The jack o’ lanterns which I am referring to for this post are not of the Halloween decoration variety. The ones that I am talking about are the mysterious light phenomena which have been reported in different locations around the world. To keep things simple, I will be writing about the type which have been reported in the Appalachian region of the United States.
People have been reporting seeing these glowing balls of light bouncing around the hills for hundreds of years. One of the people from whom I have heard stories about these eerie lights, is my own father. My dad is one of those people who has almost zero belief in anything unexplained. Seeing these lights on numerous occasions as a small boy on the remote farm that he grew up on however, is the one thing which he does believe in and thinks possibly might be something paranormal.
One rational explanation for jack o’lantern phenomena are different types of gas. In some locations it is speculated that swamp gases are to blame, while in others it is thought to be gases from mining. There were coal mines in the area where my father spent his childhood, but it isn’t known for sure that the jack o’lanterns which haunted him in childhood were composed of gases or were something paranormal.
The alternate explanation for these glowing lights is that there is a spirit roaming the night searching for something that they have lost or for souls to steal. My dad doesn’t know for sure what he thinks of the lights but to this day, telling the stories about seeing them brings forward the frightened little boy inside him. No matter what the cause of jack o’lanterns, the sight of a glowing ball of light bouncing around in the dark would still be disconcerting.
To see artwork which goes with this work, click here to go to the blog of Evangeline who I am collaborating with for this year’s A to Z!