Spooky, Unexplained, Paranormal Phenomena in Arkansas
The Gurdon Light
Most people describe the Arkansas paranormal phenomenon known as the "Gurdon ghost light"
as a bluish-green glow arcing from rail to rail along a deserted
stretch of railroad track in south Clark County. Local legend says that
in 1931 a railroad worker was slain along that same stretch of train tracks.
After the slaying, the "ghost light" began appearing. According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas,
the Gurdon Light is a mysterious floating light above the railroad
tracks near Gurdon (Clark County), which was first sighted during the
1930s. Many theories and stories exist to explain the light, including
one which connects events around the 1931 murder of William McClain, a railroad worker.
Many trace the Gurdon Light legend to a murder that took place near
the railroad tracks in December 1931. William McClain, a foreman with
the Missouri-Pacific railroad, was involved in an argument with one of
his employees, Louis McBride, regarding how many days McBride was being
allowed to work. During the Depression, the company did not have the
option of giving McBride more hours on the job. McBride became very
angry, hit McClain on the head with a shovel, and beat him to death with
a railroad spike maul or a spike hammer. The Gurdon Light was first
sighted a short time after this murder, and many have come to believe that
the light is actually McClain's ghostly lantern glowing in the night.
This local legend made the area near Gurdon a very popular place,
especially around Halloween. The story became so well known that, in
October 1994, NBC's Unsolved Mysteries television show traveled
to the Gurdon area for an investigation and to film a re-creation of the 1931 murder. The program
aired on December 16, 1994, documenting the spooky, unexplained phenomenon of the Gurdon Light and describing the legend behind it.
The Crossett Light
Like Gurdon, Crossett had a railroad worker, a brakeman, who came to
an untimely end in the early 1900s when he was beheaded near the track.
Now many people report seeing a ball of light swaying back and forth a few feet over
the track as the spirit of the brakeman looks for his lost head. Or is it his wife
carrying the lantern and looking...?
The Crossett legend began with the coming of the railroads, which not only shaped towns on maps but also created Arkansas paranormal
legends of narrative tradition. The Crossett Light is viewed by some as
a terrifying ghost, while others view it as a source of fun and
entertainment like other Arkansas haunted attractions. The most interesting aspect of The Light is that, according to several tales, it
supposedly disappears when one approaches it, and it will travel through a
car, making it impossible to start the ignition.