From: “gene d. matlock” (
Subject: spooklights
Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 11:24:21 -0700

Could the “Spooklight” be free-floating Life Energy?
By Gene D. Matlock, BA, M.A.

Nearly everyone who was raised or still resides in a rural part of the world has heard of, seen, and/or experienced a type of free-floating light. Not only have I observed (but not experienced) phenomena like this light, I was raised on stories about it and its power. Here in the United States, we call it “Will o’ the Wisp” and “Spooklight.” Some authorities believe it is just fluorescent gases rising out of swamps or old graveyards. However, it is often seen in desert environments. Others claim that it is “ball lightning.” But “ball lightning” occurs during violent electrical storms and lasts for only a few seconds. The “Will o’ the Wisp” appears to have elemental reasoning powers and always remains intact. It’s name, “Will o’ the Wisp,” is particularly interesting: Will = “self-motivated;” Wisp = “fragment; small piece.” This means that those who named it believed it to be part of an even larger power existing on this earth. The Hindus call the “Will o’ the Wisp” Bramaracokh. I believe they are right in regarding it as a non-corporeal life form having elemental intelligence and willpower.

Although it occasionally journeys about during the day, it tends to be shy, usually hiding behind rocks or within caves during the day, coming out at night. Like the legendary vampire, it often seeks out life forms, preferably humans, and tries to attach itself to them. Depending on its victim, it can burn him to a crisp, energize him, or heal him of diseases defying the abilities of our best medical scientists.

There is a popular American folktale about this ball of light, which was made popular in the classical “Uncle Remus” stories that children everywhere love to read. This tale seeks to explain why it seeks to attach itself to human beings. According to the story, the Devil once ascended to the earth’ s surface, to take a certain clever and sinful old Black man to Eternal Hell. The old Black man challenged the Devil to a card game in which the Devil, if he won, could take him to Hell. However, if he won, he would earn a few more precious years of life. Being a sporting individual, the Devil agreed to play cards with the old man. The old man easily proved that he could even outsmart Satan.

A few years later, the Devil returned to reclaim the old man’s soul. Again, the old man persuaded the Devil to gamble for his soul. Again, the Devil lost. Years later, the Devil returned to finally close escrow on this wily old man’s soul. And again, the old man suckered him into playing another game of cards. After losing for the third time, the Devil told him, “You’re too clever to me. I certainly don’t want you living in my hellish home. I’ d eventually lose my business to you, and you’d be in charge. From now on, I grant you eternal life. Enjoy it to the max!”

After several centuries of enjoying a riotous lifestyle of wine, women, gaming, and song, the old man grew bored with his eternal life. Therefore, he decided to try to get Heaven or Hell to take him in. Neither wanted anything to do with him. For that reason, we often see him wandering about in the night, lighted lantern in hand, looking for anyone willing to accept him as an eternal houseguest. All you have to do is just speak to him or let him know you’re in the neighborhood. Once he knows where the nearest life form is, preferably human, he pounces upon it. If the life form is pure of heart, the light from the old man’s lamp may either restore it to youth or heal it instantly of any terminal disease. However, more often than not, it will burn its host to a crisp! Small animals nearly always get cooked by the “Will ‘o the Wisp,” a fact proving it isn’t particularly “environmentally aware.”

A number of years ago, the newspapers described how this “Will o’ the Wisp” slipped through a partially opened window of a certain lady’s bedroom in Southern Louisiana. The lady was in bed, recuperating from a serious illness. This ball of light lost no time in leaping on top of the woman, nearly burning her to death. After that, it escaped the way it entered.

A friend of mine told me about his first experience with this energy. One night he had to walk home from his job in a Tuskaloosa, Alabama bakery. Upon entering the driveway beside his parent’s home, he saw the “Will o’ the Wisp” floating in the yard. Terrified about that light’s potential to do him bodily harm, he ran back to the bakery and spent the night there.

One night, when my wife and I were bathing in the famous health-giving waters of the Pah Tempe health resort in Hurricane, Utah, we saw this light shining from a crevasse in a nearby cliff. Pah Tempe sits atop a dormant volcano from which it receives its famous waters. For this reason, I have often wondered whether or not this energy can get trapped in certain igneous rocks, just as prehistoric insects and plants became frozen in time within amber.

My favorite story is the one that Mom and Dad repeated over and over while I was growing up. My parents met each other and started going together as teenagers in the Texas Panhandle, during the oil boom of the 1920s. Dad badly wanted to kiss Mom, but he was too shy to find the courage and a “morally upright” reason to demonstrate his romantic inclinations.

Dad and his high school friends liked to drive out to the country at night and tease a certain “spooklight” that always left its lair about 10:00 P.M. As soon as it started wandering around, the boys would scream and dare it to catch them. Whenever the light got too close, the boys would crank up their old Model T Fords and speed back to town. They also played a certain game to see who was the biggest sissy. The boys who fled back to town first were the “sissies.” The “macho-men” were those who let the “Spooklight” get too close for comfort.

One evening, Dad decided to exploit this “spooklight’s” potentials and use it to get an excuse to kiss Mom. He invited Mom out to the country to see this mysterious light. At ten o’clock (it was scrupulously punctual), it left its hiding place and went out on its nocturnal search for life forms. When it came into view, Dad cried out, “Hey, you! Come over here! We’re waiting for you. Catch us if you can!”

The light suddenly paused and started floating toward them. Mom screamed and embraced Dad. Dad got his first kiss. They both got out of there.

What we call “The Spark of Life” may be an unknown energy which should more realistically be included in the Table of Elements and not deified as it were some kind of divine being. We should find some way to trap it. We may then discover that Life Force is not as mysterious, elusive and “otherworldly” as we’ve been led to believe.

The End

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