Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Brown Mountain Lights

Author: Christina Levy
Brown Mountain is located in the northern area of Burke County in North Carolina.  There are not any geological features on this mountain making it significant to North Carolina history.  Instead, there are mysterious orb like lights randomly hovering over the mountain at night.  These lights are known as The Brown Mountain Lights and explanations vary from warring Indian tribes to a murder story from 1850.  These lights are described in the book Ghosts of the Carolinas as “seen and investigated for more than a century, a tantalizing mystery remains unsolved in the mountains of North Carolina”.  These ghost light sightings say a lot about the dead communicating with the living, a belief of spiritualism.
The Brown Mountain Marker
   One explanation for The Brown Mountain Lights is the Cherokee Indian legend of a bloody battle between the Cherokee and the Catawba Indians.  In the 12th century, the two warring tribes fought a bloody battle on Brown Mountain in North Carolina.  After the battle, the young Native American maidens went back to the mountain to see if anyone was left alive.  The sight was so awful that the young women still haunt the mountain with their torches held high.  Another explanation for these lights regarding the bloody Native American battle in the 12th century is, these lights are the spirits of the Native American warriors who were slain in the battle.  These stories are two explanations of the lights dancing on top of Brown Mountain.
            Another explanation for The Brown Mountain Lights is the legend dating back to 1850.  This legend is about a woman named Belinda and her husband, who was a suspect for her murder.  Belinda disappeared in the area of the Brown Mountain, North Carolina Museum of History. One night, while people were searching for her, the strange Brown Mountain Lights were seen dancing over the mountain.  Many people believe that it is the spirit of Belinda coming back to haunt the person who murdered her.  Soon after this, her husband left the country and was never heard of again.  Years later, her skeleton was found under a large pile of rocks.  It is believed that her spirit light still haunt Brown Mountain reminding criminals that eventually their crimes will be revealed.

The dancing Brown Mountain Lights are located in the northern area of Burke County in North Carolina.  These mysterious luminescent orbs randomly hover over the mountain at night.  One explanation for these lights is the spirits of the Cherokee and Catawba Indians after a bloody battle in the 12th century.  Another explanation for these lights is the story about a woman named Belinda who was supposedly murdered by her husband in 1850.  Her spirit haunts the mountains to this day reminding criminals that they will be caught for their crimes. These stories explain the history behind the dancing lights on top of Brown Mountain in North Carolina.

Works Cited:
Braswell, Charles.  “Brown Mountain Lights.Photograph. The Brown Mountain Lights.  2009.  Web.  15 Oct. 2012. (Photo removed at Mr. Braswell's request.)
Roberts, Nancy. Ghosts of the Carolinas.  McNally and Loftin, Publishers. 1962.  Book.  10 Oct. 2012.
“The Brown Mountain Lights”.  North Carolina Museum of History Office of Archives and History, N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.  2005.  Web. 10 Oct. 2012.

Links for Further Research: 
Includes a news segment specifically focused on everything regarding The Brown Mountain Lights such as the history and different sightings.

The Brown Mountain Lights historical sightings, pictures, videos, as well as the history behind The Brown Mountain Lights.

Space Time Forum
Includes a map of Brown Mountain in North Carolina, several videos of the phenomena, and other hyperlinks, which focus on The Brown Mountain Lights.


  1. The second sentence in the opening paragraph is slightly awkward. But I like the different versions of the stories and the implications of each.

    I especially like the first photograph of the Brown MTN Lights marker. The sign verbiage so ephemeral, referencing "weird, wavering lights" that "dwindle and fade away".

    Good job.

  2. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing. I really would like to see these for myself. Are there any "scientific" explanations for the lights? Agreed with T., that sign is really interesting, reminds me of the "Dust storms may exist" signs in New Mexico for some reason.