Mystery Lights of Crab Orchard Lake

History, Mystery, and Hauntings of Southern IllinoisFrom History, Mystery, and Hauntings of Southern Illinois by Bruce Cline.

In 1936 work was started on the Crab Orchard Creek Project. The purpose of this project was to construct three lakes for recreational use and as an industrial water supply. To make way for the proposed lake a portion of Illinois Route 13 between Marion and Carbondale had to be relocated about a half mile to the north. Crab Orchard Lake was completed in 1939 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). There are portions of Old Route 13 that still lie beneath the waters of Crab Orchard Lake. During times of extreme drought boaters can catch a glimpse of the old road. Several night-time boaters have reported sightings of ghostly lights under the water in the vicinity of where the old road lies. Could these lights that are seen be the phantom cars of the 1920’s and 30’s that used to travel the old route?

Copyright Bruce L. Cline, 2014. You do not have permission to copy this post.




  1. This author did a fine job of setting the story up with the facts, but fell flat on delivery. He did not cite enough examples, or go into enough detail to make the reader curious as to whether this could be a paranormal possibility or just natural reflections.


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