On Monday night, December 6th 1953, some locals passing by Bent Creek Cemetery in Whitesburg, Tennessee noticed a mysterious red light floating over some of the headstones in the late 18th century burying ground. The following night a group went to the cemetery and sat in their cars to see if they saw the strange light again. A short time later, to their surprise, they saw a large red orb beginning to float through the cemetery once again.
Word quickly spread in the area, and by Friday night hundreds of people descended upon the small town hoping to catch a glimpse of the ghost.
As excitement filled the cemetery, the mood soon turned to disappointment when the spirit refused to materialize. As the night went on, people began shooting fireworks and firing shotguns in the cemetery in hopes of drawing the bashful specter out of its hiding place. Things got so rowdy that Sheriff C. L. Franklin was called to come to the scene to break things up. The stern lawman assured onlookers that it was all a hoax and demanded everyone leave the graveyard immediately. Naturally, everyone left and the red light was chalked up as prank by mischievous children or a sudden flame produced by gases from decaying vegetation in marshy areas called “will o the wisp”.
No matter what you believe causes the red light, locals still claim to still see it from time in the old cemetery.