BURKE – Brown Mountain Lights is a mysterious phenomenon where the rays of light can be seen from Brown Mountain.
Brown Mountain is a 2.4 km long ridge that is located on the Burke-Caldwell county miles, western North Carolina. The mountain holds a mysterious story about the light since it was first documented by the first settlers in 1833.
White, red, blue, and yellowish lights can be seen and many believe that they come from the torch of the women souls who are searching for their lost lovers. Once, a great battle occurred at the Brown Mountain between the warriors of Cherokee and Catawba Indian tribes and caused many deaths. These lights were then believed to be the souls of the women that were left by the men in the battle, searching for them forever, even to the afterlife.
Others believe that these lights appear from the story of a young woman named Belinda who got abused severely by her husband while she was pregnant with their baby. After the baby was born, Belinda and her baby disappeared. Shortly after that, the lights appeared and two old ladies followed the lights to two piles of rocks that were suspected to be the place where Belinda and her baby were buried.
The U.S. Geological Survey believes that the lights might come from the refraction of trains or automobiles headlights in the valley. While The National Geographic Society reports that the lights are the result of discharged static electricity. However, these explanations are not sufficient and the phenomena remain mysterious and even inspired many songs and stories.
The lights usually appear on clear and warm summer evenings, linger for a few minutes then fade away. The best place to witness this phenomenon is at the Blue Ridge Parkway, on the southeast side of Milepost 310 Road.
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