Min Min Lights and Jack O Lanterns

Min Min Lights and Jack O Lanterns

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5 Responses

  1. Ian Topham says:

    Thanks for this Steve, your
    Thanks for this Steve, your right I had never heard of them before.  The reason we’e introducing experiences from all around the world is to highlight any possible similarities and differences that might discovered.  By the way, we’ve two Australian article up now :).

  2. Mauro says:

    A similar story…
    Mac, I heard this story a long time ago but pretty much forgot about it. Thanks for the detailed descriprion, really fascinating.
    Anyway I remember hearing a similar story from my mother. As I have already related she hails from an Alpine valley in Italy (hence my name) and I still have lots of relatives there.
    Many years ago, when sealed lead coffins were still reserved for the most affluent, will-o’-the-wisp were a pretty common sight in graveyards. Popular opinion put them down to putrefying matter releasing gas which was in some way ignited by static or other natural causes: a perfectly sound explanation.
    Anyway one of my relatives (she’s long dead now) was employed as factotum for the village priest. She cooked, washed his clothes, attended to his house and rang the bells in the small hours of the morning. The church and the rectory are at the hedge of the village, quite near the graveyard. One morning she was going to ring the bells at 5 AM when she saw a will-o’-the-wisp in the graveyard: not an uncommon sight. But she was absolutely terrified when she saw the globe of light coming her way. Obviously she was terrified and started to run. She always mantained that the light followed her to the doorstep.
    My grand-granmother, which lived to a ripe old age and was somewhat of a local authority (her husband, my great-grandfather, was a decorated war veteran and owned the only public house of the area and she was the only formally trained midwife of the valley), always shunned at any notion of supernatural. She had to travel alone, often at night and in foul weather, to reach her patients in the most isolated parts of the valley, and "never saw anything out of the ordinary".
    Perhaps this relative of mine had a highly imaginative nature or a particular sensitivity because, a few years later, she said to have seen the ghost of one of the former village priests, long dead and buried, walking around the church while reading his breviary.

  3. SJMcKenzie says:

    Popular opinion put them
    Popular opinion put them down to putrefying matter releasing gas which was in some way ignited by static or other natural causes: a perfectly sound explanation.

    Yes, the "marsh gas" or rotting corpse gas explanation was the one I had always heard and suits damp areas, but the area in which the lights occur in Australia is a dry, undulating plain. I guess there is still a graveyard…

    The Fata Morgana explanation really fits the Min Min tale. The Australian scientist I quoted above has actualluy ‘made’ a Will O Wisp and many people witnessed it. Makes me wonder if the same explanation could be applied to lots of sightings in Europe and the UK. 

    Anyway thanks for your personal accounts. I’m doing a story on Will O’ Wisps and am looking about for interesting ideas on the subject. The Will O Wisp does seem to be seen more commonly in graveyards than not – but perhaps people are more sensitive / easily spooked when they are in graveyards…

  4. Daniel Parkinson says:

    Where do corpse lights fit
    Where do corpse lights fit into this, probably just another name for a Will O Wisp, but I always thought this term was used for ones associated with graveyards, and as a bad omen.

  5. Mauro says:

    I think the Min Min lights
    I think the Min Min lights could perhaps fit into that fast phenomelogy called "earthlights". While we are only beginning to study them properly (mostly thanks to the advances in the field of spectrometry, allowing for more rugged and cheaper instruments which can be used in the field), we can be 100% sure that they are multicausal. The Hessdalen Lights are a good case, though sadly the research has been cut short once an acceptable explanation was found… but there was still much work to do.

    I’ll be completely honest now… I have never properly understood the difference between "Will-o’-the-Wisp", "ghostlights" and "corpse lights". I have always assumed that the first term is used to decribe any unusual light of unknown origin.