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The legend of Maco Light

READ MORE: The legend of Maco Light
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This month, our Cape Fear Pride series takes us to Brunswick County. Tonight, we take a look at the town of Northwest, and the spirit some residents say still haunts the town. When night falls in Maco, one part of town, many wonder if they will see a faint light in the distance. It's called the Maco Light, story that has been the talk of the town since the 1800s. The tale of the Maco Light begins with Joe Baldwin, a train conductor who used to travel to and from Wilmington on the Old Atlantic Coast Railroad. Legend has it, Baldwin was involved in a horrific accident. The caboose detached from his train leaving Baldwin in the path of an on-coming locomotive. As a warning, Baldwin began waving his lantern frantically. The train never stopped slamming into the stranded caboose. Baldwin's body was found headless, and that's why some residents believe Joe Baldwin's light has never dimmed. Now, just a few yards from where the infamous train tracks once laid, the Maco Depot is themed after Joe's legend. Maco Depot employee Stephanie Ganey said, "We are wearing the conductor hats to honor his memory and maybe put him at rest. Maybe he can go on with his life." Employees say they've had their own encounters with the spirit of Joe. Though sightings of Joe's Light have faded, you can still find plenty of believers. The Brown's also live close by where the train once traveled. Their opinion of Baldwin's legend lies on both sides of the track. Temaly Brown said, "I've never actually seen but I've always heard stories about people coming to see the light, but I ain't going back there." Aaron brown has told the story many times to people who stop by hoping to catch a glimpse of the legendary Maco Light. “People from Wilmington have come out here, I've taken them all through there. People from Raleigh, I've taken back all through there at night." Aaron is much braver than Temaly. She said living so close to where the Maco Light legend originated is already a test of faith. Hoping to spot the light is something she can pass on. “I don't like the dark too much anyway, so I ain't going back there to find out."

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Maco Light...

My Grandmother told me the light was seen even back in the horse and Buggy days! Before Cars were ever on the road...She said she seen it many times as her family lived in that area. My Mom and her Cousin went to see it back in the late 40's and they said they seen it. I have been out there and can say I seen something, and it was a light. Don't know where it came from, but left as quick as it came. I do believe in The Maco Light as my Grandmother and Mother were Good Christian Women and had no reason to lie! I think Ole Joe is still looking for his head. I use to tell this story to my Grandson's and even to this day they are afraid of Joe Baldwin. They both are grown men now...LOL

maco light

i was always told about the maco light but never really believed in it,an it never crossed my mind til one night me an some of my friends were in the green swamp looking for our hunting dog an we were close to maco side an we were sitting there about 2 in the morning lights off on our truck windows down listening to see if we could hear the dogs an all of a sudden a big bright light shined we thought it was someone with a flash light it got closer an closer then it got right infront of my truck an dissapeared needless to say i believe it now an me an my friends got out of there lol no more late night trips to look for hunting dogs lol

Elvis

Don't you know anything? Geesh! Elvis is an aline, stationed in France for the purpoose of being a sleeper cell for world domination. He travels from the North Pole around the globe, the third Thursday of every month in his ufo... Wow.. You are clueless... Pfftt.. Didn't know about Elvis....

The Maco Light

I've been back to the wreck site a few times and I know that there is recent evidence of paranormal activity. On my last trip I attempted EVP recordings and had none, however the group experienced multiple power losses on flashlights, cameras, et cetera as well as EMF hits on earlier trips there. I have to say that maco is still haunted, although not by an intelligent entity but rather as a replay haunting.

Maco light

The last time i saw the Maco Light was in March the year was 1959.
At that time i was not there to look for it, but it did appear.

Maco Light

It's all a bunch of local hogwash. There was a trainwreck in this area, but not during the time that the legend says and there was NO ONE killed here by that name. It has just become a story that people love to tell for fun. That track bed runs through my property and the only light I have seen is from idiots looking for the ghost. What they found made believers out of them, but not in the way you think. I doubt that they will ever trespass again on this land.

maco light

you are soooooooooo wrong im only 13 and i know that the maco light is real and so is the beaver dam light in western north carolina so speak what you know and not what you think

Oh how wrong you are. I

Oh how wrong you are. I don't know about today but in 1976 I visited this site on about 6 occasions. For 5 visits we saw nothing but finally one night a light that looked like a flame floated up from the creek where the trestle was. It came toward us (we were east of the trestle looking west). It stopped, got brighter and we were fascinated and moved toward it. It flashed and was suddenly far away, it then came charging in our direction and stopped just short of us. It flames up, lit the ground up around us and then vanished. I cannot say or explain what it was only what I saw. It was there. I was not scared by it only fascinated.

MACHO LIGHT

I REALLY BELEIVE IN THE LIGHT! MY MOTHER AND FATHER, TOLD ME ABOUT THEM GOING THERE IN THE EARLY SEVENTY'S. THEY STOPPED THE CAR AND SET THERE A GOOD 30 MINUTUES,AND A BIG BRIGHT LIGHT CAME OVER THE CAR! MY MOM ENDED UP HIDDING IN THE FLOOR BOARD OF THEIR 69 CHEVELLE, AND MY DAD ROLLED DOWN THE WINDOW AND THE LIGHT WENT AWAY!!WELL NEEDLESS FOR ME TO BELIEVE IN THE LATE 80'S, I WENT WITH MY FRIENDS FROM HIGH SCHOOL AND WE SEEN THE LIGHT!!!IT IS THERE,I HAVE PIC'S.WITH A 110 CAMERA!!!!!OF THE BRIGHT LIGHT OF COURSE!!! BUT I BELIEVE IN THIS STORY,AND SO DO MY AUNTS, UNCLES,AND MY DAD,AND MOM WHOM HAVE PASSED AWAY!!! THERE STORY GAVE ME THE CREEPS.LIKE A TEENAGER I HAD TO SEE MYSELF.GO FOR YOURSELF. LIGHTS OFF ON CAR AND VERY, VERY,QUITE FOR ATLEAST 30 MINUTES,IF NOT THAT LONG!!!HAVE FUN!!BUT DON'T PANIC!! ENJOY, CHRISTY NOW FROM CALASH, N.C. ORINGINALY,ROBERSON COUNTY

Maco light and Meat Packing House

Those were the good old days when we would look for the light and go to the Meat Packing House. The northern end of Brunswick County used to have great fun with out spendin a lot of money too. Now for the kids there is no where to go unless you have money to spend. If you sit in a parking lot just to talk you can get arrested, if you drive down the streets you are wasting gas. No right way to win. But the Maco light and the Packing House were lots of fun back then

Not only was there a Joe Baldwin killed

But they never found his head. A skull was discovered near the area in the early 1900's, but there was no technology at the time to definitely say if it was Bladwin's or not. The story as it was taught to me is that Joe is walking the tracks with his light, trying to find his head. When I was a child in the late Forties, there was an old man named Luther Baldwin who lived West of the Maco Loop, and he told us that he was Joe's brother. He said that every now and then he would walk the tracks and meet up with Joe, where they would chat about family and the railroad. Luther used to tell Joe that he could rest in peace, because the spirit he saw was intact, with a head. But Joe still wanders the track to this day, still looking for his head.

Joe is still wandering...

and waiting for Elvis to arrive.

He is gone

Elvis has left the building.

The light they see is the

The light they see is the planet Venus. The planet Venus was born some time in the 1800's.

No train wreck

That was researched years ago and there was no record of a train wreck anywhere near that location. It's just local folklore. A few months back, I was told that one of the property owners turned his dogs loose on some wannabe ghost hunters that were trespassing there. LOL

Sure About That?

That's not what the Wilmington Railroad Museum thinks: http://www.wilmingtonrailroadmuseum.org/content/joebaldwin.php

It's almost a right of passage...

If you are a "true local" then I'm sure you, along with 10 of your favorite pals have driven across the bridge to see Joe's light. On a good night we would go try and find Joe AND go to the Meat Packing Plant...

maco light

I remember the days of the Maco light and the meat packing plant, those were the days,lOl

Maco Light?

The fact that no one named Joe Baldwin was ever killed in a train wreck in this area doesn't seem to matter. The locals just like to tell the story just to laugh at the so-called 'ghost hunters' when they claim to have seen the light.

Joe Baldwin

were did you get your info that Joe Baldwin never died on the tracks. I am a local and it has always been told and retold. Just wondering were you got your info.

it must be true

I am from Delco now living in Texas,eversince I can remember I have always heard the story of Joe Baldwin even from older family members that have passed on that say it is very true.Those relatives would not lie,they also say when they were younger they would go see the light and it would always be the same story.I just dont wanna go see Joe for myself(LOL).There is some paranormal activity there,even guys I went to school with went to prove it was a myth which was a few years ago couldn't explain it.