The Lights of West Point
All communities should have their own myths
and legends for the youth of the community
to cherish, relish, embellish, and pass on to their posterity.
We had The Lights of West Point.
Bill Hobbs ('66) of Northern VA - 09/21/05
Oh, goody! Thanks, Bill!
Now back to "
The lights of West Point, Virginia "; Do you know how many Typhoons actually
these mysterious lights? or have heard the gruesome tale of folklore that is still whispered even today?
It would be interesting to know how many other victims had the hell scared out of them as I! How many,
how many more lives changed forever more.
- Bill Hobbs ('66)
of Northern VA - 09/26/05
GIGGLES!!! Thanks, Bill!
Re: the light at West Point...ummm (again)...well, I saw it, and so did the other guys, and I assure you I was of 'sound mind and body,' because I was the designated driver for the trip home. It would first shine on trees on our left, and you would see no spotlight - the track curved off to the right as we walked away from the road, and as it moved toward us it would go out briefly, and then suddenly there it was again, having continued round the curve and was then a spotlight reflecting down the track in our direction, moving toward us. We could never get really close to it, because it would disappear before that. Even though 'the light' was a great destination for a night of carousing ("Let's go to West Point and see the light!" would sound like a great idea if there was nothing else happening.), 'the light' honestly did not require any 'lubrication' for people to see it! I remember newspaper articles saying it was swamp gases, or some such thing. I don't really know, as I'll bet no one from our area ever drove there during the day to check the surroundings! I didn't. Now that I drive through West Point every now and then to see my son and his family in Gloucester, I'll have to revisit the location during the day, if it is still there. Bill (Hobbs - '66 - of Northern VA), I'll be interested to hear your recollection!
- Jimmy Hines ('64) of Northern VA - 09/28/05 Thanks, Jimmy!
I have another West Point story to add to the Typhoon Tale List. One dark foggy night, Todd Givens ('65), and his date (I can't remember who), Judy McCall ('65) and I decided to "See the Light". We found West Point with no trouble. It was a perfect night, dark and really foggy. We parked under one of the big old oak trees by the tracks and never saw the train lights, but we had a lot of fun trying! I was driving and when we got back out to 64, I made the wrong turn, and due to the dense fog, did not know that I had made the wrong turn, until I crossed the bridge into Richmond! This was in the day that fathers shot young men for keeping their daughters out too late, so naturally we were all panicked. We found a phone booth, and all called home. A State Trooper was parked near by, and he led us back in the fog, all the way to Newport News. What a night! Those really were the GOOD OLD DAYS! - Mike Miller, NNHS Class of 65, and damned proud of it!!! - of NC - 10/03/05 Thank you, Michael Darlin', you're a hoot!
It was a cool, damp foggy
night in the fall of '65 as I recollect, when acting on a dare from my friend,
Charlie Vellines ('65), we went to West Point in Lee McDonald's ('66) '57 Ford. I don't remember what
spirits were out there that night, but I think we picked some up on the way. I remember traveling about
90 mph down some country roads and seeing some deer prancing thru a cornfield about eight feet high
and they were clearing the stalks with their heads visible. We ended up at a railroad crossing, where we
got out of the car and then we were told "the story", and it went like this:
About a hundred years before,
give or take a couple of years, there was a train wreck and the conductor
with lantern in hand was walking back down the rail tracks to warn an approaching train of the wreck.
Well, it happens that the oncoming train engineer didn't see him or the lantern and plowed right in to him,
decapitating the poor fellow. So this is the story of the mysterious light of West Point. It was the conductor's
ghost looking for his head. Well being just a little skeptical, cold and underage I was offered another beer
and the rest of the story. It seems that one had to walk down these tracks to see the light and you couldn't
make any noise or carry a flashlight or the light would disappear. Well, Charlie had this great idea!
Since it was a long walk down these tracks and the road circled around to the other side of the bridge,
he would just drive around to the other side of the bridge and wait for us there.
"Well," I said, "I don't know about this, I can't see six inches in front of me, we might fall off the tracks
or even the bridge".
He calmly replied, "You aren't scared are you, it's just a light".
"No," I said, "I'm not chicken, but I think I'll have another beer before you leave us here".
Hobbs ('66) of Northern VA - 10/16/05
YOWZERS-WOWZERS, CHILLS AND GIGGLES!!!
Thanks so much, Bill!
I loved the
story of West Point as I also went up there and walked down the tracks!!! I
saw the light as well
and we also saw a red and green light! I wasn't that scared, well maybe a little!! I was older and maybe
more concerned about Human ghosts, but it was really fun! I wondered when someone would mention that story!!
- Sarah Puckett Kressaty ('65) of VA - 10/17/05
Thanks, Sarah Sugah!
I remember visiting West Point to see the light with an
boy who will remain
unnamed. ('Twasn't Jimmy.)
I was scared to death and spent the whole time on the floor of the car whimpering that I wanted to go home.
Never did see the light. You can imagine what a fun date I was.
- Melody Clendenin
DeBerry (Warwick HS - '66) of VA - 10/18/05
WILD GIGGLES!!! Thanks, Melody!
WOW!!! You've really captured
of the Light at West Point! What a great page!
I wondered how you would set it up. This oughta bring out more stories-surely there are others -
from the many who visited this 'phenomenon of the dark.' Hmmmmm... That might even make for an
interesting reunion field trip...or not...crazier things have happened. Could you see a tour bus driving
up to that area at night in 2005? Maybe not...most everyone has certainly grown up by now...
Oh, well, it's a thought...sorta. Thanks for making that enlightening page, and shedding a little light
on the legend. Maybe we shouldn't let our kids read about it's location, though...On the other hand,
they'll probably find out about it the same way we did.
- Jimmy Hines ('64) of Northern VA - 10/19/05
YOWZERS! What an idea!! GIGGLES! Thanks, Jimmy!
- Mark Hutcherson ('66) of VA - 01/20/19
Thank you for clearing up one of the great mysteries of my youth, Mark!
(This page was
created on 10/19/05, after notes from Bill Hobbs - ' 66 - of Northern VA
began the unleashing of memories.
"Twilight Zone Theme Song" midi courtesy of http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Station/9621/halwen1.htm - 12/21/04
Animated Ghost courtesy of http://htomc.dns2go.com/anim/anim-gho.htm - 10/19/05
Blinking Colored Lights clip art courtesy of http://www.wtv-zone.com/nevr2l82/bars30.html - 10/19/05
Animated Blue Train Divider Line clip art courtesy of http://www.wtv-zone.com/nevr2l82/bars15.html - 08/24/05
Return to NNHS Class of 1965