Some local residents have been up all night and sleeping all day lately, but not for the usual reasons. They’ve been noticing strange phenomena happening on the town’s golf course property, followed by profound silence, then hordes of pedestrians leaving the area in the morning.
“I got up to go to the bathroom last Friday night during ‘Wendy,’ and there it was, out across the road” said Eaglewood resident Biff Wall, lit up like nobody’s business. Wall asked around his neighborhood the next day, and others had seen the lights too. “That’s how I knew it wasn’t just because I was lit up like nobody’s business that night,” Wall said. He further denied that he was lit up during our interview.
With unexplained late-night light shows come concerns for safety and security. Town Police Chief Acciardo says his department has stepped up patrols in the area since the earliest reports came in Friday morning. “Nobody’s been back there since it’s been closed off, it’s been locked up tight. The only people who ever go back there are the mowers, before all this. Now the place fills up about dusk.”
Town officials are also stumped about how the lights have
originated. Mayor Jackie Warner stated “We have called a couple of scientists
from UNCP and Fayetteville State to come out and investigate, but they have not
gotten back with us yet. Methodist is sending someone out next week. Hopefully
they will not be distracted like the others.”
That’s been part of the problem. When people see the light show, they report that it lulls them into a sort of trance. “You would think it would be mayhem and chaos back there, and it probably would be, if it weren’t for the soothing calm light that envelops the show,” said Town Manager Melissa Adams.
Town commissioners, some of whom have not seen the lights yet, but thankfully have been told about them before this story went to press, have scheduled a walk-through of the property. “I think it should be thoroughly investigated so we can find out what to do about it,” says Commissioner Meg Larson, who presented a lengthy list of emails regarding the lights. Mayor Pro Tem Mike Mitchell said “I’ve been a CPA for 33 years and this really blindsided us.” [This reporter bunched those two sources together because they are invariably connected in other local media references.] The walk-through is Tuesday, April 2 at 11:30 p.m.
As for the light show’s nature, Town Commissioner Jessie Bellflowers says “I’m pretty sure it’s a natural thing, like the Aurora Borealis, but don’t quote me on that. It might be manmade. Or natural. Or artificial. Or intergalactic even, come to think of it, but I guess that would still be natural, just from another time and dimension. Okay, you can quote me……now. Wait, I got that bass-ackward.”
Some local citizens are convinced this is just a ploy by some of the commissioners to trick the town into building a combination wagon wheel collegiate baseball/aquatics/amphitheater complex on the property. “They’re always up to something, talking behind our backs. They’ve been talking about a Chick-fil-A and a few years ago there was talk of a water park, and none of that’s happened, but they’ll blame it all on the other board or do a study,” says local resident Nevver Likesnothin, shopping on Trade Street. “Try the cupcakes in there, they’re to die for.”
Her friend Evryjuanza Ginstme from Outatown agreed. “I’m pretty sure They’re doing all this to make other people look bad. Probably me. All They want to do is wreck the town, then take over the broken town and rule it in the future for years to come. I think the whole thing’s just a publicity stunt so they can have a walk-through anyway. Haven’t we had enough walk-throughs? It’s time to stop investigating and start doing what I said they should do!”
Town Commissioner Jerry Legge can’t explain why the lights are there, but he understands the attraction: “Nearest we can trace it, it looks a lot like the light show for the latest Twenty Øne Pilots tour. I saw them at Chicago last year on their Bandito tour, when I took November off, and it was just like that. But it’s silent. It can still be TØP though, because they go straight to your soul.”
Town commissioner Pat Edwards likened it more to a Phish concert. “With all the people I have seen entranced around there, zoned out, after midnight to the cracka cracka dawn….” she said, trailing off. “It was very confusing, but at the same time, very beautiful. Bliss. Like Yasgur’s Farm all over, with Pigpen jammin’ on guitar thrown in. No two Pigpens, one left-handed and the other right-handed. I’ve been back every night since,” she said, clutching her bedroll.
Tiffany von Puffenbottoms, a teen who lives in Eaglewood with her family, has been sleeping in her yard to try and catch a glimpse of the sights and to interact with people as they leave the venue. “It’s wrecking my sleep, but it’s soooooo worth it!” Ms. Von Puffenbottoms said she would welcome all Skeleton, Alien, and auxiliary clique members to come view the phenomenon, just in case it turns out to be a true Twenty One Pilots sighting. “I thought about going down there, because I’ve seen crowd shots, but my parents say otherwise. Bring me some merch if you go.”
The Chamber of Commerce reports that it has been a boon for tourism dollars, as well. “We’re really finally living up to that Embrace Hope Mills ad program we discontinued a couple years ago, but better late than never, right? Now we’re thinking about starting a new one called ‘Eat. Shop. Lodge. Blaze. Gaze.’ This could put the town on the map.”
The town invites anyone to come out to spectate at the sights. But if you go, bring your own refreshments and viewing/concert gear because the food trucks tend to run out. And when you go, you can tell people but they won’t believe you.