Ghosts & Haunts In Missouri Joplin/Hornet SpookLight Stories
Hornet Spook Light, located
  southwest of Joplin. From Hwy 44, exit onto SR 43 and travel south on SR43 for 4.1 miles to CR6 (also called West Hymer Road). Turn right or west on  West Hymer Road and drive 3.5 miles to the very end of this road, where it will dead end on to a  north-south road called S700 or N4703. Turn left or south on S700 and drive for 1 mile to a road called E50. It will be on your right hand side (in the summer the sign can be harder to see because of the foliage); this is Spook Light Road. Best views are down this road between .5 to 1.5 miles. The light travels from west to east and is most often seen between 10pm and midnight; it's orange-red in color and between the size of a baseball and basketball. Below are letters from people who have visited this site. If you have experienced paranormal activity at any of these haunted sites, please e-mail us with your photos or stories to add to the database.   

Hi, I'm from Joplin, Mo. I was just going to share my story of the spooklight. Although, its been several years since I've been or experienced anything there. I was about 19, which makes it probably right around 8 years ago a few friends and I were driving around one of our favorite places to go was the spooklight, had been many times before and never experienced such a thing. We were joking around when our friend was staring off to the west (i believe that's the correct direction) telling us to look. It was many little red lights, not eyes of an animal though the usually look red with a light on them. These were far to big and too far apart. We kept telling him it was time to go but he said he couldn't go. Scary moment for sure. It was probably between 1-3am. Not many people were out at that time. I've gone through in my head many times that it had to be something else. Just wanted to share my "interesting" story.
Thank You

I currently had a strange experience at the Hornet Spooklight outside Joplin,
Mo.  I went out with two friends on a nice warm night to get a good view of the light.  I was surprised to see that it appeared about 30 to 40 feet away. My friends had never seen it before and were in awe of what it was doing.  I have been out at the road many times before but this night was the strangest of all.  One of my friends became really scared and wanted to leave. As soon as we were getting ready to check out for the night, there was a strange sound that seemed to be coming from all directions.  It had a sound that reminded me of about 30 or 40 dogs and humans screaming in terror.  If anyone has had a similar experience I would be curious to know what their views might be on this strange sound.  I don't feel that this sound was good.  I think that there might have been some evil presence behind it. If anyone has any thoughts  I would be glad and thankful to hear their views. TP

I use to go out there during the summer every few weekends with friends, sadly enough though we never saw anything.  Just a lot of people. Although I did have a friend once that was out there and saw it, it moved through the glass in his car and through his back seat,it left burn marks in the middle of the back seat. Not exactly sure what it is, but there is definitely something there. Kind of  miss hanging out on the weekends, and visiting with friends while we waited for the spook light that never came.  I've since moved, Way up in Montana and don't get back to the area as much as i'd like.  But there were a few times when we were there that we noticed odd sounds coming from different directions, not all at once, but would just bounce around. Although when we went to investigate and walked around in the woods we found nothing. No one has been hurt from it yet, or at least not that I know of so I would not worry to much. Definitely would not let it stop me from going out there.  There are many theories as to what it is. Ghost, Gas, etc. Many studies but so far none have really been proven.

The reason you didn't see it is because it very rarely comes out.  I have went about ten times and have only seen it maybe three of those ten.  I have noticed that on nights there are many people there it seems to lay low and shy away.  It is almost like this light projects some form of intellect.  It seems to shy away from people that are loud and don't have a good discipline towards light pollution.  Whatever it is there have been many studies even one that was done by the Army Corp of Engineers back in the 40's.  All these studies have formed a possible theory or hypothesis about what it might be. But, still very few clues even with the latest technology.  One theory that I had going was reflections from the nearby interstate.  But, I was quickly proven wrong when I researched the history of the place.  The light was first documented being seen in 1866.  That definitely disproves the reflective hypothesis.  But I will continue to research the surrounding area for clues. I think my next step is to find the history of the place and separate fact from fiction.

There use to be a old farm house close to there that was full of all sorts of history about the spook light. Although it has been many years since i've been there not sure if it still is around, but it might be a good place to start doing research on the area. It is so well known i'm sure that there are many places that will have factual info on the area.  County seat would be a good place to go to, Carthage should have land information and would give you a idea of what has been there in the past if anything.  I've read about the theory of the cars from the highway but I find it hard to believe, sure light can bend but from all accounts I have been told by friends no way can it be lights..  with it dating that far back definitely rules out that option. Others is its a pocket of gas, but call me odd but i've never seen a gas that stays in a ball form when floating.. it always dissipates as it moves. I have also had experiences at the spook light. When I was in high school, a group of us drove there from Springfield (where we all lived). We had been told by several people who had visited the site that we needed to be quiet and patient. We had been sitting there for what seemed like 2 hours when we noticed a ball of light ahead in the road. We thought it was a car or motorcycle but there's a hill in the road and when a vehicle goes down, the lights disappear. But that time the light kept on moving! One
of my friends got really upset and wanted to leave, so we drove down the road to see if we could see the light any better before we left. It disappeared! We turned the car around to leave and suddenly there was a huge orb right in front of the car!!! My friends and I freaked out and drove out of there. I have no idea what it was, but I wasn't waiting around to find out! I went back a couple more times before I left Missouri but I didn't get any results. So far, that has been my only experience with anything of the paranormal. The light was yellowish-orange. At first it was two or three lights, but when it got closer it was one big orb. There were five or six other cars there that night, but we weren't parked near anyone else. It is a long road and we were down pretty far. Like I said before, it looked like a car, but then when it went over that hill you could tell it wasn't a car!!!! That was my only experience so far, but it was enough to scare the daylight out of me! The light didn't appear to make any sounds. It also moved all over, bouncing around. That's how I knew that it wasn't normal!

One night my girlfriend, her two sisters, and I went to see if we could see the light.  I had been a couple of times before, but never had seen anything.  We were there about an hour and a half without any visuals. We decided to leave, and as I was buckling my seatbelt, I noticed an orange colored orb (about the size of a softball) make a quick appearance in an arc  motion.  This motion seemed to mimic my hand motion of buckling my seatbelt.  I repeated the motion several times thinking may have been a reflection of some type although no light was present.  It didn't appear again. Still thinking it may have been a reflection or my imagination, I asked if anyone else had seen that.  My girlfriend answered yes and described it the same motion and color as I had seen.  Her two sisters had been engaged in conversation and weren't looking and therefore saw nothing.  I am hoping to return for a second sighting.                       

I have been to see the light many times.  My Father took many pictures of it but I'm not sure where they are.  I know they are in my basement somewhere but I just haven't had the time to really look for them. When I was a teenager there was an old couple who ran the 'Spook Light Museum'.  The oldgentleman told people that there were even Native American legends about the light so itwas around well before the 1800's.  He told the story of a young princess from one tribe who was in love with a brave from another tribe. Their love was forbidden and they ran off together and jumped off a cliff nearby. The light is supposed to be their spirits together forever in death.  I have seen the light every time I was there.  When people sit on the road and make loud noises or taunt the light it has been known to run them off. There were pictures posted in the museum that showed the burn marks on car hoods made by the light. Many people have sworn they saw an angry face in the light when it chased them off also.  I find it totally fascinating!

One night my girlfriend, her two sisters, and I went to see if we could see the light.  I had been a couple of times before, but never had seen anything.  We were there about an hour and a half without any visuals.  We decided to leave, and as I was buckling my seatbelt, I noticed an orange colored orb (about the size of a softball) make a quick appearance in an arc motion.  This motion seemed to mimic my hand motion of buckling my seatbelt.  I repeated the motion several times thinking it may have been a reflection of some type although no light was present.  It didn't appear again.  Still thinking it may have been a reflection or my imagination, I asked if anyone else had seen that.  My girlfriend answered yes and described it the same motion and color as I had seen.  Her two sisters had been engaged in conversation and weren't looking and therefore saw nothing.  I am hoping to return for a second sighting.

Recently, my family and I decided to check this legend out.  We did see the light down the gravel road, facing eastward.  It just hovered above the road for several minutes.  We also heard the howling of a pack of coyotes, at least that is what we deduced it to be. It was very loud, and sounded almost like screams.  I would recommend going to anyone who truly wants to see something unexplainable.

On 1 dark night my friends went to the "Spook Light Road" in hope to see the spook light. When they arrived at this road they got out of the van and started walking for about 1 mile down the road and into the woods going towards the light. And when they started to get close the light started to chase them and they started to run as fast as they could back to the van. As the light got closer they started to feel heat radiating off the light. At this point my friends were running as fast as they could and when they finally got back to the van, they put it in gear and got out of there in a heartbeat. As they were leaving they looked at each other speechless and scared. Im currently doing research on the spook light in hope to find out more about it, And solve the mystery of why it is there.

I have visited the Hornet Spook Light many, many times over the past thirty years and only once failed to see it.   I've observed the glowing ball of light hover between the trees and move down the road toward the parked cars.   I have seen fingers of light seem to stretch outward from the ball which is seldom still.  When viewed through binoculars it is seldom still and often pulsates. I have also heard the eerie screaming sound.  In the 1970's, my cousins and I (teenagers at the time) decided we would leave the car and see how close we could walk toward the Spook-light.   We felt very eerie as we walked along but when we heard a terrible, long, tormented scream we decided to return to the car.  

I have been to spooklight road three times. First time, I was seven and witnessed the spooklight travel down the road and passed through a car containing four people. The spooklight was visible in the car and it lit up there faces, it exited the back glass, the people that were in the car didn't see it travel through the car. They said it disappeared in front of the car and appeared at the back of the car. The second time, I was eleven and the road was so noisy because of all the traffic, we didn't see anything at all. The third time, I was thirteen and witnessed a ball of light traveling down the road, it grew big, then grew small, then big again and changed colors from yellow to green, to a soft red and white. I am now twenty-nine and can't wait to witness it again with my children. Post my stories if you would like and anyone that hasn't been there yet, should go!

Years ago, my husband and I went to the Hornet Spook Light  road on a week night when there was no one else out there. We had the car shut off, and as we were waiting in the quiet,  we saw what looked like the glow of car headlights approaching the nearest hill from the other side.   We kept waiting for the car to come over the hill, but we didn't hear anything. Then the glow dwindled to a small orange light and came bobbing down the hill towards us. We knew is was the Spook Light at this point and totally freaked out. We started the car up and turned around in the road and took off. It kept following our car and when we turned the corner at the end, it was still just bobbing down the road. We were deliciously frightened! FS

I have lived on east 50 road in QUAPAW, OKLAHOMA for 8 years. I have never seen the "spook light". What I have seen is trash left along this road from all the spook lighters. Our road was recently paved, within 1 week it had been spray  painted all over it. I ask that any of you out to see the "spook light" to  please don't litter and be respectful of those who do live on this road.This  road might be a fun place to hang out and drink, but it's a lot of people's  homes you are disrupting. Screaming as you run up and down the road is rude.  Leaving your trash laying around is rude. Standing in the middle of the road is  rude. Going onto private property on this road will sure enough get you shot at.  People live on this road, please be respectful. I'm not against it, I'm just a  little irritated at all those who have no respect. M

This may be helpful to some who have "heard a scream" while watching the
Spook Light.  I once was working in northeast Missouri doing a bat exit-count of a roost tree in the summer.  The tree was down in a swampy area, about a mile off the trail and about two miles from my car.  I was alone, and had to watch this tree, not taking my eyes off it, until too dark to see anymore.  When I started to leave, before I had picked up my flash-light, I heard a terrible screaming sound that seemed to be all around me.  Needless to say, it was unsettling.  My first thought,
though, was not "ghost."  It was "mountain lion!"  I stood stark still for about a minute and heard nothing more.  At that time, I packed up, headed home quickly.  Next day I went and checked the area for tracks.  Know what I found?  Bobcat tracks.  Cats can make wild screams. Southwest Missouri does have its share of bobcats, and it without doubt has mountain lions too.  While a mountain lion would likely do absolutely nothing if you're in a group, except maybe screech like the dickens, I would be more afraid of running into one if I were stumbling
around with a few drinks in me, separated from my pals, and looking for the Spook Light.  More afraid than I would be of the Spook Light, for that matter.
Anyhow, just one more "scientific" possibility for the screaming sounds.
They can certainly freak the heck out of a person, though. M M

I live 60 miles north of Joplin , and frequented Spook Light with my parents as a child. On only one occasion did the light fail to show, but an eerie feeling was still present, making the hair stand up on all of our necks. I would have to say, that at no time did we ever hear any screaming noises. We usually sat in the parking lot of the old museum (which I heard has been vandalized beyond repair) and listened to the utter silence while waiting for the light. Each time, it began up the road, at the top of the hill, and bobbed it's way down towards us, passing into the woods and back out onto the road. The light was usually a yellowish-orange color, but once when it came very close to us it turned sort of a bluish green. On one occasion the light swooped down into the parking lot, and through the rolled-up window of my aunt's car. Needless to say, we were speechless. A good place to read about the Hornet Spook Light is in a wonderful book called Missouri Ghosts by Joan Gilbert. It is one of a series of books about Missouri history, written and published here in the state. Gilbert tells of several theories that have been suggested and ruled out. It's a great read. My advice to anyone curious about the light is, however, go-be patient-and enjoy. DAJ

My brother and His friends, Said they went out to check out to check up with this 'Spooklight' My brother actually told me its story,Whether or not its true, Is completly up to History or to the Ghost its self. But he told me of an Indian tribe,That was slaughtered mercilessly in the 1800's, He said that him and his friends went out To see the spook light, and he said if you park, When you see the light and shut your lights off...And say "I have your kids." the ligh will turn red and come after you...Whether your brave enough to try this..I dont know..But i thought Maybe youd like to hear my story of it...

I have photos of a light at the area of where the Spooklight comes from and would like to share them with you if you would like them on your site. I have many evps as well I do research and write books about these phenomenon. You can also view my book at ( under evp)

I have seen the spook light 3 times. The first time, my husband and I and his 2 little sisters and a man friend of ours and his daughter went. We parked on the spook light road and waited and waited some more.Then out of nowhere it appeared down the road in front of us. It was a yellowish color but it changed to blue and red. It disappeared before it reached our car.We waited for about a half hour more and then we turned around and started home. Just as we got to the end of that road where another road intersects it, we had a flat tire. My husband and Jess got out to change the tire and just as they got the old one back into the trunk, we heard a horrible scream, like a panther makes, and that light came right up to the back glass of the car. It was big and bright red.It was gone as fast as it had come. It scared the crap out of us.I have seen it 2 more times and will post it here later.

Spook Light 1# Findings: July 2006- Evidence found= {1# EVP- This is David}   {2# Paranormal pictures of orbs in the woods} by Cat
    Spook Light Investigation 2#
In November 2006 I gathered some friends and we went out to do an investigation at the spook light road. This would be my second one in a year; I was sure I could do better and gather more evps this time around. The energy was different this night cool, crisp wind on my back. I had Fran taking photographs with her 35mm camera and I was cam cording and using my IC. The cam cord was not the best on this night so we put it away after a while. As Fran and I were standing there we heard something very strange coming out of the woods; this wood be on the South side of the road. We both hear children laughing and talking like they were playing in the woods; but the thing is there was no light only the moon and no houses close to us either. Fran said to me do you hear any noises coming from the leaves and I agreed with her and did not hear a sound only children laughing and talking all else was quiet. Then it stopped and I heard nothing this spooked Fran she got back in the car. The other people with us took a walk down the road looking for the light and did not hear what we had heard coming from the woods. We they go back I told them about the children and they thought it was kind of creepy. Well with all evidence gathered we left the spook light. Findings: Spook Light Investigation: November 2006 Evidence found= {EVP Class A} {Teenage girl voice saying: “Hey mom repeated 3times”}   {1# Photo of large orb facing west on spook light road} 35mm camera taken by Fran
      My paranormal page can be found at: My paranormal book can be found at: under "EVP" I will try and send you another pic of an orb on site! Thanks,

I know this is going to sound like I made it up but I didn't. It really happened. I have seen the ghost light several times. The first time I saw it was in 1958 when I came to Missouri with my husband and he told me about the light. I remembered hearing tales of it when I was a kid as my family was from Missouri also.I didn't believe any of it but I wanted to go see for myself. I was then pregnant with our second child. My husband , his 2 little sisters and an old Indian man -a friend of my husbands and his grand daughter went . We parked on the road and sat there for a long time and finally we decided we weren't going to see anything so we headed home. We had only got to the end of the road and we had a flat tire. My husband and his friend got out to change the tire and were nearly done when we heard a loud scream and a big red ball of light came up in the back glass of our car and it woke up all 3 of the little girls. It was a really scary sound. It seemed to just glance off the car and disappear. We were glad to get out of there. The next time I saw it was when I was living in Montana and had come down to Missouri to visit my sister. I and a man friend ( my husband and I were divorced) and my sister and my 12 year old daughter went to see the spook light. Wayne was very sketical and kept making fun of us , until all at once we saw the light coming down the road. It was swinging from side to side and it changed colors several times. It never came close to us though so Wayne said he was going to go ask it what it wanted. I told him he was crazy but he got out and started walking toward it. There was a dip in the road and we saw him go down in the dip but he never came up on the other side. We waited a long time and finally decided to go see about him. I started the car and drove down into the dip-heading north and when we came out of the dip we were heading back the way we had come from-south. We were scared silly by then and I just wanted to get out of there as fast as I could. When we got about half way to the turn off Wayne just stepped out of the woods in front of us. There was no way he could have walked through the woods without us hearing him. He wouldn't talk about what had happened and he was very quiet on the way home.We went back to Montana the next day and he never would talk about what he had experienced. I moved back to Oklahoma and remarried. My brother and his wife were coming for a visit from Idaho and my daughter who was married by then, wanted to take them to see the light as they had asked us about it. I didn't want to go but I said I would. I had forgotten just how to get to it, so my daughter and I went up in the daytime to locate the road. The area had changed as it had been about 8 years since I had been there. I knew we were on the right road though--but there was a little house where the museum used to be. It had a picket fence around it and an old woman in a long dress and a bonnet was hoeing in a small garden. We stopped and asked her if that was the spook light road and she said it was --she was not friendly and she was upset . She said Yes that's where it is Supposed to be--but I have lived here all my life and I never saw any spook light, and I wish people would stop coming out here and throwing beer cans all over the road!! We thanked her and drove on toward where the light usually is, and then we turned around and when we got to that little house -- it wasn't there and no old woman and no garden or anything. We never took my brother and his wife out there when they got here.I never want to see that place again.

I saw the light 40 years ago when visiting my cousin in Pittsburg , Kansas .  He had seen it many times.  It is a real phenomena.  It travels throughout the area coming and going.  It is very bright and maintains a level height from the road or the ground.

About five years ago I took my family to Branson for a vacation on Table Rock Lake.  I always try to find something unusual to do as part of our vacation and this year decided on a visit to the Hornet Spook Light.  I had read stories about the spook light as a child and thought it might be fun to have the family check it out as a side adventure.  I researched the location, mapped it out and got all of the up to date details online.  We stopped in Joplin and picked up burgers and drinks and decided to play it like a trip to the drive in theater.  Base on some pictures and directions that I downloaded we stopped at the first spot that sightings are frequently reported.  We arrived just before dark and there was nothing to speak of except a white dog that watched us from up the road.  After about and hour we decided to move on to the second and last location that I had downloaded.  As we drove past where the white dog had been spotted, it was still standing guard I guess, by a gravel drive that went off to the right.    We reached the second location down the road another mile or so and parked the truck and turned off the lights.  We were on some high ground facing slightly downhill.  The grade went downward for about a 1/4 mile and then back up for another 1/4 mile to tree tops.   Within a few minutes we began to see an amber colored light off in the distance in the tree tops about a half mile away.  After watching the light for several minutes appear and disappear, we decided to investigate it.  As we drove towards the light it disappeared.  We continued to where the light was and after searching the area from the road for quite some time, we returned to the original spot where we had first seen the light.  It took only a few minutes for the light to reappear.  We all got out of the truck and quietly watched as the light began to flicker, changing colors from amber to white, blue, green, red orange and yellow.   My wife and three sons all remained very calm and quiet as I did and we communicated with whispers while moving slowly to settle ourselves into position to watch the show.  The light began to move towards us, but not on the road.  The light moved through the field to our left looking like a ATV light bouncing about zigging and zagging .  At times I thought it had to be an ATV, but there was no motor noise or any noise for that matter coming from the direction of the light.  As the light got closer it would shoot off from side to side and then disappear, only to reappear up toward the tree tops a 1/2 mile away and again begin bouncing about working its way towards us never coming any closer than 1/4 mile.  This went on for about 20 minutes and the light only seemed to be disturbed by our movement,  when talking at regular levels or when we tried to video tape it.  At these times the light would disappear and would only come back once we settled again.   Never did I or any member of my family feel threatened by the light.  I have to admit, at times it didn't seem real or was dream like.  My brain was taking in this event, but it made no sense that it was really happening.       After 20 minutes the kids started to get restless and we decided to try to sneak on foot to get a closer look at the light.  Once we started moving toward the light it faded away and stay gone.  We didn't travel far before we got the hint and started back to the truck.  The whole way back I was stopping to scan the area were the light had been with binoculars to try to catch a last glance of the light.  When we were no more than 25 yards from the truck I picked up the shadow or image of what appeared to be a shepherd shaped dog running hard towards us through the binoculars.   I panicked a bit and screamed for my family to get into the truck NOW!  Whoever didn't get in fast enough was shoved in hard by me before my graceless entry leaving me face down in the passenger floor board and left hip on the horn.  Once we gathered ourselves and I explained to all what all the fuss was about, we looked for the dog, but never located it.  Needless to say, no one was leaving the truck.    Just as I started the truck a car approached.  Four kids climbed out with video recorders in hand.  I warned them about the dog or shadow of a dog that I had seen.  They didn't seem to care and went about their business of trying to film the spook light.  We waited around for a little while longer.  Partly to see if the light would come out with all of the commotion and partly to see if the dog would reappear.  Neither did so we drove back to Branson.   On the way out the white dog was still sitting by the gravel drive and it was a shepherd type of dog.  My wife and I looked at each other wide eyed.  We didn't have to say a thing.   The following year we went back, but had no luck seeing the spook light in the nearly four hours we spent waiting.  We have not been back, but a friend of mine did take his son to see the spook light two years ago and did claim to see it.  It is worth the travel and worth the wait.

I've seen the spook light before. I went up there with my boyfriend. We were sitting in our car watching and waiting to see it. We sat there for about 30 minutes when we saw the light about 50 feet away or so. It was like a floating orb that was lit up. It started coming at us pretty fast. It came all the way to our car and then just disappeared when it got to our windshield. It really freaked the both of us out but it was kinda cool to see it too.

HI! I didn't notice anything about the spooklight on your page while browsing haunted locations near me.   It is between Joplin and Seneca (i'd have to ask my boyfriend for the exact road name if you're interested). it is a ball of light that shows up in various places (one of which is heavily patrolled b/c of arsonists and vandalism and such "shenanigans", therefor illegal to park on for the time being) sorry- as i was saying. it is a ball of light that changes from white to yellow, orange and on occasion red. it is usually spotted on top of this one hill, but i have seen it in a couple of the fields bouncing about. once, it even popped up right behind our truck about 4 feet behind us. my mother said back when she was a teenager (that was probably in the 60's) it made a habit of coming into the vehicles. it will not let you get very close to it. if you hit it with your car lights, it vanishes. there are many stories behind it, none of which i know for sure are credible. one is of an indian woman looking for her lost child. one is of a train conductor who, while checking his train one night, was decapitated by robbers. now he's walking around looking for his head w/ a lantern. (personally i like the indian story... the whole "looking for a head" is a little too cliche for my taste!)   if you need any information i'm more than happy to supply it! i plan on going to a couple of the residents and asking for their stories. (as you can tell this light really interests me!) i've also heard that people from the Discovery Channel came out and saw it. and scientists have looked at it through telescopes and reported it was literally a ball of individual flames. Who knows! and the best part- this is a "nice" paranormal experience. no bad/harmful stories here! thank you for reading and awesome site!

I saw the spook light when I was a little girl. I was with my parents and a cousin. We first saw the light far away, but it moved quickly toward our car, then onto the hood and toward the windshield. I remember it seemed to fill the windshield, but I was too young to be able to estimate its size. At that point my cousin thought I'd be frightened and covered my head. I was told it went up and over the car then on down the road. I saw it one other time, from very far away, but never again up close.
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