Ghost Stories and Tall Tales of the American South

The Brown Mountain Lights, North Carolina


The story of the famed Brown Mountain Lights near Linville, NC. Told in song by Tommy Faile, plus video evidence below (you be the judge).

Lyrics written by Scott Wiseman, performed by Tommy Faile.


Way out on old Linville Mountain, where the bear and the catamount range, there a strange ghostly light can be seen every night which no scientist or hunter can explain.


In the mountains of North Carolina near Linville, there exists a strange phenomenon called the Brown Mountain Lights. On a clear night, these lights will appear and move about in a ghost-like manner on the mountaintop and down in the valley. These lights have been observed since the early days of the covered wagon, and to this day, no one can explain their mystery. Even scientists who come from various parts of the world can offer no solution. Uncle Fate Wiseman, who spent his entire 80 years in these mountains, used to tell this story which, to me, could be as true as any other tale ever told about the legend of the Brown Mountain Lights.


In the days of the old covered wagon
When they camped on the flat for the night
With the stars growing dim on the old high gorge rim
They’d watch for that Brown Mountain Light.


High on the mountain and down in the canyon below.
It shines like the crown of an angel and fades as the mist comes and goes.
Way over yonder, night after night until dawn.
Well a faithful old slave, come back from the grave
Well he’s searching, searching, searching
For his master who’s long, long gone.

Long years ago a southern planter came hunting in this wild land alone,
And here, so they say, the hunter lost his way and never returned to his home.

His trusty old slave brought a lantern and he searched, but in vain, day and night.
Now the old slave is gone but his spirit wanders on and the old lantern still casts its light.


-Different version of the Brown Mountain Lights story from local news.

-Sighting of the Brown Mountain Lights during a National Geographic shoot.

Brown Mountain Lights, NC

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Brown Mountain Lights, NC 36.066516, -81.870390 Story: The Brown Mountain Lights, North Carolina Directions: Traveling I-40 East, take Exit 100 (Morganton). Take a left coming off the exit ramp. Go 3.2 miles (towards Morganton), and take a left at the stop light onto 181 North. Travel 18.8 miles: You\'ll find the pull-off on the right at mile marker 20.


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One Response to “The Brown Mountain Lights, North Carolina”


Growing up in western NC, I heard about these lights long before I saw them many years ago. Now that I’m living in Florida, I wanted to share the story with friend via email and FB. Thank you for putting this on line.

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