Woodson Lateral Road Ghost Lights

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Local legend has it that mysterious ghost lights appear at night and follow cars along Woodson Lateral Road.

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    Geographic Information

    Woodson Lateral Road
    Woodson, AR
    United States

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    34.5377873, -92.21739379999997
    Pulaski County, Arkansas
    Nearest Towns:
    Woodson, AR (0.7 mi.)
    Hensley, AR (2.3 mi.)
    Wrightsville, AR (4.5 mi.)
    Redfield, AR (6.7 mi.)
    East End, AR (7.1 mi.)
    Landmark, AR (7.7 mi.)
    Sweet Home, AR (10.4 mi.)
    Shannon Hills, AR (11.6 mi.)
    College Station, AR (11.8 mi.)
    Keo, AR (12.7 mi.)


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    1. In 1974 a car load of us teenagers went down the Woodson Lateral road one night to see what every one was talking about. At that time there was not many houses. We seen a ball of fire coming at us, as it got closer it got bigger and bigger. It scared us so bad that even the guys were screaming. It went over the car and then disappeared. They said that scientist came down and checked it out, but couldn’t figure it out.We were stunned and very scarred, then we got the heck out of there. It didn’t happen every time, but every teenager around checked it out.

    2. I have told this story maybe 4 times since it happened, sometime between 1977-1980. I am not full of shit and I’ve never bragged or lied, or even stretched the truth about what happened and I swear on my life that this is true. As a sophomore at Little Rock Central High, I heard about this “urban legend”. I drove myself, a girlfriend, and two other couples the short distance to Woodson Lateral Road. At this time, there was nothing built along this road. Nothing at all. They say that today there is a subdivision and other places built there. But, at the time I speak of, this longest, straightest road in the county, was dark and uninhibited. The road was immediately off the interstate exit. We arrived and slowly headed down the road. One of the girls said that we were supposed to turn off the headlights and only leave the parking lights on while we drove about 5 mph. A few hundred yards into this, we saw a faint, single light, maybe a half to a mile down the road. The girls grabbed hold of the guys. We all thought it was funny. I thought about it and went back with a buddy, several times. Each time we saw the light. We then heard from others that there was a place in the woods where some kids had a satanic club of some kind. I never saw any evidence of this. Nor did I ever see any female hitchhiker standing in the road.
      On about our 3rd or 4th trip to WLR, we, as always, saw “the light” But, this time, the light started out as always, like a single headlight way down the road, then, the light started to slowly get brighter and brighter until it was as almost too bright to look at. Then, it was completely gone. I turned on my headlights and stepped on the gas trying to see where it may have come from but we saw nothing. I swear to God I’m getting chills as I write this. We went back again, and again, only saw the light. From the beginning, we had heard the legend of a motorcyclist that had crashed and died on the road and supposedly, that is where the light came from. I never believed that. The FINAL time we went out there at night was the one that really fucked me and my buddy up. This time, it was pouring down rain, as heavy as you can imagine. We took the exit to Woodson Lateral like we always did. Again, Woodson Lateral begins only, maybe 20 yards, off of an interstate freeway. At the very beginning of WLR, in the pouring rain, there was a man, just standing, not trying to walk to the freeway for help, but just STANDING in a downpour. I was driving my dad’s pickup truck and I pulled up next to this guy, on my side of the truck, rolled down my window, and asked him if he needed help. He didn’t say anything so I asked him one more time if he needed help, he just stood there as if wasn’t even there and didn’t say a word, he didn’t even fucking move. His stare scared the shit out of me AND my buddy. With no regard for the soaked pavement, I floored it and drove as fast as that truck would go. No, there was no leather jacket, no ghostly girlfriend, but he was dressed in a denim jacket with one of those wallets chained to his pocket and chains on his jacket, and those fucking leather chaps. I NEVER went back to this place in the dark again. Not even 40 years later. Even the thought of that night freaks me out and I am very serious when I say that I have only shared this story 4 times in 40 years. The only reason I’m sharing it now is because it came to mind and I Googled it and saw this page. I thought it would be easy to tell it after all these years but it wasn’t. It still send chills all over my body when I mention certain parts. I hear that kids, teenagers and frat kids still drive out there but, like I said, it’s all built up now. It will never be the same as it was in the 70s. I’m saving what I just wrote because I’m 53 years old and I will NEVER write of this again. I don’t give a damn if anyone believes it or not. I saw it and I lived it and I will never forget that blank face.

      • Is there a way I can reach you, Ken? We are doing a series on ghost stories on THV 11, and I’m interested in talking to you! Dawn Scott

        • This is very interesting to me. I grew up visiting and still maintain my Lakeside Country Club membership. Of course the club is located off of Woodson Lateral Road. The tree over hang really makes the road extra dark. The two stories I posted below are true to the best of my knowledge and the one can be confirmed I’m sure. I have never seen the light but it’s always written off to swamp gas like Gurdon, Ar. I live in Houston now and love this area. Oddly my uncle’s family was a Perdue from
          Pine Bluff, Ar. and knew Salley Perdue whonworked the noon show on your station years ago when Pine Bluff was a sister station broadcast. The teens I the story were related to Charles Hadfield family that runs a Insurance Co. in Little Rock. Love to hear more about this area as I still keep my membership at Lakeside even though I live in Houston. Interesting! Good luck.

    3. Fredrick Lovette  |  

      My cousins and I went to WOODSON LATTERAL several times. Little Rock was kinda dull then so we would do the ROCKY HORRO PICTURE SHOW then cruise to Woodson Lateral after. We saw both the ghostly head light and tail lights on several occasions. The legendary BALL OF FIRE TOO! That shot out across the road in front of us on three different occasions! SOMETHING was there but I can’t swear as to what it was… Congo Phredd( Lovette)…

    4. I live in Woodson there are no GHOST at all my grandmother has lived there for about 40-50 years and it is not haunted so get yall stories straight and I live there for about 11 years and I’m 12 I come down Woodson Lateral every day from school and going to school on the bus and I have a woods behind my house and Woodson is very pretty and I pass there through sunny days and I never see anything and about the lady on the bridge this stuff is not true yall grown ups and I’m in Middle School and yall scared Boii I’m on yo top how yall scared and I’m not I just do not get it yall believe this stuff half the people never been to Woodson oh my gosh yall need to grown up and see for yall self cause it is never fireballs down there or ghost lights yall trippin’ yall just doing this to get notice oml yall need to grown up like…. go see for yall own selves like…

      • I may have something to do with the lady on the bridge, I lived there in the mid 80s and one Halloween a couple friends and I made a dummy from a mannequin, put a wig on it, put make up and a dress on it and hung it from the top of the bridge with a noose, then hid behind a couple trees to watch reactions of people driving over the bridge, later, we took it down and put it in the road in front of my place, apparently someone reported it because not long afterwards an ambulance came flying down the road and ran over it.

    5. I’ve seen the light several times. There is an optical illusion where the traffic on the highway going to Sheridan is visible from the area where we stopped to look. However, there is something different when the light actually appears.
      One night, I went with some friends in a buddy’s truck. Wives and girlfriends rode up front with the driver and 6 of us guys rode in the back. Ten people total. The driver started slowly toward the area where the light was supposed to come out and it appeared in the cab of the truck. It went between 2 girls in the seat, through the back glass and right between us guys in the back. It turned red as it was going past the tailgate and it took off toward I530 at a very rapid rate. That was around 1985.
      Around that same time, my girlfriend and another couple were chased out of there by a Lincoln Continental that came from the gated drive on the left. We headed toward Pine Bluff and the car stayed on our bumper no matter the speed I drove which exceeded 100MPH at times and it would not pass when I slowed to 45MPH. The car slowed and hooked a U turn at the red light at Bryant street in Dollarway and took off back the way it came.

    6. I can not tell you the exact year, I think 1980 something. A group of teens went to see the Woodson Lateral Road area and were stopped roadside near there. There was a young man hit and killed. I mean they had gone to see the ghosts and he became one. I’m sure the highway department can confirm my story. Growing up at Lakeside Country Club we were driving toward the fishing club one day and saw an old Hearst pull into one of the cemeteries along Woodson! The car pulled in and was gone down the dirt road. Minutes later what looked like the very same car was coming towards us on Woodson! There would not have been enough time for the original car to have come back to the main road. Ghost or two cars that were exactly alike? It was weird. Kids like to turn out car lights just to see how very dark Woodson is at night. It’s the spooky tree over hang. Beautiful area though! These are very true stories to the best of my ability. Can’t say I believe in ghosts but that area is really spooky!

    7. My friend and I visited the road maybe a year ago when it was extremely foggy. We went down the road twice back and forth and never saw a light (there were also some cars). We decided to go down this dirt path to wait for the car behind us to pass and traffic to move past, and then we would drive back home. We were kind of getting creeped out from the surroundings since it was foggy and quite eerie at night. As we were driving back, my friend and I were relieved to see a light coming toward us; we thought it was another car of oncoming traffic. Just after I said “Thank goodness, another person” the light became extremely bright and disappeared just like that. My friend gassed the car down to the end of the road, and we both looked for exits that the car (with one headlight) might’ve turned off or a car with its headlights off to pass us–nothing. There was also no way for the trees to the right or left of the vehicle to not light up if the vehicle had turned off onto another road. We had just seen the light at Woodson Lateral. We could not believe it. This has been truly one of the few paranormal experiences in my life. At first, I didn’t think anything would happen, but little did I know…

    8. I saw the Woodson lateral light back in 1982 I believe. My friends came to school saying they saw the light over the weekend. I did not believe them, so they asked me to come along as they were going back the following weekend. I agreed. This trip we decided to take a car that had a sun roof. Tim has a cigarette plug in spot light. He was going to jump out the sun roof and hit the light with the big spot light. We went the next weekend. Drove to the spot. Stopped the car and waited, after a few minutes we slowly drop a 100 feet or so and stopped again all with our lights off. After a few times of doing this I was a tiny orangish light way down the road and pointed it out to the rest. We all noticed it. It slowly came up the road the as it go closer it went off to the side of the road nd into some trees up high. It then stopped right in front of our car. It reminded me of a glowing Chinese lantern but round and orange. Tim jumped out the roof and hit it with the spot. They was nothing there but the ball light. It disappeared in a few moments. Tim sat back down and we were freaking out. I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up and I felt I need to look behind the car. The light was way behind the car but coming up fast. It yelled to everyone “it’s behind us and coming up fast”. Tim turned the car on and hit the gas. The light came right up the the trunk as we drove away and disappeared. I did not drink or do drugs during that time in my life. This is 100% true. I have never went back and tried it again. I tell my kids this story and they want me to take them there. We have plans to go back there in the next few weeks. It is a trip as now I live in Kansas.

    9. While on patrol with the saline county sheriff’s department,I and another deputy chased a light that looked like a car with a broken taillight to speeds well over 100 mph,for about 11/2 miles.when I was in the process of calling a pursuit,the light lifted above the road and up and over the trees back to the north at a very high rate of speed.the other Deputy requested to be taken home after that incident and was very shaken from the ordeal.to this day he still doesn’t like to talk about it.firmer CPL S.Sale SCSO

      • this was off of Woodson Lateral? I’m interested in learning more about this road and researching it…live in Sheridan and have heard of this road, but not familiar with it…been in the paranormal field for years…any info greatly appreciated!

    10. Virginia A Morgan  |  

      I believe everything you said Ken! I myself went out there in 1981 when I was a junior at Jacksonville High School. And I do remember the legend of the motorcyclist, he was killed on that road. Back then there was an X that you pulled up to almost immediately where the road started you would flash your lights three times and then drive with your parking lights on. I only went one time. I saw that round headlight. And I had heard of the story how it comes straight through your car you can look out your back window and see the tail light but I was absolutely terrified! And Legend has it maybe halfway down the road on the left hand side there were supposed to be a devil worshippers house. There was a big house off back behind the woods you can barely see it but I never saw any activity there. I have heard of people that have gone 2 Woodson lateral and it is all built up with houses now I’ll let the newer younger LOL generation see if they see it these days. And I’m not far ahead of you I just turned 55. I was so stoked when I found this website I couldn’t scroll down fast enough to see if Woodson lateral was listed.

    11. I do not intend whatsoever to disparage anyone’s woodson lateral experiences, but am merely curious as to what the ‘requirements’ are to witness any of these phenomena on the target stretch of road. I am not an expert on the paranormal, but am not a disbeliever, either: what is it about these phenomena that requires cars to drive at certain speeds / with lights off / at certain times of night to increase their chances of occurring? Central Arkansas is now so damn crowded anyway that there are probably cars EVERYWHERE around this road at 3 AM anyway. Not to mention, the south roadside is now clear-cut and can probably lessen the effects of whatever phenomena used to take advantage of the tree tunnel. Again, I am not a disbeliever, but am curious if anyone knows what the 2022 ramifications of these phenomena are. I drove here at dusk and was the only car on the road, but I guess somehow the dead of night is a requirement for whatever phenomena wish to occur, somehow?

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    Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. HauntedPlaces.org makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.