Arkansas has myths and folklore like many other states, and one of the biggest remains a mystery to this day. The Dover Lights have puzzled thousands of people living and traveling through the Ozarks. Those who have seen the lights say that they are very strange indeed. People report that the Dover Lights look like glowing orbs or lanterns deep in a ravine.
The little town of Dover, Arkansas is about 10 miles north of Russellville, halfway between Little Rock and Fort Smith.
The lights aren’t actually in Dover, but they’re close to it.
They can sometimes be seen at night from a pull-off spot west of Scenic Highway 7 and north of the Long Pool recreation area. Drivers can pull off the road and look down a valley along a creek. When it’s not foggy, people have seen small floating colored lights which seem to go in and out of the trees. They are no houses or roads there, only a forest-covered mountainside.
There are many stories about where the lights come from. Some say the valley is haunted by coal miners that died tragically when the tunnels collapsed on them. Another tale says the lights are spirits of Spanish conquistadors, searching the valley for treasure. Others say the lights are caused by natural gas leaking from local caves, or even campers down in the valley. Some even believe that the lights come from aliens.
Regardless of which story local people believe, the sightings are similar: glowing lights are visible deep in the ravine from up above. The lights were first seen in the early 1800s, long before there was electricity in the remote location.
In 2015, a local TV station looked into the Dover Lights and even caught the lights on camera.
The Dover Lights have become a legend among Arkansas residents. Maybe someday someone will figure out what they are. In the meantime, it’s fun to guess!