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Donald Worley: Looking for Sylvia

Donald Worley, Alien Abduction Researcher

Looking for Sylvia

A few of my articles reveal that I have been down other fascinating, dark avenues of the unknown. I've had some good cases of hauntings, apparitions, ghost lights, etc. In this one, "the lonely girl who glowed and became a ghost light" even included me. And for that I am forever grateful to her because since she is very much alive beyond time and space, we know you and I will one day also have her magical powers, too.

Ha! Ha! The joke was on us. We didn't need to go looking for Sylvia. It was she who found us and some of us ended up shocked and had the bezabbers scared out of us. Let me now make it absolutely clear. I do not write fiction. The following harrowing events (1965 to 1970) truly did take place. It all happened in an area about 5 to 10 miles in size some 7 miles southwest of Connersville, Indiana USA. This is mostly a forested area of rolling hills and creek hollers with very little habitation. I will use only first names in my narration since one can find that living in this bible belt mentioning a matter such as this can get you bodily threats.

Before I proceed any farther I want to inform you my on the scene investigations soon revealed just who this frightening apparition was. This is not a questionable hypothesis. The earthbound deceased in question is a woman I will call “Sylvia.” I will later explain how I used normal detective methods to find out who she was. In addition we will learn what caused her to not move on toward the eternal light as most of us do when we make the great transition.

One summer night in 1967 a large disc craft was seen by excited farm folk several miles south of State Road 44 in the area. The object hovered near their barn and a brilliant light beam from it swept the woods and fields of their farm. I really don't think this visitation had any connection with what was happening in the haunted area but who knows? I have been wrong before.

It was my own stepdaughter Jaynie who first alerted me to the eerie mystery of isolated Williams Creek valley that lies in the eastern end of the haunted area. From her brief encounter with Sylvia my investigation grew to encompass eleven persons who experienced the apparition and twenty two who had seen the phantom ghost light.

The quiet creek valley was a place favored by young couples where they could go spooning. Its roads were seldom traveled. In the blackness of the night, only the sounds of nature and the murmuring creek formed a restful background to their romantic activity.

Jaynie and Howard's brush with the ghost was over before it really started. They were parked several miles down the creek road from the iron bridge. It was Jaynie who saw the white glowing form approaching their car from the back. She screamed and Howard immediately started the car and they roared out of there. He had failed to get a good look at what had upset her so.

Joanie and Ralph were parked on Williams Creek Road not far east of the iron bridge. Suddenly this strange specter came from behind them and glided right along the side of their car. It moved at normal walking speed a little off the road. As the two stunned love birds looked on, it passed in front of them and on across the road where it vanished. They had both sat there in frozen disbelief but now Ralph recovered his wits, started the car and sped out of there.

Later both agreed that what ever it was appeared to be a person, but only a head scarf, blouse, and plaid skirt were visible. These garments glowed white. They didn't see a face or arms or legs.

The third couple to encounter Sylvia were like the others who had seen her. They did not learn about what was being seen until later; otherwise, they would not have parked in the valley. Henry and Susan were in a turnoff farther down the creek road when their passionate action came to a sudden stop.

The figure in a glowing white scarf, blouse, plaid skirt came from behind them and moved beside their car. It curved around their left front fender and then moved on across the road about 30 feet where it disappeared. They too, fled in a hurry and never came back.

The next appearance of Sylvia occurred in broad daylight. This would be the only daylight sighting of her. John and Fred, two young fishermen, were fishing in the creek about a mile south of the bridge. Suddenly an object about 5 feet tall and 2 feet across came moving along the other side of the creek. It was a dirty white cloudy-like form.

The grotesque form didn't have any features. Its surface was like a cloud would be. It moved along for about 10 seconds and suddenly vanished. Grabbing their fishing gear, the two fishermen ran pall mall through the woods and away from there.

It was around this time that two prospective campers in Mary Grey Bird Sanctuary happened upon what looked like a white tent in the woods. Ideas of fishing and camping had been discouraged.

The next persons to meet up with the apparition of Sylvia were me and my dear, now deceased, nephew Jack Dice. I had been, one might say, "on the trail of the mysterious ghost" for some time. The witnesses were convincing but I had to see for myself to really convince me.

Well, much to our stupified awe, Sylvia did not disappoint us. Conditions were not ideal for there was a partial moon out as we parked close to the east end of the iron bridge. You feel somewhat safe in an auto - not that I thought she would hurt us - but it’s just the feeling you get when you are facing the unknown.

We decided Jack would keep a watch to our rear down the road and I would watch forward and the bridge. We had been there about an hour when Jack said, "Donnie it just felt like someone gently put their finger in my right ear." I barely answered him for I thought to myself that circumstances had him imagining things.

It was shortly after this that I too got the finger in the ear sensation. I tried to explain it away as maybe some kind of pressure wave, but we tensed up not knowing what might happen next. In thinking back to those moments I am thankful that Sylvia did not choose to suddenly materialize in the car right next to one of us. How much shock can the human system take? We might be talking about a 911 call here.


Photo of Donald Worley, Alien Abduction Researcher

Photo of Donald Worley,
Alien Abduction Researcher

As I looked toward the bridge I began to see an indistinct figure standing on the road at the eastern end of the bridge.

I alerted Jack and we strained our eyes trying to see if someone had walked on to the bridge. Then woweee!! Here she came right off the bridge and right toward us. My pulse shot up. Was she coming right by us? No, she glided across the road diagonally right in front of us. At the far side of the road she just blinked out.

The pattern of the plaid skirt was the most visible with the other things less distinct due to the partial moon. With my heart pounding and my eyes glued to her, I sat there immobilized. I never got my camera off the car seat, never tried quickly turning on my lights to see what effect that would have. Jack had seen the same thing I had seen. Later I would return with car loads of witnesses but Sylvia never honored us with her presence again.

Now in this time period another kind of bewildering phenomena had begun to show up in the south and western part of this area. Like Sylvia's apparition, this ghostly light seemed to want to approach people. A lonely ghost light?

There were 22 ghost light episodes but I will mention only a few of the best ones. One time the glowing orange volley ball sized globe hovered near the window of a home near the Sanctuary. At homes north and south of the Sanctuary I talked to persons who said that on some nights these strange balls of light would seem to play hide and seek over the trees of the Sanctuary.

Sam and Ramon who lived in Glenwood were enroute to a friends’ home down Orange Road when a large glowing ball began to pace their car. It would pulsate and be much larger then sometimes vanish completely. It all became a sort of weird game with the badly frightened couple trying to get away from this thing.

Speeding up didn't help so Sue and Ramon tried stopping and sitting quietly with the headlights off, but that didn't help either. Before it all ended, they had driven some 15 miles on country roads trying to escape their spooky companion. When they finally arrived at their friends’ home, the globe vanished.

It is possible that the familiarity that a farmwife named Ann had with the lonely ghost light is the most incredible episode in all this. Her home was down a country off State Road 52 in the southwestern part of the haunted area. As she drove home late at night from her work at Shelbyville, the orange globe would sometimes keep pace with her across the fields. It seemed to keep its distance so she had grown accustomed to it. She couldn't imagine what it could be and had even gotten her husband to look at it with his binoculars. He said it just looked like a fiery ball to him.

Finally one night as her fiery companion paced her, she thought, "I wonder what that thing will do if I flashed my lights at it when I turn off 52." The minute she flashed her headlights, the globe approached her at fantastic speed and came to an instant stop right next to her car. This really caused panic in her and she floored the gas pedal and sped down the road toward home.

She was shocked to see the eerie thing zip on ahead of her and come to a screeching halt right over her own driveway. So there it sat, waiting for her to catch up, which reduced her to a trembling wreck. She jammed on her brakes at the house of her neighbors and began to honk her horn madly. They soon rushed out and all three persons stood there looking at the globe over the driveway.

In the meantime Ann's St. Bernard dog had deserted his own driveway and when she opened car door to get out he jumped in the front seat. The globe then suddenly appeared over the field west of them and then disappeared.

In my investigation into the life of Sylvia, it was her brother, an uncle, a second suitor, and her best friend who were my chief informants. Sylvia's family lived in the house just west of the iron bridge. This disturbed girl often walked the roads and wooded trails of her valley. Her eccentric father chased off two of her suitors. Without knowing what was being seen in the valley her second suitor and the uncle said that Sylvia's favorite skirt fashion was plaid.

One wonders why just the clothing showed up glowing white and not any body parts. Sylvia's mother had to be committed to the Richmond State Hospital for the Insane. Sylvia grew steadily worse and had to also be committed there. Sylvia's death certificate which I read at the Moster Funeral Home in Rushville says, "Death by strangulation." No one seems to know if it was caused by another inmate or accidentally by restraints.

Anyway this lonely disturbed girl who glowed or became a ghost light returned to the valley she loved. I haven't had any reports for years so I hope she is now at peace with God.

Recommended reading for other books on ghosts and reincarnation:

Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places

Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places


Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation


Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation


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