Have You Seen the Legendary Anson Ghost Lights?

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Tony Maples Photography


You might have heard of the famous Marfa mystery lights, but there’s another Texas town with a bright mystery all its own. The legend of the Anson Ghost Lights is sure to thrill and chill any adventure seeker.

Located just 20 miles north of Abilene, Anson, Texas, is home to 2,430 residents. Its main claim to fame might be as the birthplace of singer Jeannie C. Riley, whose one-hit wonder “Harper Valley PTA” is a country classic. Oddly enough Anson might also have served as inspiration for the popular movie “Footloose.” In 1987, the town still had a “no dancing law” on the books, and the story of this law and the efforts to change it were chronicled in the book “No Dancin’ In Anson: An American Story of Race and Social Change,” by Ricardo Ainslie.

Have You Seen the Legendary Anson Ghost Lights?

Photo: @liebecaroline via Twenty20

All this local history pales in comparison to the spooky tale of Anson’s Ghost Lights. Legend has it that the lights are the lost soul of a pioneer woman who lived in Anson in the 19th century. She wanders the area in search of her sons. The boys were killed one night after being dispatched to chop wood. Her sons knew that if they should encounter any danger, they must flash their lantern three times to summon help. Now, when adventure seekers park at a certain spot and flash their car lights, the mother’s ghosts arises with her own lantern and goes to seek her lost sons.

Hoping to see the lights for yourself? It’s best to try it on a warm, cloudless night. Head east on 17th St. until you come to the graveyard on the outskirts of Anson, then take a right-hand turn down the dirt road beside the graveyard. Upon reaching the crossroads, turn and face the main road, then park, wait in silence awhile, and flash your headlights three times.

If you’re lucky (or should we say unlucky?) you just might see the lights come floating down the road in your direction, easily mistaken for a flashlight, or you might glimpse it drifting like a ghost among the trees.