We arrived at Cowpen’s National Battlefield in Gaffney, SC, in the early evening and our friend Chris gave us a nice tour of the grounds, a major battle in the revolutionary war had occurred in these fields, and we learned a lot about one of America’s rare victories against Britain. I made some mental notes for light painting compositions as we walked the trails.

After a leisurely evening in Chris’ humble abode, we were prepared to set out for some late night light painting! We decided to start simple on a nice recently paved road in the park; Kate and Chris had a chance to try using my new orb tool (courtesy of Tackyshack!) for their first times.

As we were shooting our light paintings and enjoying ourselves, we began to notice some foreign, dim lights in our shots that had no logical origin. Off to the left of one shot there was a blue light and it made no sense of how it had been generated, the same thing happened in another shot that I could not explain. We brushed it off and continued on.

Notice the white blur to the right. Chris did not have his light on there, and nothing was illuminating him so we can't explain the trail.

Notice the white blur to the right. Chris did not have a flashlight on at any time while spinning the orange light, and nothing was illuminating him. We can’t explain the trail.

After we closed the shutter on what we agreed was the best shot so far, we were all in a happy mood when all of a sudden out of nowhere, Chris frantically shined his light out in front of us and illuminated a person! A man emerged from the darkness and was approaching us from about 20 feet away and my heart instantly started racing. The place we were in is a national park where Chris works and there was nowhere logical that this person could have been coming from.

As this mysterious figure drew closer Chris thought to ask him, “Are you on the night shift?” and to that he replied “Just getting off, what are y’all doing?” as he examined our camera tools strewn about the road. Chris replied that we were doing some light painting. He hauntingly said, “it’s a nice night for painting.” As if he totally understood what we were doing. Which normally, someone wandering through a national park out in the woods knows nothing about, let alone the random country man in the woods.

After that strangely understanding response, he disappeared into the night. We were left in a stunned, intense, silence. The direction the man had approached us from had nothing behind it for miles and Chris could not explain where he had come from.

Was it a ghost? We think it’s a legitimate possibility. At this point, it was 2:30 a.m. and I had wanted to continue into the park to get some more shots but we couldn’t carry on. We were too creeped out by our encounter with this strange man. We will be back though! We’ve got unfinished business, perhaps the man we came across does as well.