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The Bingham Light


NOTE: I copied and pasted this story from my personal blog. Even though the events first took place a few years prior, the actual story was written back in 2013-2014. However, earlier this year (2015) I made an updated conclusion on my evolved thoughts regarding the nature of this phenomena.

Now we can continue.

I don't know the true story behind this light because there are so many variations. Supposedly in the 1800s in Bingham, South Carolina, a man named John or Bill was killed by a train one night while carrying a lantern. His spirit is walking around in the area and the light that you see swinging is his lantern. Many people around my region have been talking about this light for years, and I've been wanting to go see it for a long time.

The people that see it says that you call out the man's name, then the light will appear after some time and chase you. So one night I finally went to see for myself. Around 7pm on this night, my two friends and I arrived there. The site we went to (there supposed to be about three points in the area where you can see it) is down a 1-mile dirt road called S. Butler Road, then out in front of a huge corn field.

So, first let me tell you about the area. It's DISTURBING. Not to sensationalize anything but it's eerie out there. It was cloudy that particular night and being out in an isolated area surrounded by woods, it was unnaturally dark. Once we reached the last corn field we got out of my friend's truck and scanned the area, then after about three minutes of trying to pull ourselves together I suggested that we do what the legend said and call out his name, "John Bingham" or "Bill Bingham". We did that several times real loud until it echoed out into the woods. A few minutes later we looked out into the field near the edge of the woods and seen a very faint flash. We had to look carefully for several minutes because it wasn't an ordinary light and it was hard to see. We thought that the dark was playing tricks on our eyes.

When we finally realized what it was, we noticed that it was coming toward us from the edge of the woods to out in the middle of the field. Within seconds it was getting closer and closer. When we seen that we ran back to the truck and were about to drive off, but we decided that we should do it again for the thrill. So we got back out and called his name again. This time it took about five minutes or so before the light came out and it did the same thing, except moving a little faster this time around. We ran to the truck again and waited about 10 minutes then we decided to see it a third time. However, we saw a truck coming far up the road so we got out of there because we didn't know who it was.

The light didn't glow like a normal light does. It was just a soft, faint blue-cream ball. It showed itself in flashes like a radio tower light (As a matter of fact, there are actually a few out there in the distance and they will confuse you at first) and moved in an erratic side-to-side motion, which will freak you out in itself. It flashes in random places, but still in a swinging motion. Another point, the light doesn't just float in the air at random heights. I noticed that it floats at a steady five feet or so, so I'm guessing that is how tall the man was.

I mean, I just don't understand the true nature behind this light, but all I know is that it's out there. If you just happened to be walking in that area at night (which I doubt anyone would as creepy as it is) and you see that thing coming, it would freak you out. It's not like some horror film type of thing, but it's real freaky.

That was my first encounter. I went back and saw it a second time. This time around it was just one friend and I. The moon was full and bright on this particular night. My friend and I stayed out in the area for maybe a half-hour calling it. We even went as far as cussing at it, but it did not come out regardless. I told my friend about this path that is supposed to be in the middle of the field and leads back up into the woods near where the man was supposedly killed. So we finally got the guts to walk the path. We called the light all the while thinking that it would come out being as we were closer, but it still didn't appear. We decided to turn around about half-way and walked to the other side of the field. When we got all the way to the other side and about half-way up, we saw the light coming toward us in the middle of the field, but it disappeared and would not come out again. Strange. That was my second encounter.

At this current time of writing this post, I have since been out to there a good 15-16 times between 2010-2014, but only saw it those first two times.

UPDATE: After doing extensive research on the history behind this light over the past few years, I have come to the conclusion that the story behind it may be fabricated. While the light is indeed real (as I have seen it twice) the story behind it is also the same story behind other ghost light phenomena in South Carolina. The locations are all different, but they all have in common the same or similar story about a man walking around with a lantern and was beheaded by an oncoming train one night, so his spirit is now looking for his head and the light is his lantern. It is disappointing to know that this is only a widespread urban legend used by people to describe phenomena they can't explain.

However, the fact remains that the light phenomena does exists, but I have yet to explain what it is. It was once thought to be swamp gas or ball lightning, but due to the location of the sightings (which is mainly out in the middle of the field, although there are other points around that area where folks claim to have seen it) the possibility of swamp gas and ball lightning are ruled out. Now it is important to note that there used to be a railroad that once ran right through that area to take people to a resort back in the 1800s or so, but the resort and the railroad tracks are long gone. It is also important to note that there is indeed a swamp in that area and I've been to it personally, but it is not close to the field where the light is often seen.

Also ruling out the possibility of it being swamp gas or ball lightning is the fact that the light is shown to have intelligence, because it comes out when you call it, although not every time. It also seems to be drawn to fear, at least from my experience. My first time going out there I was almost terrified, and the sheer darkness and remoteness of the area only made it worse. My first night out there I was chased by it twice. The other times going out there I braved up to it and haven't seen it since. All of this considered is the reason why I think it's definitely a spirit.

Another interesting fact to point out is that after doing some research online, I came across this rare book about a guy named Carley Wiggins who was also doing research on the light. He said he came across an elderly lady in the area who heard about a man named Wylam Wynn who was indeed killed by a train that ran through the area back in the day. The particular section can be found via this link on page 116:,+the+bingham+light&source=bl&ots=xrOChyeACq&sig=0D9hmmLEZPuYJtvgWk30Twhibg0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=jVb1UrnjF-mIyAG8pIG4DQ#v=onepage&q=ghost%2C%20the%20bingham%20light&f=false

All in all, I think no one will ever know the true nature behind the Bingham Light, but nonetheless it remains a cool thing to go see when you want to get freaked out for a night.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Dee-J, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Dee-J (13 stories) (75 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-13)
"I have also read into this haunting, and according to the Shadowlands' website, the property has since been closed and restricted, because people have tried "shooting" at the light. Hope this info keeps any of you future ghost hunters out of future trouble."

GriffGriff: You can still go out in the general area. It's not entirely closed off. It's just a path leading to a swamp that's been closed off. This area is down a dirt road called Reedy Springs Ct (The whole area is kind of connected. It would make more sense if you see the area from an overhead map view).

Coming from the main HWY and turning onto Reedy Springs Ct, if you go down just a little bit there is a yellow gate on the right. That is the path that has been closed off. People still get over or under it to go back to the swamp though. The reason being is because the area near the swamp is said to be the origin point of the story. It is said that the path leading to the swamp is the former tressel for the train that used to run back in the area, but the tressel has long been taken up and a huge portion of it was washed out, thus creating the swamp. Anyway, the tressel is where it is said that the man was killed... According to legend of course. That is why people have been so hellbent on going back up in there, despite the fact that they are trespassing.

Personally I have got under the gate myself and walked back up in there (with my same two friends from the story). Admittedly... It was one hell of a walk. First of all, the walk took about 40 minutes or so. Second of all, parts of the path are severely rocky and you can easily slip or possibly twist your ankles. Third of all, it is heavily wooded back up in there and it is VERY remote, so if anything happens to you and you don't have any help or your phone has no signal, you're screwed. There is evidence that log trucks often go back there though. Fourth of all, there are so many cut off paths from the main path that you don't know which one will lead to the swamp, so It can confuse you unless you just keep walking straight. Fifth of all and finally, while we were walking we noticed how creepy the area was, and it was in the evening. The remoteness, the look of the trees, and the density of the trees around you was completely unsettling. One could only imagine that the feeling would be amplified at night.

Moving on now, when we finally made it to the path that seemed the most likely to lead to the swamp, we took it. What I can say is that contrary to what many stories online have said, it showed absolutely no sign of it being a former train tressel. It was just an overgrown dirt path. As we continued we met up with huge (and I do mean HUGE) low hanging spider webs, tons of low hanging branches, and deep ditches on either side of the path filled with swamp water. After a mile or so the path cuts off abruptly, and directly in front of you lies the huge swamp. Not to sensationalize anything, but it really looked like something out of a horror movie. Of course the time we went out there was late in the evening so we didn't experience anything. We didn't stay out there long because we wanted to walk back before it started getting dark, so we were cautious with our time.

Just think now... There were actually people who crawled under the gate and made that long walk, going through all of that, just to get to the swamp... AT NIGHT! I don't see how on earth anyone could be bold enough to do that unless they had some liquid nerve first.

Anyhow, sorry for the long comment but I felt that I had to elaborate to give you a better picture of the area and what to expect out there.
GriffGriff (1 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-12)
I have also read into this haunting, and according to the Shadowlands' website, the property has since been closed and restricted, because people have tried "shooting" at the light. Hope this info keeps any of you future ghost hunters out of future trouble.
Dee-J (13 stories) (75 posts)
9 years ago (2015-07-18)
Hi Hecate0,

I'm sorry for my rather late response.

I have only been out there one night without calling for it, but I didn't even get the chance to do so because I got spooked by something else as soon as I got out the car and walked a few feet. That experience in particular happened just two or three weeks ago and is shown in the response I made to LemonDrop_Pop below in the comments.

I have read stories online where people said that they've camped out in that area in order to see the light. Me personally, I wouldn't do it. For one thing, I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing that thing is out there somewhere lurking. Another thing and even worse, you never know what other kind of folks you might run into out there so I wouldn't want to be caught off guard sleeping. Although the area is off a dirt road back up in the woods and partially isolated, every once in a while you have curious folk coming out there trying to see the light for themselves, and it is not uncommon for folks to be drinking out there and often start shooting at things (as evidence shows from the many beers cans, liquor bottles, and bullet shells you can find occasionally).

While I wouldn't actually sleep overnight out there, I definitely wouldn't mind spending a few hours with an EMF device trying to capture something out of the ordinary. Trust me, I have considered it once.
Hecate0 (4 stories) (418 posts)
9 years ago (2015-07-13)
Dee-J. Have you gone there and watched for it without calling it? That would add to your data about it being intelligent. I wonder, would you ever try to camp out there for an entire night with an EMF (electromagnetic frequency reader - I think that is what the EMF stands for) and perhaps a sensitive recorder to see if you can pick up the strange sound again, and perhaps EMF readings possibly indicating different types of energies. Great story. Thanks for sharing, especially all of your great research.

Zander (7 stories) (146 posts)
9 years ago (2015-07-12)
Thank you, Dee-J. Keep us posted if anything more happens out there 😊
Dee-J (13 stories) (75 posts)
9 years ago (2015-07-11)
Zander: Good thoughts on that!

I agree. Those type of railroad accidents could've indeed been very typical back in those days. However, in cases like this where the same story is shared in several places across the same state, it just makes one kind of suspicious. It could all be true for all anyone knows, but it does seem awful strange.
Zander (7 stories) (146 posts)
9 years ago (2015-07-11)
Well, simply because it is the same story in various locations in South Carolina does not mean it is not true... These types of accidents were part of parcel of the age of travel by rail. I wouldn't dismiss the origin of the story for the reason that it echoes similar accounts. This sort of thing did happen a lot, then. I agree with you about the intelligence of the light. To add to that... What would you do if someone called your name? You'd probably answer the first time, maybe the second. Finally, you'd think this was a prankster, pita and ignore it...

Interesting about the further research with the Wiggins book. Thank you!
Dee-J (13 stories) (75 posts)
9 years ago (2015-07-10)
LemonDrop_Pop: Thank you! I don't know if I was just brave or plain stupid... Probably both lol.

I can imagine that you definitely would not have gotten out of the car there. It is indeed a very creepy spot. Even if one didn't know about the "ghost light", it just feels that something isn't right about that area, like something's "off" about it. The area is actually creepier than the light itself to be honest, lol. But funnily enough, I've been out there a few times during the daytime and it's rather unassuming. I guess the dark changes our perspective on things 😁

I have braved up to going out there in the dark though. As a matter of fact, just two weeks ago I actually went out there ALONE around 4am... Something I told myself I would NEVER do. Of course and admittedly, I did have some liquid courage, though not too much because I was alone and had no backup driver. I didn't see the light but something else out there sure creeped me out.

I went to S. Butler road in front of the field and as soon as I got out and walked a good 10 feet from the car, I heard an animalic noise somewhere near me that I can only describe as a deep "uuuuuuuuuh...uuuuuuuuh...uuuuuuuuh", with the pitch going downward. It startled me, so I got in the car and got out of there. As I approached the main road, I was about to leave and go home but I decided to go to the "famous crossroads" where the light is said to be seen up close (although I've personally never seen it over on that side). So I drove the mile and turned onto the dirt road, Reedy Springs Ct (which is where the "famous crossroads" are).

I had just gotten out the car and was walking towards the crossroads and down the long heavily wooded path I heard a faint voice off in the near distance. The moon was pretty bright and it sounded like they were about 50 yards away down the path, but I couldn't see anyone. I didn't count it as supernatural but it sure scared me enough to take off immediately.
LemonDrop_Pop (guest)
9 years ago (2015-07-10)
Dee-J,Thank you for sharing this story. I would not have gotten out of the car like you. I am a bit of a coward. Lol You are braver than I am.

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