Clarissa Johal: #FolkloreThursday - Brown Mountain Lights of #NorthCarolina #unexplainedphenomena

Thursday, June 10, 2021

#FolkloreThursday - Brown Mountain Lights of #NorthCarolina #unexplainedphenomena

My husband and youngest are looking into university apartments around Boone, North Carolina. I've done a couple of writing retreats in the vicinity; the mountains are both mysterious and beautiful. Because of that, I'm going to venture into unexplained phenomena "in that general area." Today, I'm exploring the Brown Mountain Lights of Morganton, North Carolina.

For hundreds of years, people have seen ghostly lights moving throughout the Brown Mountain in the Linville Gorge area near Morganton, North Carolina. Witnesses have reported the Brown Mountain lights as being white, red, yellow, orange and blue. They've described the lights as large balls of fire, or even small as candle lights; floating near the ground before rising high into the sky. This unexplained phenomenon has baffled scientists, government researchers, and residents alike. 

Local folklore suggests the lights are paranormal in nature, citing tales of tragedy for early settlers and Native Americans. According to Cherokee legend, a great battle was fought in 1200 A.D. between the Cherokee and Catawba Indians. The mysterious lights are the women left behind, still searching for the men who died in battle. Another legend says the lights are the ghostly echoes of lights that appeared during a search for a murdered woman in the 19th century.

Local paranormal investigator Joshua Warren camped frequently at Brown Mountain as a kid. On one such camping trip, he claims to have seen a ball of light rise through the trees and ascend into the sky. Another local story recounts that Morganton resident Tommie Hunter actually touched the lights. He claims to have looked over the Hwy.181 overlook to see a hovering ball of light. Tommie said it felt like he had stuck his finger in a light socket when he touched it. Six other people were with him, and all corroborated his story. 

Scientists suggest natural gasses have caused the phenomena, or even car or train lights (others have debunked the suggestion of car/train lights). While there are many theories, including those of UFOs, no one truly knows the cause, and no evidence has been collected. 

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