You’ve heard of haunted houses, but have you ever heard of a haunted railroad track? Well, some believe you will find one in Crossett, Arkansas. The story begins over 100 years ago. Crossett had a railroad worker, a brakeman, who came to an untimely end in the early 1900s when he was beheaded near the track. The sad event would have been forgotten in time if it weren’t for a mysterious ball of light that appears at night.
Ever since the brakeman’s accident, travelers in this area have seen the light, which even has been reported to change colors. Many people report seeing a ball of light swaying back and forth a few feet over the track and believe it is the spirit of the brakeman who is looking for his lost head. Some say it is his wife carrying the lantern and looking for her husband.
Other people insist the light is yet another ghost who worked the railroad tracks and now continues to haunt the area.
Of course, scientifically minded people explain the light off as swamp gas, which is a very plausible and possible explanation. One of the most interesting things about the light is that, according to several tales, it supposedly disappears when one approaches it, and according to at least one account, it will travel through cars on the road, making it impossible to start the ignition.
If you drive to Crossett there’s a crossroad in the town where you turn away from one of the road at a certain intersection, stop and then turn your car around back towards that road and flash your lights three times. Once you start driving it appears – the ghost light!
The light hangs mid-air as you drive towards it. And in most instances the light disappears after about 10-15 seconds.
Is the Crossett Light a ghost haunting the darkness or a just another source of fun and entertainment like other Arkansas “haunted” attractions? You can decide for yourself by taking a trip to Crossett. Just take US Hwy 52 west to CR 17 (Ashley Rd 17) which becomes Ashley 425, a gravel road. It’s at the intersection of Ashley Rd 425 and Ashley Rd 16. Near an old railroad bed and trestle. Face south.