The Paulding Light, also known as the Dog Meadow Light, is a mysterious evening light phenomenon that appears just outside of Paulding, Michigan, which is located 20 miles north of Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin, on U.S. Highway 45. Residents of Paulding first reported observing this mysterious light in the mid-1960s. Since then, a number of investigations have attempted to identify the source of the light, but as yet no scientific explanation for it has been discovered.
One eyewitness account described this phenomenon as a “pulsating ball of light that darts to and fro” and approaches the viewer, then abruptly recedes into the distance. The existence of the light is beyond dispute, and a number of witnesses have observed its strange and eerie behavior over the years.
An old legend claims the light is from the lantern of a railroad brakeman. This unfortunate soul walked onto the tracks one evening with his lantern shining to warn an oncoming train that another train was stuck on the tracks. The oncoming train could not stop and struck, crushed, and killed the brakeman instantly… leaving his ghost to wander the area for eternity.
Many eyewitnesses do not accept the paranormal explanation for the source of the light and have sought to identify a scientific cause for this phenomenon. In 2010, researchers from the popular SyFy Channel attempted to re-create the light through artificial means; however, all of their efforts to replicate the light failed. Thus, the frustrated and baffled research team reluctantly accepted that the source of the Paulding Light remained a mystery.
If you are in the area and are skeptical about the existence of the light, we suggest that on dark night you head out to Robbins Pond Road, just off US 45, find the US Forest Service sign identifying the Paulding Light, and be patient. The brakeman’s light will find you.