Part 1: Legends of the Spook Lights
The oldest legend is a story of a Quapaw Indian maiden who was in love with a young brave. When the couple asked for the blessing of the maiden’s father, he refused because the young brave did not have a large enough dowry. The couple decided to elope and soon after a war party was gathered to pursue the young couple. According to this legend, when the young lovers were close to being caught by the war party, they joined hands and jumped from the Spring River cliffs to their deaths. It was after this event that the Quapaw Indians began to have sightings of the spook lights that were said to be the young couple’s spirits.
Another legend is that of the Spook Lights being the spirit of an Osage Indian chief that was decapitated in the area. To this day he is said to be wandering the countryside with a lantern, looking for his lost head.
The final origination story to the Spook Lights I found talked about a miner that lived in the area in the late 1800s whose cabin was attacked by an Indian tribe while he was away. When he returned home, he found his wife and children missing, supposedly captured and taken by the Indian tribe. The miner is said to be searching for his lost family with his solitary lantern.