The first recorded sighting of the Paulding Light was in 1966 when a group of teenagers reported the light to a local sheriff. Since then, a number of other individuals have reported seeing the mysterious light, which is said to appear nearly every night at the site.
Although stories related to the light vary, the most popular legend involves the death of a railroad brakeman. The legend states that the valley once contained railroad tracks and the light is the lantern of the brakeman who was killed while attempting to stop an oncoming train from colliding with railway cars stopped on the tracks. Another story claims the light is the ghost of a slain mail courier, while another says that it is the ghost of an Indian dancing on the power lines that run through the valley. According to John Carlisle of the Detroit Free Press, one legend is that it is a “grandparent looking for a lost grandchild with a lantern that needs constant relighting, the reason the light seems to come and go”.
In 2010, the Paulding Light was featured on the SyFy television show Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files. The investigators were depicted trying several experiments in an unsuccessful attempt to recreate the light, including using car headlights from a north-south section of US 45 and a flyover by an airplane with a spotlight. According to SyFy.com, “After conducting an EVP session, they finally decide that the phenomenon is unexplainable.”
Some people explain it away as car headlights or taillights.