This haunted horror story takes place on the Atlantic Coast line railroad at a station which was known as Farmers Turnout. The station was later renamed and is now known as the Maco Station, a few miles west of Wilmington North Carolina. The Maco Light is one of North Carolina's great ghost stories. For over a century, spooky and mysterious lights were observed and even photographed appearing up and down along the railroad tracks. Like any other mysterious light, the light would disappear whenever anyone approached it.
|Headless Joe Baldwin searching for his head|
The story took place in late 1867. Joe Baldwin was sleeping in the last train cart, which is known as the caboose. Then he was awakened by a loud and rough jerk. He jumped up quickly knowing that the cart had detached from the train. He also knew that the train which he was on was not the only train schedule to be on the tracks at the time.
Joe rushed and grabbed a warning light. He ran to the back of the detached cart and waved it back in forth hoping that the oncoming train would see it and stop. It was too late. The speeding locomotive ran full speed into the cart and Joe Baldwin was decapitated. During the accident, his head was thrown into a nearby swamp by the force. It was never found and Joe was buried a week later headless.
After that night, lights have been seen moving up and down the track around the Maco Station area. Most of the time it was one light, but there were even reports of two. People say that it's the ghost of Joe Baldwin, still searching for his missing head. Later on, the tracks along the route were pulled up in 1977. Ever since they were pulled up, the lights have never been seen again.
Stories from the coast stated, “The Maco Light is too well documented and has been too often seen to be dismissed as mere superstition. But I think that what was seen around Maco was a natural, not supernatural, phenomenon.” It is believed that the lights were simply a tremendous electrical charge from earthquakes that give off globular balls of light. I guess the world will never know.
"The Maco Light| North Carolina Ghost Stories and Legends." The Maco Light| North Carolina Ghost Stories and Legends. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www.northcarolinaghosts.com/coast/macolight.php>.
Display video of the accident.
Essay of the Joe Baldwin legend.
North Carolina horror stories.