Devil’s Promenade & the Hornet Spook Light

What happened next convinced me that it was not headlights. The large light split into two smaller lights – and yes, looked like headlights. So, I assumed it was just that and was somewhat disappointed…until the lights moved into a vertical position, held that position for several seconds, then moved back to a horizontal location, joined, and vanished. If a car could have accomplished that feat, that meant it had somehow driven in a traditional way, then on its side, then righted itself and managed to blend its headlights into one bright light and vanish.

I wasn’t a child – I was at least 16 years old. I know what I saw and I’ve never seen anything like it since. I have no explanation for it. I believe I saw the Spook Light. I don’t believe it was an alien or ghost; I am convinced there is a logical scientific reason behind it. But whatever it is, it certainly wasn’t headlights that night! Perhaps other sightings can be attributed to headlights, but not that summer night 30 years ago!

My dad wants to take my sister and our families back to the old family farm one more time – my daughter, niece and nephew have never been to Missouri. I’m planning to ask for an evening at the Spook Light. Maybe we’ll get lucky and pass the mystery on to the next generation!

Submitted by: Cassandra Krummel Golden, November, 2009


Reader’s Story from Hornet, Missouri

I saw on your list of most haunted places the name of a place that is very close to my heart. The Spook Light at Hornet, Missouri. My great uncle, Garland Middleton, owned a museum there for many years. He inherited the nickname “Spooky” from the former owner The Spook Light has been studied by scientists from all over, Corps of Engineers, and many more people and for over a hundred years and it has never been explained. I have seen it lots of times myself. I’ve seen it split into four glowing balls turn red then blue and disappear. It’ll be in front of you. then disappear and then be behind you. It’s literally went through cars. Sometimes it comes out sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t. The best time to see it is after midnight when it’s really quiet. They tried to close the road it to the public several years ago. Talk about a 4-state uproar!!!!!! It’s still open. 🙂 The story goes back to Indian days.

Submitted by: Diane Melton, October, 2005


A Reader’s Story About the Spooklight in Oklahoma

My name is Jackie and I grow up in Quapaw, Oklahoma, attending grade school and high school through the 10th grade before we moved. My father grew up with the light and I would have to say I saw the Spook Light at least 175 times or more during the time that I lived there in the 1960s.

There used to be an old bar near Spook Light Road where my dad would take us when we had company from out of town. We kids loved to go there, play pool, and listen to the old man who owned the bar tell us stories about the light.  Often we would sit outside on the car to watch for the Spook Light. We had to be real quiet or it would not come out. As we watched, all of sudden it would appear at the other end of the road. My dad would leave his lights out and try to creep up on it, but always, by the time we got near the light it would be suddenly be behind us.

It was a regular tradition that our family would attend the Indian pow-wows on the every 4th of July holiday. On one of these occasions, after we left the pow-wow, we went to my Aunt’s house, which was just right off Spook Light Road. As we were drying there about 10:00 p.m., a light came up behind us weaving back and forth across the road like a drunk. My mom insisted that we pull over and let the car pass; however, as soon as we did, the light took off across the land.

I have seen it with a big white light with a small green one below it, as well as it sometimes appearing as a red or yellow-orange colored orb. I believe, at one time Readers Digest came out with a story on it in the late 1950s or early 1960s. On another occasion my father took me and all our friends out into the country where we had such a bizarre experience, it would make you believe almost anything. At this place there was a fence upon land where an Indian and his wife were said to have been killed by a white man. According to the legend, the Indian stated before he died that he and his wife would always be around. At the fence, dad had us hold our hands out with a piece of bread over the fence. Suddenly, we would feel something taking the bread from our hands. Even with a flash light, you could see that one second it was there, and the next, the bread was gone. This was very scary to me at the time.

When I grew older, my dates always took me to Spook Light Road and along the way we would cross the Spring River Bridge, its wooden structure rocking side to side so badly, that I was frightened before we ever reached Spook Light Road. I always saw the light appear near Quapaw, Oklahoma.

I don’t know if it is the same now like it was back then, so I will be making plans to go home to Quapaw, Oklahoma to see it again. My Aunt Mary, who was raised with me will go with me. It should be fun as we talk about our old stories and try to find the light again.

Submitted by: Jackie Oliver, June, 2005


Also See:

America’s Mystery Lights

Joplin, Missouri – Lead Mining Capital

Ghosts of the Mother Road (main page)

Missouri (main page)

Oklahoma (main page)

Route 66 (main page)

Route 66 Photo Print Galleries

1 thought on “Devil’s Promenade & the Hornet Spook Light”

  1. When I was a little Girl of about 10 my Grandmother would send me articles of the spook light she had cut from the paper. She and my grandpa raised my dad and 4 siblings in a small town called Duneweg close to Joplin where I was born.we moved to West Seattle Washington,when I was 3, to make a long story short i alwaya wanted to see the Spook light for myself! We went to visit again for a family reunion when i was 14 and we got to go to that road where Missouri meets Oklahoma meets Arkansas! And I got to experience the phenom myself in 1973. It was very scary and exciting to see and I often tell the story to my kids and grandkids.It did appear to us as about the size of a motorcycle headlight ,clear.but with no noise, it came up to us and then retreated and came up again, it did this several times and then was gone…great memories, better than ghost stories around the campfire!

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