Real Haunted Houses

Real Haunted House

The Paulding Light

Paulding, Michigan

After a train engineer was hit by a train, he still wonders the area in the form of a light. The light can instantly change colors, disappear and appear quickly, and change directions swiftly. Witnesses claim that it will react o the headlights of a car as well. Some accounts occurred during daylight hours under normal circumstances, with no apparent light-producing object nearby.

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frank says:

March 12, 2008, 2:13 pm

This is totally fake. I went to see the Paulding light, and it was barely anything. There was just a small light that someone could probably turn on or off at any time. Anyways, I don’t think that this is real when I went to see it.

Tracy says:

March 20, 2008, 12:43 am

The Paulding light is crazy.. and its real. how could car light turn from red, to yellow, to green to white, swing back and forth, move forward and backward. give you the feeling that something is out there in the woods. weird things have happened there, cars not starting, weird ghostly pictures, green ooze from the trees and on the ground. it happens for a reason. and it is very sad that people go out there to drink beer, do satanic stuff, and just bother the light, with flash lights, and chasing it around. the Cops go out there every night in the summer. it never use to be that way. I say if your planning on making a trip. to respect the light. because then, the Light will “preform” better. Im glad no one really knows what it is. No one should ever find out either.

Menendez says:

April 17, 2008, 11:23 pm

Here’s the real deal: (also see FAQ below)

I first came across this phenomenon in the Summer of 2002. It was the first time I have ever seen something that I could not readily explain. I shot some video of it which you can download. I visited the place four times over the next few years, and started making interesting observations.

Upon internet research, I saw that the best way to look at this was through a good telescope on a clear night. Binoculars had no effect when I tried those. People on other sites have claimed that it is car headlights in the distance.

In July of 2004, we made another expedition. As twilight came, I set up my Meade 6” ETX scope. I was surprised and dissapointed as I zeroed in on the spot where the lights come from. Very clearly, you can see car headlights moving up and down the grade. it takes the average car a little over a minute to travel the hill. I noticed that late at night this was true. Most likely this is because of the few cars on the road. If there are more cars traveling together, then the light may be brighter or longer.

The red lights are easily explained. If there is no oncoming traffic and a car is heading away from you, you will see its faint red light. Now because the cars are so far away, all the light seems to becoming from a single point, which cannot be resolved with out high grade precision optics becuase of the distance. A car suddenly leaving view that was oncoming while there is another car heading the opposite direction will create that dramtic white to red and vice versa effect. It is a very unique phenomenon but relatively simple. My only question is why Ripleys or unsoled Mysteries couldnt figure out something this simple. (more about this in the faq section)

Q: I’ve seen blue and green lights too, how do you explain that?
A: Coming over a far distance so close to the horizon, the light waves will be distorted by air. Many colors are possible because of this. If you look at the moon, it is orange as it rises and sets due to atmospheric distortion. This is also true with stars, which are a better example. A star twinkles many different colors the closer it gets to the horizon.

Q: This was around before cars were invented!
A: Was it? I have heard that it was not until the 60’s that this was discovered. Also many origin theories are out there on this, I don’t think they are true

Q: Were railroad tracks there at one time?
A: Also debatable, I have not seen any hard evidence of this, not that it makes much difference. The road is supposedly dating back to the 1800’s and was authorized by Abraham Linkin during the civil war to prevent a British invasion

Q: I have seen big white lights in videos, how do you explain that?
A: This is due to the autofocus problems on the cameras. A great still of this can be seen of the Paulding Light video that Lionstar put out.

Q: Why are there no trespassing signs all over?
A: If I owned land there I would not want drunken teenagers or anyone else snooping around on my property waking me up and stuff

Q: The light moves back and forth, explain
A: Does it? not really. If you had a few cars going down the hill at once, the light would look much much brighter. Its this bright/dim effect that causes that. The wavy appearence is also because of atmoshperic distortions.

Q: Why couldn’t Ripleys solve it?
A: I don’t know. Frankly I beleive the story that they were there was just a rumor. I have not see hard proof. If it is true that they offered $100,000 to solve it and someone from Ripley’s is reading this, use the paypal button below to make your reward.

Q: What about unsolved mysteries? Same deal?
A: I think this is a rumor too, if anyone knows where i cna get a copy or see this episode, let me know

Q: Why would the Forestry department put a sign up?
A: They probably dont have the time or desire to investigate it, and hell it brings tourists there, cant complain about that

Q: I’ve seen shadows..ghosts…
A: This site is designed only to explain the light itself. It is a creepy and remote area, but only because we naturally perceive it that way. Shadows could be many of things, I have never seen them myself and I’d investigate if I did.

Q: Friends of ours in the valley couldnt see the light and it looked like it was right above them.
A: Light itself is hard to judge by distance. All you can do to judge distance is brightness. This can be manipulative, because some brighter stars are further away than dimmer stars. But anyways, the people in the valley are to low to see over the ridges where the light comes from. You can only see on the top of the hill.

Q: What road are we looking at then?
A: Believe it or not, but its 45 a few miles away! You never rrealize it and I didnt for awhile, but youre actually facing towards north at the end of robbins pond road! Those power lines you see hook up with 45 if you ever want to take that far of a walk.

Q: Car lights cannot be that bright over a distance
A: Under clear skies, easily, especially with brights. Also in the dark, your eyes are much more sensitive.

Q: I’ve heard sounds!
A: It’s a ridiculously big woods, who knows whats out there, and dont for get their is a stream a few hundred yards away from the top of the hill. Also, Im dealing only with the light itself.

Q: The paulding lights seem intellignet/sensitive?
A: Because a car is only in view or for about a minute, it can seem like it is reacting to things around you. The time varies with the number of cars. This is all coincidence.

Q: Ya. its lights, but thats not the real paulding light!
A: I have heard this a few times, that there is some other Paulding light that is real that comes around once every few years. Lets think of this by the odds. The Paulding light area is a very rare and unique situation. To have this enviroment exist is incredible. It is interesting that these cars seem to be from only one point. Now there is another “light” that just happens to be in this already unique spot? I think this is BS by the locals, also seems to be told more lately because of the fact people like me are figuring it out. Once again, I wouldn’t want to lose the legend and mystery if I lived in the area.

Q: I’ve seen 2 sets of lights, how is this possible if it looks like it comes from only one point?
A: Also, in cameras this is because of the lensing/autofocus. Also, atmospheric distortions or fog can cause this. The lights may be split by trees or other objects between you and the cars many miles away. Also, check to see if you are sober.

Q: (my favorite) Some lady told me that there are other lights or that these are real and she’s lived here forever……..
A: If I lived there I’d make it a point to freak people out, it would be fun, and once again, bringing in the tourists is good for business and gives watersmeet something to be famous for

Aimee says:

May 2, 2008, 11:03 am

It’s most likely not haunted. However, the state of Michigan has two of the strangest spots in the world, with cars being able to move up a hill, and tumbleweeds going in the opposite direction they should be. The upper peninsula of Michigan is known for that.
One wierd thing that always creeped me out about the place I went to was that there was absolutely no sound at all, not even an animal hence bug in sight. It could be something in scientific nature to explain that…however, I always get goosebumps from not hearing anything at all; it was as if you are deaf.

Dougie says:

May 13, 2008, 11:50 pm

I was there on Saturday May 10,2008 and seen it. I have been there many times over the years since I have a cabin in land o lakes area. My brothers and have explored the national forest roads near and around it. I dont know if its real…. But its there all the time so you explain it………. And hey for all of you who say if it cant be explained its not real. How many religous people have really seen GOD

Dougie says:

May 13, 2008, 11:54 pm

If any one wants more info Im up in the area within 30 miles every other weekend so post on this site if you want more info and
Ill give you my own personal email or address. so please keep visiting the area. No I dont make any money its my vaccation area.

Jenny says:

May 24, 2008, 6:24 pm

i dont believe the paulding lights are car lights. one of my trips to it the light came within 40 feet of me and my friends. it looked like 3 headlights of a train..bright as the sun and lit up the entire area!! how could a car do that? my friends and i have walked along the powerlines about for a few hundred feet and i can only describe the mood there as extremely creepy. while we were down on the trail we saw no lights in the distance at all, and it wasnt until we got back that a woman who was there said that the light was very active the entrie time we were gone! ive seen the light change from red to orange to green and to white. its is quite the experience.

RAngergirl says:

July 1, 2008, 10:44 pm

I can’t say what/why/where these lights are from. I guess, after living in the U.P. all my childhood and then some, I have come to appreciate a good ghost story. As a teen, a small group of us would visit the “light” and some times it was there, sometimes not. Yes, sometimes it appeared to come towards us…we never stuck around long enough to see how close it would get. 🙂 The dead railroad man is the story I knew … and that is the one I pass on. Sadly, a barricade had to be put up. Last weekend I returned to visit my old “haunt” and I found bags of trash, noisy and rude visitors and people that just wanted to “trash” (pun intended) our legend. The sign is now also gone.

If you don’t believe it in, that’s ok. For those of us that grew up with it, took our friends and visitors to view the sighting, we had fun and appreciate a good U.P. folklore legend. Yes, it has been on TV and some determined it wasn’t swamp gas, reflections of headlights or lights on the power lines. Despite what it is or isn’t…one thing it is and will always be to the locals is a good ghost story. Please keep the area clean, be respectful and let the legend live on …

Al says:

July 21, 2008, 9:33 am

Its all a fake, folks! Some years ago a group of video folks taped the lights being hauled out and turned off and on. Could easily see the pole where the lights hang from.


Danielle says:

July 28, 2008, 2:11 pm

I’ve lived in Wisconsin for nearly 10 years. I heard of this light yesterday and it just so happend we were driving through before dark. We ran into a friend at the casino and we all went together to check it out. As soon as we got there we could see the light in the distance. There were many people there and some were leaving. I had my children so my friend stayed with us at the barricade. My husband and 4 other guys walked down to the stream. While they were gone the light came and it would get brighter and there seemed to be color surrounding it as it grew bigger and smaller. The sky would get brighter along the trees and in the horizon. When the white light would dissappear there would be a small red light. At one point it came towards us and got really close. One family that was there had a dog with them and he was crying and sounded really scared. My one year old son was uneasy as well. I was truly fascinated!! My husbad and his group came back and saw nothing. They were skeptical and said it was a car. I said that if it was a car then they would’ve walked past it on their way back. I guess you have to stay at the barricade. It helps if you are respectable and truly want to visit the light. People were very rude and came to drink and there was trash everywhere. If you don’t believe it you must see it for yourself. Show some respect as well! Maybe bring a lawn chair too!

Josh says:

July 29, 2008, 2:00 am

Ok so i was there this past weekend on sunday night. It was the first time i went there. Ive heard about it and have been always very interested in it. I saw the light. there is no way it was a cars light considering i saw it follow the trail down to the creek. Besides the light, is what else is out there. Me and my 4 friends decided to walk down the trail. we got right before the creek there. we sat down in the middle of the trail and tried to watch for the light. there was nothing. but as i was staring i kept seeing shadows move very quickly right in front of us. i thought i was just trippin out and my eyes were playing tricks on me. but everyone i was with saw them. i also saw red flickers everywhere as did everyone else. it was very cold down there. As i was sitting there, out of the corner of my eye i saw a cloudy figure come past me. we turned back and went to the observers spot at the guardrail. We started taking pictures with our camera all around us. within the first few pictures there was a face screaming at us. it was very detailed. it was pissed off. you could see his teeth the pupils of his eyes, his hairline, his shoulders, and his nose. it was very creepy. we took many pictures and we also saw faces in some but not nearly detailed as that one. As we were leaving we took one more picture standing on the back bumper of our vehicle. when the flash went off and went away there were many white people looking figures all around us. As if all the shadow people absorbed the light and just illuminated in the dark. We stopped talking instantly and asked eachother if we all seen that. everyone did. We then never got back into a car as fast as we did. By far one of the most crazy experiences for me and i cant wait to go back to get more pictures. Just one more thing if you do go there be respectful it was very irritating of how annoying some people were. and dont efin litter!!

colton anderson says:

August 12, 2008, 11:44 pm

i have seen the light and it is real. i went with my dad because i have a cabin near eagal river. it is creepy. i walked up as close as i could before it disapeerd then once i started walking away. i even filmed it but the video was low quality because it was just after midnight. but for those who say its fake. IT’S REAL!!!!

JEFF J. says:

August 24, 2008, 4:16 pm

Went to paulding with my three kids and wife in july of 2008. The light varied in intensity and color from bright white to a hazy yellow hue. Our family was there over one hour. The light appeared approximately thirty times lasting from 10 seconds to 2 minutes . the light also appeared close about one half mile and distant almost three miles away.It was a strange and eerie sensation the sky was starry the air was warm and humid . The memories of seeing the light will last me the rest of my life.

randy marsh says:

August 27, 2008, 2:20 pm

I live near Grand Rapids and was going to check the lights out during my annual vacation in the UP until I read this investigation and debunking of the mystery.. Makes sense and the author says anyone can do the simple tests themselves.. Oh well, it was a fun story!

Here’s the article:

“A Ghost Light Debunked” because here we were able to find a natural explanation to a ghostlight which has mystified people for nearly 20 years. I would like to begin by quoting from the Watersmeet Business Directory, “While in Watersmeet you should see ‘The Mystery Light’. The ‘light’ has defied explanation since it was first sighted about a dozen years ago, although theories abound.
“To observe the phenomenon, one must drive north from Watersmeet on US 45 for 4 miles toward the neighboring village of Paulding, and take Robbins Lake Road for a short distance west – an umimproved rural lane once part of a military road authorized by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War in anticipation of a British attack through Canada.
“By tramping through dense woods to the summit of nearby hills, the mysterious light can be observed almost every night once darkness has descended on the northern wilderness.
“It appears to rise slowly out of the forest and then hovers low in the sky for varying intervals – ranging from a couple of minutes to over a quarter of an hour. Often described as looking like a ‘bright star’ it first seems to be a campfire ember, reaching an intense reddish glow, then becoming a haze and finally receding to a mere spark before disappearing into the night.
“Explanations vary from fanciful to factual. Some say it’s the spirit of a long dead mail carrier ambushed by Indians over a century ago; others insist it is the ghost of an engineer killed in a nearby railroad accident in years gone by. One woman thinks it’s a mystical sign of religious significance. In the meantime, ‘The Mystery Light’ continues to baffle, intrigue and mystify the visitor.”
I first learned about the Watersmeet ghost light several years ago at lecture in Chicago. The speaker said that this light was visible every night with very few exceptions and was a valid phenomenon.
The next time the light was brought up to me was from a member of the GRS, (Ghost Research Society, PO Box 205, Oaklawn, Il. 60454-0205, (312)425-5163), Bill Kingsley, who wrote an article about his encounters with the light and included photographs, (see Vol. 4, No. 4 – Oct. 1985, Ghost Trackers Newsletter).
He was quoted as saying, “My impression was that these lights were alive… I feel that these lights are definately not reflections from auto headlights or reflected light off of power line insulators. I feel that there is a natural explanation to these lights; but what?”
Along with his article and photographs, he supplied with two newspaper articles about the light. One from the Detroit News dated 1-26-82 and the other from the Milwaukee Journal dated 11-30-80.
James L. Kerwin, who writes for the Detroit News, said in his article, “Some suspect the mystery lights have something to do with UFOs. A New Jersey UFO club checked it out but failed to confirm its suspicions.”
Chris Roberts, a former Hazel Park resident who operates a small general store at nearby Paulding, was quoted as saying, “People have made tests by having a friend blink their lights, on and off, going up the highway. But the mystery lights appear above the blinking headlights.”
Bob Zelinski, who operates a canoe rental livery in neighboring Watersmeet, says, “Some say it’s a ghost conductor killed in a train wreck many years ago, searching the tracks. Others think it may be a lost miner, looking for his claim. Then, the site near old Military Road, to Fort Wilkins, where robbers killed a man delivering mail in 1870. They say the victim is looking for his dead sled dogs.”
Harry Pease of the Milwaukee Journal writes, “The snow was thinning. Zelinski got out a topographic map and pointed out the lay of the land. Sure enough, the mysterious lights in the woods are auto headlights and taillights on Highway 45. You pick them up on the long hill at Maple Grove Cemetery, 11 miles from Dingman’s Rock. The cemetery lies about 1,315 feet above sea level. Paulding is down in a hole between there and the lookout points. The village puts a little glow in the sky – just enough to give the onlooker a false horizon.”
With all this conflicting information and testimony, we decided to check out the reports ourselves. Two other members of the GRS, Richard Locke and Richard Kerscher, of Evanston and Glenview, Illinois respectively, volunteered to act as our guides and help with our investigations since they had both been to Watersmeet several times before and had seen the lights. Their conclusions were that the lights were simply auto headlights and taillights seen from a distance and nothing supernatural in nature.
I still had to see for myself and be open-minded since I have observed many different ghost lights around the country and no two lights looked the same and no two areas were topographically similiar. The only item that is usually nearby is railroad tracks and, given that, there is always the legend concerning an engineer losing his head! The light that is seen is supposed to be his lantern carried by his headless ghost and he is looking for his disembodied head! Historically and legendarily interesting, but seldom true.
We traveled to Watersmeet the week of September 13 – 21st of 1986. We stayed in Ironwood, Michigan which is about an hours drive west of Watersmeet. Our two other helpers were stationed in Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin about a half-hour south. Our first full day was spent trying to collect newspaper articles, interview witnesses and talk to various media personell who might know something about the light. Most of our efforts were fruitless. Even larger towns like Bessemer, Wakefield, Paulding and Bruce Crossing did not have any information about the light or it’s possible origins.
Our first nights viewing was somewhat obscurred by drizzle and haze but the light did make an appearance several times! We saw both the white and red lights as reported by Mr. Kingsley and many other reliable witnesses, but could not really determine what the cause of the lights were that particular evening.
The next day was spent collecting topographic maps of the area and interviewing forest rangers who knew the area well. We were trying to locate Dingman’s Rock, which was supposed to be the ideal vantage point. We did not find this area until the day before our departure. The name “Dingman’s Rock” is apparently local in origin and not on any of the geographic survey maps of the area. That evening, we, again saw the light and were able to capture it through high-power binoculars. It diffused quite nicely into a pair of automobile headlights with an occasional taillight also coming into view. This wasn’t positive proof yet, to me.
The next morning we traveled north beyond the viewing points along US 45, toward Paulding and Bruce Crossing. We found the small cemetery mentioned in the Journal article and carefully plotted mileage from that point back to the observation points at Dingman’s Rock and Robbins Pond Road. We found out that the mileage is close to 11 miles as reported but perhaps less because the point where the lights are first picked up are at the top of a large hill, elevation over 1,500 feet above sea level and nearly 200 feet higher than the elevation at Maple Grove Cemetery. From that point, it’s exactly 8.3 miles to Robbins Pond Road which is old highway 45 and also points almost due north. What you are actually seeing is carlights topping the hill, occasionally dimming their bright lights for oncoming cars, taillights of those oncoming cars passing the first cars, their bright lights coming on again and then the cars disappearing into a deep slope in the road. If you could time when the car lights vanished from sight and then wait until those same cars pass behind you on US 45 at an average speed of 55 mph, it would be approximately 7 minutes!
We conducted stopwatch tests to calculate the average amount of time the lights were in view at an average speed of 55 mph and found this to be 90.2 seconds. These tests were performed on the evening of September 17th between the hours of 9-10 pm. The next morning we arrived at the crest of the large hill, (already traveling at 55 mph), and drove for 90 seconds. We were relatively sure of the exact point on US 45 where the mysterious lights vanished from view. It was nearly three-quarters of the way down the large hill. You could no longer see the observation point from this area!
The last evening was the final test or coup de grace, as I like to call it. We set up a video camera and pointed it in the direction of the lights, with generous help from Mr. Locke and Mr. Kerscher! My brother, Wayne, (a research director for the GRS), then drove my car to the top of the large hill with the four-way flashers going; which we quite easily picked up through binoculars. His instructions were to start back down at precisely 8:30 pm and to blink the bright lights every 5 seconds. The results were conclusive! We captured the oncoming car on video tape with the lights blinking every 5 seconds on cue. The view through binoculars was even more convincing because you could nearly see the outline of the car! This was proof enough for me!
This is the only ghost light to date that has been debunked by myself and my assistants; others are and have been more difficult, if not impossible, to disprove. The standard “headlight theory” seems to fit this light but none of the others that we have investigated. There are some readers that will read this article and still shake their heads, not wanting to believe, but the proof is in the pudding and all you have to do is to duplicate these very simple experiments yourselves if you are ever in the area and see for yourself. The mystique of this light is over but many others still lie waiting for future experimenters to puzzle over!

From crest of large hill to: Dingman’ Rock is 6.1 miles and to Robbins Pond Road is 8.3 miles.
Average amount of time that lights were in view was 90.2 seconds.
Distance lights traveled in 90.2 seconds at an average speed of 55 mph is 7,275.32 feet or 1.377941666 miles.
A car traveling at 55 mph travels approximately 80.66 feet per second.
We can therefore conclude that the lights disappear approximately 4.73 miles from Dingman’s Rock and 6.93 miles from Robbins Pond Road. This would be the closet approach that an observer could get to the lights. This would effectively put the disappearance of the lights very close to the town of Paulding which lies in a slope between two large hills.


Randy Marsh says:

August 28, 2008, 12:21 am

Great stories. But I think some people go to a place like this and let their imaginations take over.

You can do the investigator’s tests outlined in the earlier post and see for yourself that it’s actually headlights and tail lights from vehicles in the distant hills that are creating the lights.

scott willey says:

August 31, 2008, 3:24 am

i seen the light tonight, we walked down the trail and it seemed like there were shadows moving everywhere, the light was kinda boring but the shadows were kinda creepy, i looked at a map and there are no roads where headlights and tail lights could been seen

drgomti says:

October 29, 2008, 9:44 pm

The U.P. could very easily disprove randy marsh’s theory by stopping all traffic on Hwy. 45 in the stretch that randy talks about. I would like randy to come that night n see for himself!! : )) How about it, randy??

tim says:

November 3, 2008, 7:26 pm

I used to live in Marquette, went there three times. there may be some headlights and taillights you can see from there. but unless the lights are going through some weird gas or prism, those weren’t car lights i saw. If you are seeing car lights from one road going the same direction every time, why would the lights we see go left to right, and appear to get closer and dance around. doesn’t seem like a good answer.

Catrina says:

May 19, 2009, 11:16 am

I was there a few times. The first time I thought I had seen something but wasn’t sure. The second time I went I went with my boyfriend. It was my birthday and I wanted to go check it out even though it’s the middle of February. We Seen the light and my boyfriend decided to tak off after it. He said that it would retreat and disappear a while but come back a different color farther away because he kept advancing towards it. We went back again but we went the back way so we were closer but the light wasn’t there that time. I believe that it’s there as long as no one goes the back way in their vehicles.

Kenton says:

May 28, 2009, 9:05 am

I went to see it in the early spring, snow was still on the ground and it was raining, I could see car headlights in the distance and assumed they were what was causing all the commotion, but suddenly a very bright light appeared in the trees to the left of the car lights, It rose up into the air, above the horizon line and appeared to be moving toward us. It was very bright and seemed to be spinning, although that may have been an optical illusion. If it was headlights distorted by some sort of strange atmospheric effect I could not say. But it was strange. And I am going back next week with a video camera and some good binoculars, I will let you know what I find.

Tim Weber says:

July 28, 2009, 11:14 pm

The Paulding Lights are absolutely real, and unexplainable. I’ve seen them many times, and the explanation that they’re car headlights is impossible. What the “headlight” theory proponents don’t realize is that they’re aren’t many cars up there, especially at night. It’s simply not headlights.

alex dickerson says:

August 18, 2009, 1:32 pm

Yeah, I don’t see how people could think that something which has been going on 24-7 for decades and observed by thousands could be a hoax. I’ve heard people saying everything from its teenagers (perpetually?) to headlights (of a silent car which never needs to refuel, driven by a man who never needs to sleep). Or people testing their headlight theories and calling it conclusive (if it were conclusive, then you would see the outline of cars when you look at the lights through binoculars the same way you did when you had your brother drive the car, randy marsh). What kind of person makes it a goal to destroy the beliefs of others?

randy marsh says:

September 12, 2009, 1:11 pm

I finally got a chance to view the ‘Mysterious Paulding Lights’ Sept 6th while on my annual trip to the UP.. Spent an hour there with a growing and sometimes annoying crowd of spectators, many with their folding chairs, beer coolers full of booze, and snack food sometimes and thoughtlessly left behind as litter.. Earlier that day I drove over to the site to see what it looked like in daylight and ended up picking up beer and soda cans and junk food wrappers people had thoughtlessly left behind.. Back to the lights; I spent almost an hour watching the lights randomly appear and disappear through my binoculars at the top of the hill and am convinced they are merely headlights from vehicles.. Could see the headlights very clearly and occasionally another vehicle would be coming up behind the ‘mysterious headlights’ and the light intensity occasionally varied according to whether the vehicles had the brights or low beams on. After about an hour of watching the same repetition of lights I got bored and drove to my destination near Munising.

Believe what you will. I saw nothing but headlights. Will maybe go again during a time when there are not as many tourists and ‘party people’..

randy marsh says:

September 12, 2009, 1:36 pm

Realized after reading my post that I had mentioned ‘thoughtlessly left behind litter’ twice in my comment and there is no editing option once you post. Guess it’s because I’ll never understand how some people can just ignorantly leave their trash behind on the beautiful beaches and landscapes of our state and with no conscience. On my vacation I must have picked up a truckload of trash in the UP which wasn’t my intention!

Yoopers get really bugged with thoughtless littering.. Dig it, if you bring it in, take it back out with you. Every recreation area, rest area, and gas station has trash containers.

mureka says:

October 31, 2009, 12:34 am

Definitely real. Also grew up in Bessemer, and saw it many times. Much less exciting than one would expect, but very much there!

Christopher says:

July 17, 2010, 11:48 pm

I recently saw this ‘Paulding Light’ – whatever it is. If its only car lights, an actual ghost or unexplained light, or some combination of the two. I have to say that I am about split on what I saw that night. I wish I would have used my binoculars to get a better view at the lights I was seeing. I was there on Friday night July 9th. What I remember was seeing absolutely nothing that sparked my interest for about 50 minutes but then the last 15 or so I saw the ‘light’. If it was cars I am not sure why the light from them would suddenly show up after the twilight went away finally in those really short U.P. summer nights. If people have only been seeing car lights in the past 3 + decades up here then this has to be one of the longest and best performed hoaxes ever ! I say that because this is a very remote area with not much traffic and this light does appear even in the winter months. What I saw for the last 15 minutes was a red light about the size of a normal star in the sky for the first 8-9 minutes approximately. Then it turned into a white light (but I didn’t see the red and white at the same time that I can remember) and the white light got bright for about 2 minutes or so and then the light went back to red for the remaining 4 minutes or so. The last red light I saw for those 4 minutes appeared to be almost separating but not quite. I definitely got a spooky feeling from this and I left cause I was alone and didn’t want to get too spooked out. Plus I was camping out in a zoo practically with all those animals around. The ‘kicker’ to all this to me is that there was a man there next to me as I was viewing the light in its red stage and I specifically asked him if that was the ‘Paulding Light’ and he said yes (with no mention of it being traffic lights from cars). So this guy is either in the scam, totally clueless since he said he’d been seeing it since he was in high school and he looked around 50, or like some people have said there really is an unexplainable light out there. I’d like to think at least one of those 4 or 5 people I’ve read saying the light got so close it light up the inside of their car but that definitely not easy to believe so I guess you’d have to have it on video or at least a good photo. I am not sure if I will visit that weird place again or not I saw it on my way back from briefly visiting the Porcupine mountains. Note: I did see at least one vehicle take that left onto that other road before you get to the barricade that people hang out to see the light from and throw their trash and some people act so stupid you want to punch them. Fortunately most people were ok there but yeah way too much distractions.

WoodstocWitch says:

July 18, 2010, 9:44 pm

Hey Guys, Okay, if the truth be know, it was me along. The Light dude. Gotcha!! Haha! That’s what I get paid to do make scarry noises and shine scarry lights at people. I turn it off when you people are about too pee your pants. I’s funny as hell. The pay sucks though.

Tim C says:

August 13, 2010, 1:30 am

I just watched “Fact or Fake: Paranormal Files” on SyFy channel. They investigated this and couldn’t come up with an explanation. They did have police block the road and drove their car down the road and turn there head lights off and on. While this was going on, the other investigator was recording all this at barricade. He didn’t see their car lights go off. The Light (that everyone is talking about) continually stayed on. Watch the episode at to see for yourself.

Teresa says:

August 13, 2010, 11:06 am

I want to go see this phenomenon but i dont know if i want to drive for 9 hours to see it if its just car headlights! I can see that here in my own town. I did however watch Fact or Faked last night about these lights and they blocked the road to do thier own investigations only to find that the lights still are a mystery. hmmm…is it worth the trip??

El Guapo says:

August 16, 2010, 12:07 am

I am quite sure that “fact or faked” did a poor job of attempting to replicate the headlights. They probably used the completely wrong section of wrong, not spending the time or doing actual research to realize the spot is 8-10 miles up the road near the cemetary

M.R. says:

August 16, 2010, 2:02 am

I watched fact or faked the other night not knowing this was in Michigan. I have lived here for 35 years and never heard of this. I thought it was pretty cool. I have been reading the post people have been putting on here and the one that uaually says it is car headlights keeps coming up. It’s debunked right? I don’t think so. Now I am not saying you can’t see them (I have never been ther) but have you seen the videos? Randy Marsh gave a lot of info on his debunking, but lights that are 8.3 miles away are not that big and brilliant. High beams on a car at 4 miles are smaller than what you see in the videos. And not only that a video camera of any type is going to make an object look farther away then it is (hence the big brilliant light you see in the videos). I am not saying this is paranormal there could be a very resonable explanation, but it is something me and my family are going to check out. If anything it can be a fun family trip. Randy Marsh if you in fact have debunked this and can back it up, why not contact the SyFy show “fact or faked Paranormal files” and show them what you claim to be car headlights and put your money where your mouth is. I will agree with you on one thing people visiting not only here but anywhere should pick up their trash before “Woodsy the Owl” shuts it down.

Noel says:

August 18, 2010, 10:39 pm

I’m from the other side of the U.P. and I can see ship lights from certain points while driving. Could theses be ship lights? I looked at the map and yes its far away but as we all know there isn’t alot of stuff up here.

Kenton says:

August 20, 2010, 11:43 am

I have been there three times, the first time a very was just after dusk, a very bright light (dazzling and bluish white) rose from horizon level and rose probably 45 degrees into the sky. I have no explanation for whatever it was, the next two times there were other people there and they saw a bright light on the horizon, which I can guarantee was car headlights on the highway to the southwest. So yes I have seen the Paulding light and cannot explain what I saw, on the other hand I also saw car lights that everyone there was saying was the Paulding light, and through my telescope was clearly car headlights. The first time I was there I did not have my telescope, but whatever it was rose high above the horizon line and could not have been car headlights.

michele says:

August 21, 2010, 11:22 pm

Just curious is to why when people see the light, they never use a telescope. Wouldn;t that make it more clear??

nancy says:

September 11, 2010, 11:27 pm

Im 13 years old and i have been here over 20 times.its real.i have gone with my family in the day time and gone through the backroads to find possible reasons for this light.its no car or head lights it moves to fast to be that and can come to close.there also could be multiiple lights.there isnt any swamp near it.its in the middle of the woods.NASA has been there when i was doing tests and they couldnt figure it out.its most deffinently a sight to see.i think it might really be a gas of some sort but the story is still neat

Yooper Girl says:

October 3, 2010, 10:30 pm

I have been there once and unfortunately didnt see anything, but my husband drove truck for a company and went through there every week and he described his drive as coming into Watersmeet and traffic stopped on the highway with an bright orange/redish light floating above the trees. in that area. I believe that there is something there as noone has been able to prove anything but have been able to debunk the car theory.

Brittany says:

October 6, 2010, 10:03 am

The floating gleem of light that everyone keeps seening is called an orb. the orb can also trans form in to the body of the deaseed one.

Jessica says:

October 14, 2010, 1:52 am

Me and 2 friends just got back from Paulding lights. I have never seen anything like this before!! As we arrived the light was red and dim down the trail. We got out of the truck and as we walked toward the gaurd rail the light got brighter going to a white light with the little red light floating near it in the 5 oclock area. All of us were in shock at this point. We had brought a set of 10×42 binoculars, and if anyone ever goes to see this i highly recomend bringing a pair. Right away we decided to start walking toward the lights. We walked down and crossed a river and made our way up to where the lights had been dancing across the trail. We saw nothing, we had heard from many that the lights stop when you walk toward them and we seemed to think this is true. On our way back we crossed the river again, keeping an eye behind us. About 3/4 of the way back the red light started to apear again in the distance. We got back to the original gaurd rail,and sat and studied these lights through the binoculars. The lights were crazy, there were times when there were 4 lights in the distance. red orange and white lights. The red lights would move swiftly in and out of the woods and the large white light would get really bright and then disapear. This is an amazing sight to see. I highly recomend going there. And the light has been seen for over 40 years. I know people in their 40’s that went as teenagers. Also where these lights are seen is hardwoods, google map the area and you will see the terrain. There are no roads behind the are that could be car lights creating this light. And even if you dont belive its the ghost of the railroad brakeman then just think of it as a natural unsolved mystery that is awesome to see in a life time.

David says:

December 10, 2010, 8:52 pm

I know its real.On fact or faked hey investigated the paulding light and they tested to see if it was car lights.They had a road block for the test and they saw the light and it was not car lights the guy watching said what am I looking at.

Kathy says:

June 14, 2011, 12:44 am

I have lived in the U.P. for many years and yes the “Light” is real. The T.V. show Unsolved Mysteries came up there to see if they could UNBUNK the light. They tested the swamp and the Highways to see if it was car lights or tail lights causing this to “appear” and then “disappear” no evidences was found. It is a complete mystery to everyone. They went as far as having Wisconsin Power test their lines for any electrical occurances which may have caused the light since it does follow the Power Pole lines…they to came up with nothing. Best to say its one of life’s little gifts. just take it for what it is and enjoy the evening while your there. 🙂

Maya says:

June 26, 2011, 8:44 pm

I just got back from camping near Watersmeet and saw the Paulding light. It is real and there is no road that is near and behind the light for miles to reflect the taillights. It proves to not be car lights because it bounces around in many directions and changes to different colors. I watched it for about 3 hours and it appears and disappears randomly and can get so bright you can see it flickering on other peoples faces. The mystery about is it that when you walk down the dirt trail that goes straight to the light you cannot see anything. I walked down right by to where you could be standing right under it and nothing happened. There was nothing strange going on right there. I got back to the viewing point and you could see it. But I did notice a very slight unexplained glow just behind the hill…

Tim Wicklund says:

October 3, 2012, 3:28 pm

MTU Students debunked this a little while back. This was a natural phenomenon (car headlights).

Yoopergirl says:

June 20, 2015, 2:25 am

Ive been there a couple times. Once in the 70’s before the road was blocked off. The lights date back prior to automobiles. Native Americans reported seeing the lights and early explorers as well. I was quite surprised at the numerous license plates from all over the U.S. when I brought my husband and child there last summer. It’s become quite the phenomenon! There are many skeptics and theories about the cause of the lights but the really neat thing is, it can’t be explained…. There are too many trees and hills for the lights to be automobile tail lights. There are no train track that run through there any more. It’s just a light that appears in the distance with no proven reason. It’s not creepy or eerie. Just interesting.

Jenna says:

July 12, 2015, 5:42 pm

a couple of days ago me and my family went to see it and i think it was probably the scariest thing iv’e ever seen. after seeing the light in the distance a couple times, me and my sister decided to walk down the path. we were walking for a while and saw the light going on and off in the distance and thought we should go farther to see it. we started walking past the creek and up the hill after it and we saw it clear as day in front of us, so we ran back as fast as we could and when were past the creek again i looked back and saw it following us.
I know for sure it wasn’t a car because it was a couple of feet away from us. I’m 16 and i’m sure i will go back because its so fascinating

GD says:

August 11, 2015, 10:31 pm

This is not unsolved. It’s been solved by many different groups, as early as the early 1980s, long before the WWW existed. Strange that so many people pretend it’s “unsolved”.

Sax** says:

October 4, 2017, 2:54 am

The lights have been around before cars and trains.

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