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.

..... At another time I'll tell about seeing " the lights ", in West Point.
                                                                        Bill Hobbs "66"
                                                                              Typhoons forever

- 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 have seen
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.

If there are any others out there, then this story is worth telling, but not to the faint hearted,
but I need to stop now.............
                                        The horror, the horror, the lights, the lights
                                                        The lights of West Point
                                                                Bill Hobbs 66
                                                            Who saw the light in 65, and can't forget
                                                                    Typhoons forever

- 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!

Before we meet next week, I would like to finish my story concerning "The lights of West Point".
I didn't realize that so many other Typhoons had, shall we say, "seen the light". But  now that we
know that the truth is out there, I have to tell the rest of the story:

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".

Well, down the tracks we go, so dark couldn't see our own feet or anything else. Then it happened -
we saw the light, it was off to the side and seemed to be moving and as we were told, when we made noise
the light disappeared only to reappear again. By this time we had traveled maybe a half a mile.
I am now very cold, a believer and want to find Charlie and get back to civilization. We didn't know how much
farther it was to the other side and decided not to turn back, because after all Charlie was waiting for us
on the other side. Oh, yeah, he was waiting on us all right!
We started calling out to Charlie, but to no avail so we continued onward. A short distance farther and
the most horrible cries and yells came from the side of the tracks like that of a banshee. We were gone,
back down the tracks where we had come, maybe a hundred yards. I only wish
Coach Conn could have
timed me. We had been had, fooled by Charlie, who having doubled back on us, had been laying for us
underclassmen. I was mad, embarrassed and lost my beer in more than one way. I don't think I spoke
to Charlie during the entire drive back home or even the next day. After a couple of days we were friends
again and Charlie confided to me that this was how he was introduced to the light also, like it was some
kind of rite of passage or something.

He also told me that the lights were real.
Those were great times back then and I look back at those years and they don't really seem that long ago.
I'll never forget the lights, my friend Charlie, nor the lesson I learned that night:
Don't believe everything you hear; Don't believe everything you see;
Don't disbelieve what you don't see and you don't hear.

Friends, the lights were real, and as the old poem goes,
"... if you don't believe this story is true, ask the blind man, he saw it too".

- Bill Hobbs ('66) of Northern VA - 10/16/05
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 NNHS 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 the...ummm...err...ahhh...SPIRit 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 en
lightening 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

AHA! Thank you for clearing up one of the great mysteries of my youth, Mark!
In all the discussions through the years, I don't recall ever hearing the supposed origins of the lights before!


(This page was created on 10/19/05, after notes from Bill Hobbs - ' 66 - of Northern VA
began the unleashing of memories.
Thanks, Bill!)

"Twilight Zone Theme Song" midi courtesy of - 12/21/04

Animated Ghost courtesy of - 10/19/05

Blinking Colored Lights clip art courtesy of - 10/19/05

Animated Blue Train Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/24/05

Return to NNHS Class of 1965