Subject: The Purple Light
Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 11:25 AM
This is a true story, that happened to a member of my husband's family many
Ray Lansford was a single, handsome man just twenty years old, when he had an
experience that he did not take seriously, but should have for he might not
have died so young had he done so.
Ray worked for a plant in Middlesboro, Kentucky that assembled mobile homes
back in the late 50's. He worked till about 5:00 p.m., then made a habit of
running over to Tennessee, just a mile from the Kentucy state border, to pick up
whiskey--illegal in dry Bell County, KY--and would hang around bars and nightclubs until all
hours of the night. When he made his long walk back home to Pineville, KY, just over the
hill from Middlesboro, he used the best known short-cut that took him up the side of the
mountain, past an old graveyard that was flanked by dense woods all around. A
narrow dirt road ran along side the fenced-in cemetery, on the east side,
and tangled foilage to its right, and Ray always hummed a religious tune
as he walked north on the road, on his way home.
One night, while quite drunk, and staggering down the road next to the
noticed a purple light seemingly floating above an old grave with a heavy,
headstone that leaned somewhat to the side. He stopped walking and stared at
light in fright, then shook himself. It had to be some sort of flashlight,
and he told
himself someone very much alive was walking among the graves and had just
decided to scare him when they saw him approaching. After brushing off his
this logic, he continued on his way down the road.
To his amazement, the light floated up to just inside the fence. It was about
of a baseball, and hovered in the air before him at eye level. He could see
behind it, nor anything the light may be emitting from. Shaking in fear, he
running down the road as fast as his drunken condition would allow. The light
along with him, keeping just inside the fence. Heart pounding, Ray prayed for
ability to escape it.
As he entered the woods on the northern side of the cemetery, he glanced back
saw that the light had stopped at the corner of fence, not leaving the
kept glancing back for as long as he could see the light, and it never moved
stationary spot. Soon, he was in far enough inside the woods that he could no
see the light, but kept a quick pace until he emerged into the clearing where
parents' home stood.
Racing inside the house, he was quite visibly frightened, and his mother
from her rocking chair and came over quickly to his side, asking what had
him. His father came from the kitchen just in time to hear the story he was
mother. The old man chuckled, and told him his alcohol-soaked brain was making
him see things. Ray, however, was quite adamant about what he saw.
"Well, come home right after work, if you don't want meet up with it again,"
mother admonished him.
The next morning was a bright, clear summer day, and as Ray passed the
on his way to work, he glanced all around the headstones, feeling uneasy even
brightness of day. He saw nothing unusual, and began to believe his father's
of his experience. For some reason, though, he decided to see who's grave it
that the light had been hovering over when he first saw it the night before.
surprise, it was the grave of his great-grandfather who had died more than
earlier. Ray began to believe again that he truly saw the light. He had never
visit his great-grandfather's grave at all before that time, and wondered if
some sugnificance to where the light had first appeared. He left the
continued his walk to work, hoping once more that his father's opinion was
While the hours passed, he worked hard and was able to put the incident
out of his mind. By the end of his workshift, he had successfully dismissed
sighting as nothing more than a figment of his imagination, enough so to go
Tennessee for another evening of drinking and dancing. It was about midnight
Ray finally started for home.
When he reached the dirt road, he began to feel uneasy again, and began his
of humming a religeous tune. Midway down the road, he saw a brightness out of
corner of his eye. He turned quickly and saw the purple light once more
above his great-grandfather's grave. Ray was not as drunk as usual and ran the
rest of the way down the road. He glanced back to see the light at the corner
graveyard as he re-entered the woods. Upon reaching home, he told his parents
seeing the light once more and whose grave it hovered above when it first
His parents glanced at one another, but said nothing. They still could not
themselves to believe what he had told them.
About two weeks later, when Ray walked outside the nightclub one night , he
shot by a jealous boyfriend of the girl he had been dancing with all evening.
instantly. A few weeks later, his parents instructed the workers to reset the
gravestone that now set alongside that of Ray's.
Was Ray's great-grandfather trying to warn him of what his actions was going
result in? Who knows? However, I am sure that Ray could provide the answer to
Submitted by Charlene Saylor