Watersmeet, Michigan: Paulding LightsA barricaded road in the woods marks the prime viewing spot for an eerie nocturnal phenomenon. The legend of the railroad brakeman ghost is acknowledged on an official sign (but with Casper the Friendly Ghost holding a lantern).
- 5230/Old US Hwy 45, Watersmeet, MI
- On US Hwy 45, 4.5 miles north of Watersmeet. Cross Sucker Lake Rd/Bass Lake Rd, go about 2 miles, slow down. You'll see a an ATV/2-track gravel road split off on the left with electric lines. Follow for less than a half-mile until you see the dead-end barricade. At night there are usually people there -- otherwise just sit and wait.
Visitor Tips and News About Paulding Lights
Paulding Lights disproven by university! This was investigated by Michigan Tech. They used large telescopes with attached cameras and it shows clearly that they are headlights and taillights of cars 6 miles away. They seem to linger and hover because of the long distance and air turbulence. This was so easy to find out, but so many people want to believe crazy stories instead.[James Platt, 08/30/2011]
Headlights schmeadlights! We saw both white and red lights. At one point the white lights turned red and danced around. The only thing that wasn't a mystery that night was where my hundred dollars went in the casino down the road!! :)[Mike, 08/20/2011]
The "mystery lights" of Paulding have been scientifically proven to be car lights. The entire experiment can be duplicated by anyone who wishes to. See the details: http://www.skepticfiles.org/mys3/michigan.htm This one is no longer a mystery.[Tom Hartman, 12/04/2010]
We turned down Old 45 just north of Robbins Pond, and facing south, saw the orangish/red glow. It then turned into what looked like a strobe light - flashing about 6 times, then vanished. This happened twice. Then we went to Robbins Pond Rd, and witnessed (along with about 30 others) a huge bright light (much like a train - only larger) with a red outer "aura." It would fade into a small red light, then reappear. This happened about 4 or 5 times before we turned and went back to the 1st sight just north of Robbins Pond. After going back, we saw a variety of lights, much smaller, that seemed to dance around each other, and dart in different directions. The lights were bright enough to illuminate the people walking back and forth between the two locations and strangely, none of the walkers saw the lights when they should have been directly in their path or directly underneath. We concluded the location to be in the valley between the vacated connection of Old 45.
We also debunked the car lights theory, as we had plenty of car lights on both sides for comparison, distance and location. We also wonder if the difference in the appearance between the two locations can be explained by seeing the lights - front and back? A mystery indeed...[Chelle Merrill, 09/15/2007]
It's a mysterious light off in the distance, some think its a ghost. There's a state historical marker and a guard rail to mark where it is best viewed. I've been their each of the last three summers and I am always part of a crowd of at least 10 people, so it really is worth seeing.[Jim G., 01/25/2004]