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Thread: The Gonzales Ghost Light

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  1. #1
    us
    Jan 2006
    SE Louisiana
    Garrett AT Pro & Ace 250
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    The Gonzales Ghost Light

    From 'The Advocate Online (http://br.theadvocate.com/enter/story.asp?storyid=1690)

    Mysterious legends of Louisiana The Louisiana woods and swamps are home to a number of spooky myths and legends. They're out there. The woods and swamps are full of them. There's the spirit of the Indian maiden who haunts the woods of the Longfellow State Commemorative Area in St. Martinville. Or Lafourche Parish's famed Coon Road, now submerged due to wetlands erosion, where an unseen force mysteriously moved anything placed in its path. In nearby Port Hudson National Cemetery, strange images have appeared, from giant bird-like apparitions and UFOs, to phantoms driving Civil War-era buggies. Call them myths, legends or superstitions, south Louisiana abounds with unexplained phenomena. And some of the weirdest creatures are right in our own back yards. Les Feu Follet It's natural for teen-agers to concoct stories about aggressive monsters or ghostly apparitions living in the darkest reaches or outskirts of town. For the guys, it's an excuse to get a girl in a car on a dark road at night. For the couple, the ogre might represent their parents, who may indeed turn into werewolves if they caught their children unsupervised on a deserted back road. These teen legends have existed for decades. Take Mona Lisa, for instance. She's irate at having been murdered by her boyfriend Johnny and stalks "Mona Lisa Lane" in New Orleans' City Park looking for someone to harass. Necking teen-agers in parked cars are her personal favorites, goes the legend.

    Locally, the ghost lights of Gonzales were the haunt of preference. In Leon Gautreau's high school days, when automobiles were not as common as today, teens would pile in a car "around 10 or 11 o'clock" and head for the "Lighted Lane of Gonzales." On Roddy Road, then a desolate rural road, the "ghost lights" would appear. "The lights supposedly appeared somewhere between Cante Road (La. 621) and Bayou Narcisse Road (La. 935)," Gautreau explained. "Roddy Road ran north and south and Cante and Bayou Narcisse ran east and west. It was somewhere in that area." A lifetime resident of Gonzales who "never lived more than 3 miles" from where he was born, Gautreau remembers a light appearing on occasion and lasting only a few seconds. "It looked like a spotlight, a flashlight," Gautreau said. "It would move toward you and then it would disappear. It was like a headlight or a flashlight. It looked like it was in the middle of the road. It looked like it would come towards you and then it would disappear. "Whether we were hallucinating or whatever - who knows," he said with a laugh. "It was a fun spot for all the teen-agers. Sometimes you'd see it, sometimes you wouldn't. You never really got close enough to it to identify it."

    In Louisiana, these eerie, illusive swamp lights are known as feu follets. In other parts of the world, they are called will-o'-the-wisps. Cajuns believe they are the souls of unbaptised babies, infants who departed this world before being blessed. Follow them and they will lead you deep into the swamp where you will remain lost until daybreak - if you survive the night. The only way to outsmart the feu follet is to stick a knife into the ground or a fence post so the light will dance around the blade instead of bothering you. Some Cajuns insist upon using a needle, coaxing the mysterious light to pass through the eye of the needle. But the Gonzales light is nondestructive, legend contends. Years before Gautreau visited Roddy Road, a young girl was buried out on that once lonely stretch of road. Her distraught parents placed a burning candle on her unmarked grave every evening to keep her company. After the parents passed on, a light continued to guard the grave of the young girl, and is what glows for visitors who seek its luminescent radiance. In Grosse Tete, between the Bank of Maringouin and Midway Grocery, on a lane ironically nicknamed "Dump Road," an unexplained light flickers in the bean fields. Teens frequented the area, including Mary Sue Romig, now 54, who has seen its brilliance many times. "I've seen it," Romig said. "It starts out small and it grows." Even though a visiting LSU professor insisted the light was caused by swamp gases, releases of methane and other gases by rotting vegetation, Romig has her own theory of the light's origin, courtesy of her mother. Years ago, when the road contained railroad tracks for the Texas and Pacific lines, a man routinely visited the area to manually switch the tracks. One night his lantern failed and he was hit by the train. His head was severed. "That's (the light) his lantern," Romig said. "He's looking for his head." Whatever the explanation, the light has drawn quite a following. "Half the town used to go back there," Romig continued. "Teens drove out there with friends. Scared one of them half to death. He won't go back there, day or night." The light usually appears at "the hump in the road," Romig said, and sometimes becomes quite large. "We had it come out between us one night, between the cars," she said. "It's weird. That night it was as big as a basketball." Swamp lights don't hold the attraction they once held for teens, perhaps because now they compete with television and computer games. Encroaching developments in rural areas could be another reason for their demise. Still, it was merely a few years ago when hikers spotted a glowing tree stump in the woods near Pond, Miss., just over the border from West Feliciana Parish and the Tunica Trace. The rotting log radiated like a fluorescent light bulb, they said. The woods literally glowed that night with the log's soft light after hikers broke off pieces and placed them up and down the trail.
    austin likes this.





  2. #2
    us
    Dub Coco

    Jul 2015
    Baton Rouge, La.
    AT Pro, Teknetics Delta 4000, Pro Pointers.
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    I have heard a few of those throughout my years here in Louisiana. Those, and even more....

  3. #3
    us
    Jul 2012
    San Antonio, Texas
    Garrett 250
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    Research/Limited field work
    Texas has them too. Bridge at Runge, Marfa Ghost lights. Interesting stories and some people swear by them...

 

 

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