The Paulding Light
Region of origin: Paulding, Michigan
Since the mid-Twentieth century there have been reports of an orb-like lights that appears to be moving through a valley near Paulding, Michigan. The local legends that built up around the light attributed it to a spectral lantern being carried by the ghost of a railroad brakeman who had lost his head in an accident on the nearby tracks. Perhaps coincidentally, there are similar ghost-lights with a near-identical stories urban legends attached in numerous parts of North America, including Maco, North Carolina, Gurdon, Arkansas, Saratoga, Texas and St. Louis, Saskatchewan.
Originally posted on Tumblr on September 9, 2016
Region of origin: Mie Prefecture, Japan
“Fire of the God of the Bad Way,” the Akurojin-no-Hi is a living flame that may appear to travelers lost on rough or old paths in disrepair. Possibly confused with fox-fire or other local ghost-lights, they are actually a manifestation or aspect of the god of the road, created to show their displeasure over the human’s trespass. A person who shows the god the proper reverence in the form of fleeing from the fire in terror and vacating the god’s domain should be fine, however, anyone who lingers and allows the fire to approach or touch them will begin to grow increasingly ill and die soon after the encounter.
Originally posted on Tumblr on September 8, 2016
Region of origin: Paasselkä Lake, Southern Savonia, Finland
An impact-crater lake formed during a meteor strike in the Triassic period, Paasselkä Lake is noted for its unusual depth, causing magnetic anomalies and the floating earth-lights seen around the lake and surrounding forest, named “devils” in traditional folklore. They were believed to be evil spirits, following fishermen around or guarding treasure buried near where they manifested.
Originally posted on Tumblr on September 7, 2016
Min Min Lights
Region of origin: Boulia, Queensland, Australia
Fuzzy discs of different-colored light that hover over the ground in the Australian outback, Min Min lights are rather motile for ghost-light phenomena, traveling in all directions and appearing to move at great speeds, with some stories estimating them to be moving at 60 MPH, or even all the way up to 200 or 300 MPH. The lights will often approach or chase after people or begin heading in the opposite direction possibly to entice someone to follow and lead them away to some mysterious fate. There are reports of witnesses firing on the lights only to have them dodge the bullets or disappear and reappear moments later. Stories of sightings may date back thousands of years within indigenous tribes, but seem to increase after European colonization, receiving the name Min Min after a local settlement where they were sighted in 1918.
Originally posted on Tumblr on September 6, 2016
Region of origin: The Philippines
Santelmo, or Apoy ni San Elmo (Tagalog for St. Elmo’s Fire), is a ball of light or fire that may be observed floating over swamps or bodies of water, said to be a manifestation of a lingering spirit attached to the location where its body had died. They can be vengeful spirits, luring people who follow them into the water to drown or become lost, never to be seen again. Praying for the souls can help them get into the afterlife and disperse them.
Originally posted on Tumblr on September 5, 2016