The Jacksonboro Light

Those who are from Walterboro, SC and the surrounding areas (like the one my husband grew up in) are familiar with the story of the Jacksonboro Light. As the story goes, a young girl had wandered off from her home and as it grew increasingly darker, her parents grew more and more anxious about her whereabouts and frantic in their search. Her dad lit a lantern and set off into the heavily-wooded area around his land and called for her. He searched late into the night and never found his daughter. Tragedy struck twice in the same family when, during his search, the father was struck by a passing train and killed.

Local legend has it that if you go out to this location in Jacksonboro at night, if you turn off your car, flash your headlights five times, and then turn off your lights and sit, you’ll hear the sound of a passing train, despite the fact that no train is visible. And then the Jacksonboro Light appears and literally passes over your car — the ghost of this gentleman still searching for his daughter. And if The Light touches your car, you can’t crank it up.

I’ve heard this story several times in the past few years and Kyle and I were looking for some adventure this weekend, so we — along with Kenny and Andrew — drove to Jacksonboro on Saturday to see what it was all about.

Jacksonboro is about 40 minutes from where we live, so we packed up into Kenny’s SUV and headed South on 17-A. The directions we were able to find on the internet were not all that clear, so we just drove down the road with the sign that said “<– Jacksonboro 11” on it until we came to Parker Ferry Road. We drove down The Creepiest Road In Existence waiting for a church to appear on the left, but no church did. And then we were at the end of the road and back on 17-A. We made a few late night calls to find out exactly where we were supposed to be going and got no clear directions. Something about an Edisto River Access, a church, a bridge, a dirt road, and some other craziness.

This story is very anticlimactic in that we didn’t really see anything, and we were never 100% sure that we were in the right place. But we will go back — next time with someone who knows where they’re going in the car and not just on the phone.

Oh yeh and we almost hit a deer.

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10 responses to “The Jacksonboro Light

  1. It’s too bad you guys didn’t hit the deer, because then its spirit could’ve been added to the story and y’all would’ve become famous.

  2. Next time just go to the bathroom, turn off the lights and say, “bell witch” 3 times…you’ll see her reflection in the mirror! Maybe. Don’t know, I was always too scared to do something so crazy!

  3. Isn’t there something about a similar spooky mysterious light in the movie “Cold Mountain”? Plus, there’s that light I told you about in my town. I had no idea that freaky ghost lights were such a Southern Phenomenon. Huh.

  4. Rita… spooky but true… today i meet an official Jacdsonborian…. or whatever you call it…. a late 30’s early 40’s year old woman… sweet lady.. just started working 3rd shift on my job.. anyways.. so i asked her about the LIGHT.. and she was like… yea… very true… she claimed to have been 5 times… she gave me directions and apparently we WHERE in the wrong place.. the church is further down on the right… and should be white… anyways…. she told me evertime she went she saw the lights… she said on the last time she saw a 6-7 year old white girl exit the woods fromt the right and walk to the center of the road then the girl stopped and walked towards the car… then as it reached the car they crunk up the car and left.. as they looked back this big light ball chased behind them like 5 feet…. for about 1/2 mile down the road…. Anyways…. She didn’t even know about the legend of the missing girl and the father!!!! How spooky is that???? just wanted u to know!!!

  5. So did you get good directions? When are we going back!?

  6. Good directions.. yes… going back…. Ummmm………. well….. whenver gas drops below $3 / gallon….. such a drive…. to see nothing but dirt, dark, and deer…. i can see that in cross…

  7. I am originally from Charleston,SC (live in Chicago now) and in the early 80’s, I went 2-3 times with some friends of mine from Walterboro to the Jacksonboro light and saw it each time. It never got closer than about 100 feet away from us, usually gliding around in the woods near the road, sometimes over the road, and once on top of a car that was coming our way (disappeared when the car was about 100 feet away). It was usually bright white, but sometimes had a reddish or yellowish glow. I was told the story of the missing girl and the dad with the lantern, I don’t remember listening for a train (though there may have been a train whistle that I just didn’t pay attention to). Funny to find this site, I was thinking about the light and decided to see if there was any info on the web. It is on Parkers Ferry Rd, if you are heading south on Hwy 17 from Charleston, turn right and go a few miles. We did turn around in a little white church’s driveway and flash our lights a few times and then drive back up the road a short way (towards Hwy 17), pulled off and turned off the headlights. I was told that you had to be very quiet and not have an inside light on, or else the ghost light would not come, which is how it seemed to work for us since we turned on the headlights while the light was visible and it disappeared and would not come out while we were talking or laughing.

  8. Me and some friends drove to see the jacksonboro light the other night….and we saw it! we went to the church gate and flashed our lights 3 times, then we drove doen the road about 1/2 a mile and turned off the car and flashed ourlights 5 more times….we waited about 5 minutes….. First we heared the train very faint then it got so loud that we thought it is right beside us. Then we saw a faint yellowlight in the distance swaying back and forth….he kept getting closer and closer. We could see figure walking towards us with this bright light. My friend was still skeptical and didn’t really believe that it was the father’s ghost so he yelled out the window “Your daughter’s never coming back” the figure stopped moving and immediently the light turned from the yellow light to a red light. It got within 15 feet of us and we were so scared that I turned the headlights on and the figure vanished. It was really creepy……..

  9. I am a relative of the man who was killed…. Leon webb. All of you should let it rest. Curses are real.

  10. The correct location is the Parkers Ferry Road off Hwy 17 in Charleston County, a few miles south of Ravenel. Coming from Charleston, turn right onto Parkers Ferry Road. The church you're looking for is Hopewell Baptist Church (that I don't think is white anymore, but brick). Turn around there & the rest of the directions are correct. (There is now also a Parkers Ferry Road in Colleton County and it is closer to Jacksonboro, but that is NOT the correct one.) This is posted by a native "Jacksonborian" who has always been curious as to why it's called the Jacksonboro Light when it's not really in Jacksonboro, but across the river & in another county.

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