The Paulding Light
Ghost Light that appears outside of Paulding, Michigan

The Paulding Light
Ghost Light that appears outside of Paulding, Michigan

The Paulding Light (also called the Lights of Paulding or the Dog Meadow Light) is a Ghost Light that appears outside of Paulding, Michigan in a valley containing power lines near Watersmeet off US Highway 45 on Robins Pond Road.

Reports of the light have appeared since the 1960's in Michigan's upper peninsula, with accompanying explanations such as geologic activity, swamp gas and refracted car lights from the nearby roads.

The light is also the subject of popular folklore connected with hauntings and UFO sightings.

The legend of the light is that there use to be a railroad located around the area, and a signalmen from the past on the track attempted to stop an oncoming train heading towards a stalled train on the tracks ahead.

Unfortunately he was not able to stop the oncoming train and the train crushed him to death. Now, every night for the past 40 years, thousands and thousands of people have come to see the Paulding light.

According to legend, the first sighting of the light came in 1966 when a group of teenagers reported the light to a local sheriff.

Since then, a number of other individuals have reported seeing the mysterious light that is said to appear nearly every night near the alleged accident site.

Other stories, dating back since the turn of the century, suggest the light had appeared long before the train accident.

One says the light is the ghost of a slain mail courier, another says that it is the ghost of an Indian dancing on the power lines that now run through the valley.

After taking a look at this week's cases, the 'Fact or Faked' team decide to investigate a phenomenon called the Paulding Lights in Paulding, MI, a mysterious glow that people say is cast by the lantern of a ghost of a railroad brakeman.

Paulding Light

Filmed this in the fall of 1999 in the Upper Michigan.

What is it? Who knows? Mystery Lights? Ghost Lights? Natural Phenomenon? UFOs? Cool Stuff.

It is there every night trying to warn the oncoming train. Reports of the light have appeared since the lumber days in Michigan's upper peninsula, with accompanying explanations such as geologic activity, swamp gas, and refracted car lights.

The light is also the subject of popular folklore connected with hauntings and UFO sightings.

The team meet with Ted and Michelle Strong, who own a gift shop centered around the phenomenon.

The Strongs take the investigators to the vantage point, where the Fact or Faked team get to work.

They see the light from afar, and Jael and Austin pursue the source while Bill hangs at base camp, but Jael and Austin lose sight of it, while Bill still has a clear view from afar. They find no significant environmental anomalies, and begin their experiments.

Austin's test flight in a small plane doesn't produce the effect that they had seen in the original footage, and the possibility that the lights are actually headlights is a dead end, too.

After conducting an EVP session, they finally decide that the phenomenon is unexplainable.

The Mysterious "Paulding Light"

The Paulding Light also known as "The Dog Meadow Lights" have been a mystery in Upper Michigan for over 40 years. To this day you can see them on almost any night!

Personally I first witnessed this strange light in February of 1999, and to my surprise the ghost light moved towards us floating in mid air and it looks exactly as if someone was carrying a lantern.

As it started to get closer to us it would vanish and start all over again each time moving towards us faster and FASTER!

There are some haunting legends for this phenomenon for example, some say one night around forty years ago, a railroad switch-man while holding his lantern was crushed to death between two cars while trying to signal the engineer.

Others say that an engineer was murdered along the old railroad grade that runs parallel to the road the light appears.

Another story tells about a man out late one night carrying a lantern looking for his lost little boy in the woods. Supposedly, the man was hit by a train and his ghost continues to search for his son!

Some people even have claimed to have seen the "Grim Reeper" floating across the road near the light. Skeptics say it is nothing more then car lights in the distance or glacier gas.

But no matter what it is, you are still fascinated and spooked while viewing this bizzare light as it starts walking towards you!! I ended up using these clips in my movie by the same name.

Paulding Light Sign

"This is the location from which the famous Paulding light can be observed.

Legend explains its presence as a railroad brakeman's ghost, destined to remain forever at the sight of his untimely death.

He continually waves his signal lantern as a warning to all who come to visit.

To observe the phenomenon, park along this forest road facing north.

The light will appear each evening in the distance along the power line right - of - way.

Remember, other people will be visiting this location.

Please do not litter."

The Paulding "Ghost Light"

The Paulding Light is a light that comes out at night and floats around in the air, sometimes coming closer sometimes getting further away.

The light appears to change colors from a bright white to a red light. There are many theories regarding these lights.

Some people say that it has not yet been proven that these lights are paranormal and that they are just coming from cars or trucks.

While legends and popular folklore attribute paranormal or supernatural explanations for the light, it may be more parsimoniously explained by an optical illusion caused by car headlights on the north/south stretch of US highway 45, approximately five miles north of the observation area.

In 2010, students from the Michigan Tech chapter of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) wrote that they were able to recreate the Paulding Light by driving a car through a specific location on US 45 as well as other observations related to the light, such as multicolored patterns (police flashers) and variations in intensity (high and low beams).

Chemists Luigi Garlaschelli and Paolo Boschetti say the oxidation of phosphine and methane, produced by organic decay, can cause glowing light. Garlaschelli and Boschetti replicated "ghost lights" by adding chemicals to gases found in rotting compounds and found that combustion can be sustained at lower temperatures than those found in traditional fires.

Canadian neuro-psychologist Michael Persinger and American geologist John Derr propose that "ghost lights" are piezoelectrically generated under tectonic strains that move faults, heat up rock, and vaporize water contained in it.

They also hypothesize that rock or soil containing piezoelectric material such as quartz, silicon or arsenic can produce electricity, be channeled through soil via a column of vaporized water and appear as lights that create an appearance of erratic or intelligent behavior.

Various teams have attempted to factor out the possibility that these lights are not coming from vehicles but many people are skeptical about this and believe that what we are witnessing is just simply lights coming from headlights of a vehicle.

The following possibilities of the Paulding lights are:
  • Headlights from cars and trucks which are traveling on a specific location on US 45 (police flashers may contribute as well)
  • Ball lightning, glacier gas or possibly swamp gas
  • Some type of energy phenomenon which is being produced from nearby power lines (electromagnetic fields)
  • Spirits or ghosts that appear as bright orbs
  • Possibly some kind of geological activity (tectonic strains that move faults, heat up rock, and vaporize water contained in it)
  • Others believe we could be witnessing UFOs

Many theories to the lights have been discussed, but none of the theories have been proven completely. Currently no one knows exactly what is being witnessed over the skies outside of Paulding, Michigan.