Sunday, October 11, 2009

Haunted Carbondale--Railroad Lights

Running late on the round up of haunted places in C'dale and southern Illinois but better late than never.

There are at least three sets of spook lights associated with railroad tracks in the Carbondale area. The one closest to town is along the abandoned railroad bed that runs along the northern edge of Oakland Cemetery, located at the north end of Oakland Ave. I've heard stories of people reporting occasional lights along there infrequently since the 1970s.

A second spot to try to catch a railroad spook light is along the tracks running though Makanda south. This one has a story attached to it about a railroad conductor/engineer, who when the train he was on stopped on the tracks, frantically waved his lantern to alert an oncoming train. Unfortunately, the oncoming train didn't halt in time, smashing into the stoppd one. However the engineer/conductor's heroic actions caused it to slow down enough that only he was killed in the accident. Needless to say, this is a common motif found in railroad ghost light stories.

The third light has been reported floating along the tracks running through the Boskydell area. No particular story attatched to this one that I've heard, except that it's supposed to be bad luck to see them. The lights in all three locations appear infrequently, glow yellow or white and float 3-6 feet above the tracks.

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