The Haunting Spooky Brown Mountain Lights - Well Worth A Visit - I Have Seen Them Myself - AWESOME & AMAZING!!
Are you a fan of the unusual, mysterious, haunting, and spooky? This would be a great vacation visit. These lights DO EXIST!
About 220 miles from where I live in southwest Virginia there exists a recurring phenomenon consisting of the appearance of mysterious and haunting lights that have been seen and reported on for centuries and called The Brown Mountain Lights. In Summer of 2012 I decided to take a truck camping visit to see if I could verify for myself that these lights do indeed exist or whether it was all a lot of bunk.
This trip is scenic and delightful and entails traversing some beautiful mountains with fantastic scenery in VA and North Carolina . In order to access one of the main lookouts in the area, this particular one being off The Blue Ridge Parkway, milepost 301 in North Carolina (Wisemans View Lookout). This is about 4 miles from Linville Falls, NC on Brown Mountain in The Pisgah National Forest near Morganton, NC. Note that there are other lookout vantage points but, Wisemans View is considered the best.
Be careful when using GPS navigation. Here is what happened to me.
I had originally plotted "Brown Mountain, NC" on my GPS app on my iPhone4 and unbeknownst to me it took me to a place in the wilds somewhere and to a great little "biker bar" deep in the woods. It just so happened, this was the WRONG Brown Mountain and I wasn't aware of that little fact that my GPS took me to the wrong place due to my error in not double checking the location name and address/location precisely enough.
Note; If using GPS make certain to specify it's in/near Morganton, NC or probably better yet, is enter "Wisemans View" which will be much more precise if your GPS app can find that as a destination definition. Paying close attention to that detail should solve that little issue.
The unintended diversion for me was still was a lot of fun though which I digress here for a little bit now.
Regardless of the navigation error on my part, it was a great unintended visit to have a couple of beers but, I was approximately 60 or so miles "off course" from my intended Brown Mountain destination target and I wanted to make it there before sundown too. So sadly, I bid a fond adieu to the friendly new found folks in the bar after explaining my embarrassment and despite their pleadings for me to stay into the evening and listen to the VERY LOUD band that was then cranking up for their gig that night. I did vow to come back however. Whilst there a very polite biker crowd of about 50 riders showed up to partake of some refreshments here in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Having said my farewell, I then resumed my journey to the intended destination Brown Mountain in Morganton, NC.
My journey and venture now continues. Here is my narrative of the events as they unfolded.
I still had plenty of daylight as I continued my trek from the biker bar. After about 40 miles or so, all of a sudden the paved asphalt road turned instantly into a semi improved typical dirt/gravel National Forest road and continued I estimated for another 15 plus or so miles through and deep into the National Forest. This led me really deep into the Pisgah National Forest and the mountaintop viewing area named Wisemans View which is set up for the public to view these mysterious lights. Upon my arrival in very late afternoon, the parking lot was virtually empty with only a smattering of visitor's cars.
A paved walkway leads away from the lot for about 100 plus yards through dense woods to the overlook viewing area which overlooks a very deep gorge that I estimate to be about 1,000 feet down at least and the river that flowed in and through that gorge. It was still light but I equipped myself with a good flashlight which I correctly figured would be sorely needed as there is no public lighting or amenities of any kind here EXCEPT a traditional U.S. National Forest restroom. Since I am fully equipped in my SUV for truck camping no big problem for me. But, I must warn everyone that you are very REMOTE from any civilization so you should come prepared.
Also, make sure you have plenty of gas too because you will be doing a lot of driving before you will even find a gas station when coming back out of there. especially so very late at night.
Curiously, there is only ONE lone solo park type sitting bench installed and overlooking the gorge and the mountains. Therefore I highly recommend you bring a blanket for sitting on the ground and also be wearing some warm clothing against the long night chill of high elevation cool mountain air. Also, be prepared to be spending at the very least, several hours after dark falls to witness this mystery. The area is very well done and attractively maintained but is otherwise very rustic. I however did have phone service (Verizon) which enabled me to keep friends informed as to my ongoing experiences here.
Shortly after my arrival and walk down the path to the gorge viewing area, I encountered a young couple at the viewing area who had built a really nice large campfire to keep warm while waiting for dusk. In our conversation they said they have visited there in the past quite often to see the lights and they also stated that they have seen UFOs in the sky there as well. That I thought, would be a real extra treat in addition to the lights. Another visitor that had just shown up stated that she has seen the lights often but ALSO has seen haunting ORBS of lights moving about in the forest surrounding the parking lot just a 100 plus yards away. Wow, I thought, this could turn out to be a triple treat viewing night for me!!
Dusk settled in and directly opposite across the gorge is a mountain with another mountain of equal height about 30 degrees off to the left. Time passed with nothing happening. I did see twinkling lights in the distance past the mountains but these turned out to be cell tower or radio antenna lights.
At around 9:20PM and now fully dark I was beginning to think this was all going to be a big bust but the people assembling where there for the same opportunity to see the lights. As dusk gathered, More and more people started to arrive but it never got crowded I guess due to the remote location. There are stone steps and walkway off the asphalt paved incoming path that leads down to the precipice of the gorge for a better viewing advantage which includes down to the deep gorge below. Due to my bad knee at the time and with no grip safety railing I elected to stay up on the sitting observation bench. Quite a number of people ventured down that walkway so that they could view the gorge all the way to the bottom.
At around 9:30 PM all of a sudden a light appeared on the mountain directly opposite It really just looked like someone was shining a powerful bright white light flashlight in our direction. The light would wink out after about 4-10 seconds and then wink back on maybe another 20-30 seconds later and to the right of its original observance. This continued this winking on and off with the light each time having moved further to the right across the near the ridge line on top of the mountain and also then starting movement while winking on and off and continuing down the sheer face of the mountain. I thought these must be hikers but that didn't make any sense as that was very rugged mountain terrain and before dusk I could not see any evidence of any trails not to mention having any human ability to walk down the sheer face of the mountain.
This continued on for about an hour or so then all of a sudden a similar white light appeared on the mountain 30 degrees to the left of this mountain. The big difference though was that this light winked on and for the most part stayed on for a few minutes and never did move. It did however, wink out and wink back on for several minutes and continuously repeat this performance as did the performance on the mountain directly in front of me. The lights on that mountain directly in front of me however always moved and even reappeared back at their original starting point and to repeat a similar performance. I watched this display in awe for several hours as did the other visitors. It almost seemed like the lights were communicating with each other or even us.
Later, I spoke with other visitors that had been down at the precipice rail looking down to the floor of the gorge. They reported seeing MOVING lights at the bottom of the gorge and that they were RED and YELLOW in color. The lights I saw were only bright bluish white lights!
As the night wore on, I grew sleepy in the cool air and decided to go back to my SUV for the remaining overnight stay in the parking lot. Most everyone had cleared out already. Must be old hat for them I guess or, I suspect, that they didn't come prepared to camp out the night in their vehicle. I figured I might get to see those ORBS in the forest surrounding the parking lot or maybe some UFOS appearing overhead too. I certainly was very glad to have my flashlight as you would not even be able to see your hand in front of your face to safely do the walk back on the path from and to the parking lot in the dark. After a couple hours dozing I did walk back down to the viewing area again to watch more lights although they were not as active as earlier. Alas, I didn't see any UFOS or light ORBS either! Drats!! Well, went back to my truck to doze again and wait for the dawn.
My adventure continues:
As the first glimmer of dawn was showing, I heard a VERY LOUD call coming from in front of me from the surrounding forest. It had to be a bird I thought, and A VERY BIG BIRD at that to make that kind of very loud noise. A noise I had NEVER before heard in my life. I strained to try to focus on the trees in front of me in the sounds' direction to try and glimpse what critter was making this noise! No luck! It made several more calls and then fell silent. I still wonder what that was. I have on one other occasion in another National Forest heard a somewhat similar calling noise too, but not quite as loud and without ever determining the source on that occasion either. I certainly would like to try and identify the critter that made that noise.
I hung around until later in the morning and revisited the observation area and another young couple showed up and they proceeded to an area of the precipice to the gorge that didn't have any protective railing. While they were sitting at the edge they told me that he had just dropped an expensive $100. pair of sunglasses over the edge that now were gone forever. The views at and from this location in full morning light and sun are also spectacular!!
To exit out of there and continue my journey you must either backtrack 15+ miles to the main road in the direction you came in on OR, proceed and continue in the opposite direction for ANOTHER estimated but scenic 20+ miles to get out of that area and back into civilization. It was an AWESOME TRIP INDEED and I want to do it again sometime!!
There is PLENTY of info on the internet if you research the term "Brown Mountain Lights". It's a centuries old, fascinating and haunting tale and ongoing mystery. I recommend this little adventure if you are interested in mysterious happenings and if you ever get into that area of North Carolina. You might by accident even stumble upon that little "biker bar" in those wilds like I did.
Have fun, enjoy and, Happy Adventuring!!
P.S. Please scroll down to see some pictures that I took at Wisemans View on that trip and just posted.
Thanks again for viewing my article.