light it did when we first noticed it. Once over the horizon, the light didn’t seem to move laterally, but did move up and down. While the white light was visible, we could still see the three smaller red lights bouncing around and behind it.” – Kari, May 2000
“A friend took me to see the Light for my first time in 1991 though apparently people have been congregating on Robin’s Pond Road since the 60’s to see this specter!” – Tracy, June 2000
“The light is very sensitive to sound. The more sound people make the less it comes out. I sat there for about 5 secs before I noticed a bright flash on the other hill across from the creek. I sat there, completely still as the very bright flickering light started to slowly come down the hill. I saw the shadow of it as it crossed the snow getting closer and closer to the creek.” – Anonymous, June 2000
“To see the light, all one has to do is wait. If there were railroad tracks here, there is absolutely no evidence of such. A large ravine cuts across at a right-angle to where you look for the light, and I could find no remnants of bridge footings or the like to support a R.R. bridge. None the less, It does resemble a R.R. right-of-way. The light appeared after dark. It started off as a dim yellowish blurred spot. Then, after a few seconds, it became very, very bright (almost like it was coming at us). The light seemed to sway back and forth much like a train would do when traveling down the tracks of branch line, where speeds are generally slower due to track conditions. The light then stopped moving and a SECOND light, this one reddish in color, swung down away from the main light. This second light was almost as if a brakeman or conductor had climbed down from the side of the train with his lantern to go about his business. The reddish light bounced around a bit then just as quickly as it had appeared, vanished. The main light started to fade out of sight, until it too was gone. The whole process took no more than a minute.” – Johnny and Stacey, July 2000
“Anyhow the light did appear far in the distance and moved in a way no vehicle could. It was red and partially white and appeared in relatively the same spot multiple times, moving downhill and approaching, but never farther than the last hill.” – Ken, June 2002