Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Heralded by the Owls—Thomas Divide Ghost Lights

I’ve returned to “real life” and have time to write here again. I wrote this just after seeing the Thomas Divide Lights last Thursday. For further information on the lights, see the previous entry.

August 14, 2014
Cherokee, North Carolina

I’ve been working up here since May and haven’t had time to see the lights until tonight. A friend of mine and I headed up to Thomas Divide Overlook to see the lights. He had been up here last year but had only heard about them; so I offered to take him.

We were alone in the quiet and dark night staring at the ridge hoping something would appear. The chatter of crickets and cicadas issued from the dark forest that surrounded us.

Then the owls started up. Barred Owls in the valley below us began their call of “who cooks for you, who cooks for y’all” (this is the South after all). Then a pair took up the call closer to us. Cherokee lore holds that owls are often heralds of bad news and death so I find the calls a bit nerve-wracking. As the owls continued a small light appeared on the ridge. It flickered, and the glow began to grow a bit. It appeared to move a bit, though that may be simply been an optical illusion.


The beacon was lit for about 5 minutes then, as abruptly as it had appeared, it disappeared. The owls started their calling again, though the light did not return.