The light appeared slowly at first, just on the horizon in the far distance. It started as a small twinkling light which grew in size and intensity over the next few minutes. Then, just as it had emerged, it faded away and was gone.
I’d been there before, but it was still always fun to go back. Oh, when my husband and I went, we didn’t really go to the see the Light. We went to watch the people and listen to them, see what they think the Paulding Light is. One time we met a woman who told us she had been there over fifty times. She had pictures she wanted to show us, pictures of the Light coming right down over her car. I think she also had pictures of Elvis at the 1994 Rose Bowl.
I don’t, however, believe in ghosts or spooks.
I do believe in the oddity of human nature. People had been coming to see the phenomenon in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan since the late 1960’s. Referred to usually as the Paulding Light, it appeared most nights near Dog Meadow, between Watersmeet and Paulding, off of Robbins Pond Road.
Some theories claimed it was the ghost of a railroad worker who had met some tragic end and was continually signals others of trains which no longer ran on the nearby railroad bed. Others would tell the story of a mail carrier who had delivered the mail via dog sled in the winter. One night he and his dogs had been found dead in the area, their throats all slashed. The light could be coming from car headlights on Highway 45 or from the electric lines overhead or from swamp gas.
In August 1999, my dear sister Judy had made plans for us to stay, with only our husbands, at another resort in the Northwoods, and that Saturday evening we had driven up to the UP to see the famous mystery light. It was interesting, as usual; I don’t think it has ever been a wasted trip.
The rest of the weekend Judy and I were in the kayaks or splashing in Seven Mile Lake or just laying in the sun. We took a hike around the lake with Himey and Claude. We even stopped at a casino on the way back to the resort from the Light. A nice peaceful weekend. Quiet. Slow.
I need more weekends like that.