Lights on the Mountain Camping Story
|This Story has scary parts and is meant for older campers.
Decide for yourself if it is appropriate for your younger campers or not.
|Change the mountain name or area to fit your situation for added UMPH.
Whenever you say 'the mountain', say it with emphasis.
|The forests around Mount Clayburn in Ohio are wonderful woods with plenty of camping spots, clear streams, and miles of hiking trails. Mount Clayburn could hardly be called a mountain, really. It's only about 1000 feet higher than the surrounding forests. But, for folks around Mount Clayburn, it was just known as 'the mountain'. Whenever anyone mentioned 'the mountain', you just knew they were going to have something troubling to say.
If you ever go a-camping around 'the mountain', after the campfire burns low, after the younger ones have headed to bed, after the last cup of coffee is finished, take a few minutes to gaze up at the mountain. Chances are, you will see some small but bright lights bobbing along across the hill for a minute or more. There have been numerous reports of these mysterious lights from campers, scout troops, hunters, and others. They always are seen from a distance for about a minute and then wink out.
There really is no mystery to the lights, though. Local folks know what they are, but they seldom share the tale with strangers. Lucky for you, I spent a summer in these parts and learned what causes the lights.
In the late 1800s, this area was much more rugged than it is now. There were many more wild animals such as cougar, bear, and rattlesnakes. Strong, hardy folks settled these parts and scratched out a living through farming or lumber. It was a hard life. But, even in that rough environment, love blossomed.
One family that lived up on 'the mountain' had a beautiful young girl that drew the admiration of young men for miles around. Of all those men, she fell in love with one and they intended to marry.
He would hike the 3 or 4 miles up 'the mountain' to visit her every Friday after working a full week. She would always wait for him on the front porch with her lantern lit to help him find the way.
After many months of dating, they decided to marry. On the night he was to come and take her away, a thick unnatural fog settled over the valley and crept up the slopes of 'the mountain'. As the girl waited, the fog wrapped around her cabin and she could scarcely see beyond her porch.
She waited one hour, two, then three and he still did not arrive. So, she took up her lantern and walked into the woods searching for him.
About 10 minutes after she left, he arrived at her cabin. Her father told him that she had just left, looking for him. So, he took up a spare lantern and headed off into the gloom in search of his true love. For hours and hours, he searched - walking miles on end. At the same time, she was searching for him, mile after mile, but never close enough to hear each other.
The fog was so thick that the sun could not penetrate it and the mountain remained blanketed in a dark blanket of grey. After 4 days, the fog lifted but there was no sign of the girl or boy. The girl's father followed her tracks until they disappeared into a swampy area and then could find no trace.
To this day, you can see the lanterns of the lovers criss-crossing the slopes of 'the mountain' searching, searching, searching for each other, never quite close enough. Sometimes, the lights stay high on the slopes, other times they descend to the forests below. There is one rumor that if the light ever comes into your camp, the ghost girl will take one of your party in place of her lover!