The Mysterious Ghost Lights of Borrego, Arizona

Paranormal activity runs deep through the state of Arizona. The state is riddled with stories of ghosts, UFO’s, mysterious lifeforms and portals to other worlds. One such story, is of The Ghost Lights of Borrego.

In 1858, a Butterfield Stage coach driver reported seeing mysterious lights over Oriflamme Mountain in the Anza Borrego Desert. 

The lights became known as The Ghost Lights of Borrego, and for years after the first sighting in 1858, other soldiers and explorers have also reported sightings of the phenomena.

The lights have been reported as mysterious “fireballs”which shoot up randomly and explode in mid air. The original claims were made by a man named Charles Knowles. 

Charles was camping near Grapevine Canyon with two other men, when they reported seeing three mysterious “fireballs” rise in the air and explode about 100 feet above ground. After a 30 minute interval, the phenomena began again. This time though, when the lights reappeared they acted differently. 

The second time the lights rose from the ground, they formed an arch, and then returned back to the ground without exploding. The lights would then reverse, and go back to their original position. These lights appear as though they are trying to draw the attention of someone, or something.


At first, one of the most plausible explanations for the phenomena, was that the lights were in fact flares which were been used by bootleggers and smugglers. This explanation no longer stands up though, as over the years, the lights are still been seen with no human activity in the area.

Scientists have tried to provide explanations for The Ghost Lights of Borrego. One theory suggests that when the wind blows sand against quartz outcroppings, this produces static electricity, which could give off the appearance of bright lights at night.

A rather far fetched legend attributed to the Ghost Lights of Borrego, is that the lights mark the location of lost treasure. A far fetched theory, but due to no definitive scientific explanation, people started to get a little imaginative.

Sightings of mysterious fireballs is nothing new, other historic reports throughout the United States are also of interest.

Silvestre Velez de Escalante and The Fireballs of The Skinwalker Ranch

Silvestre Vélez de Escalante who lived around 1750-1780 was a Franciscan missionary and explorer. Originating from Santander, Spain, Silvestre joined the Franciscan order when he was aged just 17, and went on to take up a mission in North America. 

Silvestre would become one of the first white men to travel through the east side of the Great Basin, as he journeyed through what is now western Colorado, Utah, and northern Arizona.

Silvestre Vélez de Escalante would also become famous for his journal. His writings have become of interest to paranormal enthusiasts, especially in regards to the famed Skinwalker Ranch.

Silvestre wrote in his journal, that he witnessed strange fireballs over his campfire in El Rey. Those “fireballs” could be similar to those witnessed by others in Borrego.

The phenomena is still been reported to this day, and continues to baffle experts. Have you ever seen the Ghost Lights of Borrego?