Are 'Ghost Lights' Apparitions of the Dead — or Even Aliens?
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Sightings of mysterious lights off in the distance — sometimes weaving or bobbing, sometimes traveling at high speeds or hovering in the air — have been reported all over the world for generations. Are these so-called "ghost lights," "spook lights" or "corpse candles" supernatural or is there a more obvious explanation? Stuff They Don't Want You To Know hosts Matt Frederick, Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown take a hard look at the stories and theories surrounding these "will o' the wisps" to find out exactly what they are in the latest episode of the podcast: What Exactly Are "Ghost Lights"?
Although sightings of these ghost lights don't seem to be rare (chances are there's a local version of this legend where you live) nobody can seem to agree on how they look like or how they behave. Some say they appear like balls of light hovering high in the air, occasionally splitting into multiple lights; others say they seem to "dance" or perhaps "bob" back and forth, almost like a dangling lantern someone is carrying. Sometimes people report seeing the lights travel at high speeds, while others see them hang motionless — that is until a person tries to get close, then the lights retreat.
One such sighting is near the small town of Quapaw, Oklahoma. It's where people report seeing the Joplin Spook Light , which appears to speed down the road, then hover over trees before disappearing. These lights have been seen nightly there for more than 100 years. Similar lights are seen in Marfa, Texas. Known as the Marfa Lights , they materialize on the horizon in the shadows of the Chinati Mountains, sometimes traveling at high speeds before dissolving. They're so consistent (and popular) that there's even an official viewing spot for the lights on the Marfa Airfield. There are also the famous Gurdon Light in Arkansas, the Brown Mountain Lights in North Carolina, the Paulding Light in Michigan — the list goes on. The question is, what are they?
Of course, some think they're ghosts — or even UFOs — but is there a more down-to-earth reason these lights are appearing? Some theories posit that people are merely mistaking bioluminescent insects' lights for something mysterious, but that seems unlikely. Others say it's methane gas catching fire and "floating" due to the gaseous fumes rising, but that also seems far-fetched. A lot of very specific circumstances would have to come together for that scenario to work out.
Some have also argued that the tectonic plates beneath Earth's surface shifting around cause rocks to heat up. And if they're the right kind of rocks — if they have a lot of quartz in them, for example — they can send up sparks, creating electrical lights that could be mistaken for a ghostly apparition. It's actually called the piezoelectric effect. But that's another explanation that requires some incredibly specific circumstances to occur.
So what are these lights? There is one widely accepted explanation — and it has to do with cars. But not everyone believes this theory. You'll have to listen to the entire podcast to hear Matt, Ben and Noel explain it. Then make your own judgment and decide whether this theory flies in your neck of the woods.
Frequently Answered Questions
What is the meaning of a ghost light.
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How Bullfighting Works
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Matadors y Matadoras
Throughout Spain, Mexico and Latin America matadors today are often treated and paid like rock stars. And while the worldwide fame and out-of-sight bucks haven't always been the case, top bullfighters have achieved renown as long as men and bulls have been facing off in the ring.
Juan Belmonte y Garcia (1892 to 1962), a Spanish bullfighter, is considered one of the greatest matadors of all time, in part for developing the erect stance rather than trying to evade the bull through skillful footwork and using a cape to divert the bull while it passes. He appeared in a record 109 bullfights in 1919 and retired in 1935 [source: Merriam-Webster's Biographical Dictionary ].
José Gómez (1895 to 1920), known as Joselito, was a rival of Juan Belmonte, and is considered, along with Belmonte, one of the greatest matadors ever. He appeared in his first bullfight in 1908 as part of the child-bullfighting group Niños Sevillanos. His rivalry with Belmonte continued from 1914 to 1920 during a period known as the Golden Age of Bullfighting. The age and the rivalry ended with the fatal goring of Joselito in May 1920 in a corrida that featured both matadors [source: The Columbia Encyclopedia ].
Manuel Rodríguez y Sánchez (1917 to 1947) was known in the arena as Manolete, the same nickname his father and grandfather fought under. The top matador in the world from 1940 to 1947, Manolete was fatally gored in a corrida at Linares, Spain, on Aug. 28, 1947 [source: The Columbia Encyclopedia ].
Mexican bullfighter Carlos Ruiz Camino (1920 to 1966), known as Carlos Arruza, was one of the highest paid matadors during his lifetime. He worked in arenas in Spain, Portugal and South America from 1934 until his retirement in 1953 [source: Merriam-Webster's Biographical Dictionary ].
Julián López Escobar (b. 1982) fights under the nickname El Juli. El Juli started his professional career at age 15 and had achieved a number of firsts by age 17. At 15 he became the only Spanish apprentice bullfighter, or novillero , in La Plaza, Mexico City's arena and the largest bullring in the world, to register an indulto , which spares the life of a particularly courageous bull. The bull is then put out to stud. El Juli was the youngest ever to achieve the status of matador de toros, or senior matador, when he received the alternativa -- the ceremony where that honor is conferred -- in September 1998. By 17 had become the highest paid matador ever [source: Conrad ].
On the next page, we'll learn a bit about the bulls used in the ring -- and the importance of that eye-catching red cape.
While some women have tried the sport over the centuries, very few have gained success, often because they were fighting local laws and attitudes that effectively kept women from the ring, as well as bulls. One of the most famous toreras (female fighters) of the mid-20th century was the daughter of an American mother and Puerto Rican father, Conchita Cintrón. Cintrón combined the Portuguese style of bullfighting on horseback with the traditional Spanish foot style. She would begin the fight on a horse, but perform work with the cape and kill the bull on foot [source: Conrad ]. Despite centuries of bullfighting history, it took until 1996 for a woman, Christina Sanchez, to become a matador de toros -- the top rank for a bullfighter -- in Spain [source: Seligmann]. Sanchez fought successfully for three seasons before "cutting the pigtail" or retiring in 1999, due, she said, to the hostile attitudes of her male counterparts and the fans [source: Conrad ].
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- Ifish Fishing and Hunting
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Accuracy of Ghost Ring Marlin 45-70
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Old Salt said: You can get a little rubber O ring and put it in your ghost ring. Cheap fix for smaller aperture. IMHO, 45-70's are best with lead cast bullets. 405 grain to 525 are my favorites. Then slow velocity should be accurate. In fact, slow heavy bullets are very potent out to 200 yards. Some learn to shoot them 1000 yards with high end veneer sights. 405's at max velocity kick like a mule. More than heavier bullets at moderate velocity. I am good for maybe 10 shots before my shoulder is hamburger. Click to expand...
adobe wall said: Not much difference between a ghost ring and the aperture sights I shot...there's really only a few things that cause vertical stringing. The most common is what you've already identified as head position. The other thing that will cause vertical stringing are sunbreaks...shouldn't have been an issue today. Eliminating vertical stringing due to inconsistent head position is one of the fundamentals that's takes awhile with aperture sights..it's easier if you can sling up but that's not going to be practical on that rifle. Probably save yourself some time going with a scope. aw Click to expand...
afp said: Thanks for the pics. That is beyond my woodworking skills. They do make leather pads that do the same thing as the foam and duct tape method we talked about earlier. There is a compnay in Oregon that makes nice looking ones. How high do you think the comb needs to be raised? I'm think 3/8" to 1/2", but that may be too low. Click to expand...
afp said: I took off the ghost rings. Like QSX15 mentioned, they are not going to give me what I want. I mounted a scope, and "extra" Leu 2.5x8x36. I'll find a load with the scope, then perhaps try aperture sights that mount to the scope base. The only downside to the scope is weight. With it mounted in Leu QRWs the rifle weighs nearly 8 lbs. Maybe I'll get lighter rings and a compact scope later on. Click to expand...
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Thoughts on Ghost Ring Sights?
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256WinMag said: I like peep sights for most of my type of hunting. I have a variety of them, both tang and receiver, but for the money a Williams RS (WRS) works well as a ghost ring by simply removing the aperture. Click to expand...
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What Are Ghost Ring Sights and How Should They Be Used?
Posted by Alex Wittle · March 22, 2022
When it comes to firearms and shooting accuracy , sighting systems play a crucial role. One popular option that has gained popularity among both experienced marksmen and beginners is the ghost ring sight.
In this blog, we'll dive into what ghost ring sights are and explore how they should be used to enhance your shooting accuracy and overall firearm handling.
What Are Iron Sights?
Before we talk about ghost ring sights, let's understand what iron sights are, since ghost ring sights are a type of them.
Iron sights are a critical component of firearms used for accurate aiming. They consist of two metal markers positioned above the gun's barrel: a rear sight closer to the shooter's eye and a front sight near the muzzle. While some basic iron sights are fixed and can't be adjusted, many modern ones can be fine-tuned for better accuracy by changing the elevation or windage. Typically, it's the rear sights that can be adjusted.
What Are Ghost Ring Sights?
Ghost ring sights, also known as peep sights or aperture sights, are a type of iron sight that many shooters find to be the quickest and simplest to use. They offer reasonably good accuracy and provide a clear view of the target, making them popular on riot and battle shotguns, modified pistols, and even as backup sights for rifles. They come in various sizes and can be used on a wide range of firearms.
If you're looking to acquire your target rapidly, ghost ring sights are a great choice. They excel at close-range shooting, offering quick target acquisition. However, it's important to note that they're not the best option for long-distance shots. So, if your shooting adventure involves short distances, go ahead and use a ghost ring sight, but for long-range shooting, you might want to consider other sight options.
What Are Ghost Sights Used For?
As mentioned before, ghost ring sights are designed for faster and more accurate shooting, especially in close combat situations. They are particularly useful for shotguns, rifles, and short-range shooting .
These sights have a thin ring shape that helps you quickly align your target. When you look down the barrel, the ring becomes slightly blurry, but it still lines up with the front sight. This allows you to acquire your target faster and focus on getting your aim right.
How To Use a Ghost Ring Sight?
Ghost ring sights can significantly improve your shooting accuracy when used correctly. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use them:
1) Maintain Adequate Firearms Control
Place your finger on the trigger and press the gun's stock against your shoulder. Hold the rifle with your other hand where the gun's stock and barrel meet.
2) Look Through the Ring
Look through the circle-shaped opening of the ghost ring. This step is crucial. Observe the front sight and the target through the ring and down the barrel. Align the front sight post with the precise spot on the target that you intend to hit, and then proceed to shoot.
How to Maintain Your Ghost Ring Sights
Proper maintenance is essential to ensure your ghost ring pistol sights continue to perform optimally. Follow these steps to keep your sights in excellent condition:
Step 1: Regular Cleaning
After each shooting session, clean your ghost ring sights along with the rest of your firearm. Use a cleaning solution and a soft brush or cloth to remove dirt, residue, and debris. Pay special attention to the front and rear sights, ensuring they remain clear and unobstructed.
Step 2: Inspection
Periodically inspect your ghost ring sights for any signs of damage, such as cracks, chips, or loose parts. Check the alignment of the sights to make sure they are still properly centered.
Step 3: Lubrication
Apply a small amount of lubricant to the moving parts of your ghost ring sights. Be careful not to over-lubricate, as excess oil can attract dirt and dust.
Step 4: Protection
When not in use, protect your ghost ring sights from potential damage by using a fitted cover or case for your firearm. This helps prevent accidental bumps or scratches.
The Best Ghost Ring Sights
1) williams fire sight.
The Willian Fire Sight is a versatile ghost sight set that's considered universal. It comes with a clamp-on attachment and a red optic fiber. The rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation, while the front sight is fixed, both featuring fiber optic nodes. These nodes capture ambient light and make the red/green sight picture more visible. The only limitation is that it can only be mounted on shotguns with vent ribs. However, if you mainly use your shotgun during daylight hours, this could be a great choice for you.
2) AMERIGLO GL-125 Ghost Ring Sight
The Ameriglo Ghost Ring Sight stands out as the favored choice for marksmen in search of an innovative alternative to conventional post-notch sight configurations. This design incorporates a rear sight with an aperture-style opening, featuring two tritium minidots, accompanied by a luminous tritium front sight that ensures swift acquisition of your target. The GL-125 variant features a sleek black finish and is compatible with a range of Glock models.
3) XS Sight Systems ML-0012-5 Ghost Ring WS
We hope that we were able to answer your question on what a ghost ring sight is. We covered all of the basics in this post, as well as some of the best ghost ring sights on the market. Remember that ghost rings are designed for short-range shooting, not long-range shooting, and they let you acquire a target in less time than a conventional sight.
Are you ready to take your shooting accuracy to the next level? Pair your ghost ring sights with EasyShot Paper Shooting Targets for the ultimate training experience. Our targets are designed to help you refine your marksmanship skills and track your progress effortlessly. Shop with us today.
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Home » Gear, Parts and Accessories » Ghost Ring Sights — What Are You Missing?
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Ghost ring sights — what are you missing.
I wouldn’t say optical sights have spoiled shooters or that we have forgotten how to use iron sights. In fact, it is far from it. However, I do think iron sights don’t get the respect they deserve. Unfortunately, quite a few long guns are delivered with perfunctory sights that are not very useful.
As a young hunter, I took all manner of small game with a simple iron-sighted rifle . The range was short and my eyes were good. The .22 rifles I used were well balanced and accurate. A 25-yard shot was a long shot at squirrels in trees. Keeping pesky starlings and rodents out from around my uncle’s barn wasn’t difficult.
Iron Sight Basics
I knew about sight alignment and sight picture . I never gave a thought to the trigger press. I knew how to ‘tickle the trigger’ and never jerked the trigger. The occasional long shot wasn’t that great of a challenge. I simply slowed down a little.
I graduated to the .30-30 and a host of military rifles in centerfire calibers. I was reminded of how I began shooting, as I recently gave the steel gongs a good working over at 100 yards with a Marlin .30-30 equipped with the XS LeverRail. I still rely on fixed sights on most rifles and exclusively on shotguns.
I have confidence in the zero and the sight picture. I used two types of sights primarily and there are variants on each. First, the simple blade type, which includes shotguns with rifle sights and standard sights on hunting rifles including the old buckhorn rear sight.
Then, there are ghost ring sights and the peep variant of the ghost ring. They are not quite the same thing. A post or ramp front sight is standard on factory long guns.
Ghost Ring Sights
When it comes to ghost ring rear sights, XS Sights is the king of the game. XS Sights’ offerings, in many types and configurations, are designed for lever-action rifles and shotguns . These sights offer a good range of adjustment, different diameters on the rear sight, and come standard with the express white strip front sight.
A ghost ring rear sight is named for the tendency of the sight to disappear or fade out as you concentrate on the front sight. The front sight is naturally centered in the rear sight. The peep sight is generally a thicker type that doesn’t quite fade away as you view the front sight. The peep is designed for greater accuracy, although the ghost ring will give the peep a run for its money in accuracy and best it in speed at close range.
When it comes to enumerating the advantages of a ghost ring or peep rear sight, among these is increased sight radius. Most rifle sights are mounted on the barrel. The open aperture sight is mounted on the rear of the receiver.
It is common to gain seven to nine inches in sight radius with a good set of ghost ring sights compared to standard factory sights. This means that small changes in the sight picture are not as critical to accuracy. Aiming with a standard sight picture means that you focus on the front sight not the target and have an even amount of space showing on each side of the front post as it sets in the rear notch.
You usually use a six o’clock hold holding just under the bullseye target. With a ghost ring sight, you focus on the top of the front sight. The tip of the front sight will be centered in the aperture. You will place the front post dead on the target.
Sight adjustment is easy. Just move the rear sight in the direction you want the bullet strike to move. Sights right, the bullet will strike right. Drift left to move the bullets to the left. You seldom have to drift a rear sight as most are designed to be easily adjustable.
The old barleycorn buckhorn or rocky mountain type sights are a different story. They must be drifted in the notch. No matter, a brass punch and hammer work fine. Just remember that less is more. Tap slowly in small increments.
Very good shooting may be done with a properly-zeroed rifle equipped with well set up aperture sights. While these sights are precise for shooting to at least 100 yards, another advantage is speed. Your field of view isn’t as circumscribed as with optics and when you shoulder the rifle and look through the rear sight. The front post is centered quickly.
A simple bead front sight is only a step away from the bump on top of the barrel of a musket or blunderbuss. It is a general use sight for orientation. An all-around defensive shotgun needs to be zeroed to put its load of shot on target.
Most bead front sights cause the shotgun to fire high or low and occasionally to one side. With shotgun slugs, the point of impact is usually low at close range. Shotgun slugs may be effective to 50 yards or more depending on the load and the shotgun’s sights.
Buckshot is generally considered effective to 20 yards. Some loads such as Federal #00 Flite Wad may be effective to 35 yards. These superior loads demand that the shotgun be properly sighted.
A good set of aperture sights goes a long way in doing so. Among the very few factory sight setups offering a wide range of adjustment comes with the Mossberg 590A1 shotgun. These ghost ring sights offer excellent windage and elevation adjustment. The Benelli M4 also offers good adjustment.
I think that my rifles with XS Ghost Ring sights are simply the best setup of any rifle with fixed sights. These sights offer real speed. With a choice of different size apertures — the larger opening for speed shooting and the smaller for greater accuracy — these are versatile sights.
Ghost ring or aperture sights are popular among lever gun shooters, and perhaps less so among shotgunners. Do you shoot a ghost ring sight? Does it make target acquisition faster of tactical shotguns? Share your experiences with ghost ring sights in the comment section.
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Are you a fan of old revolvers? How about cowboy action shooting? Share your answers in the comment section.
Skinner sights are excellent!
Very good custom design.
Author favors XS. What about Skinner ghost rings?
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XS Sight Systems ML-0012-5 Ghost Ring WS, Marlin 336, 1894, Integral Ramp
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XS Sights offers a range of sights designed to enhance your hunting rifle. These include optic mounts, ghost rings, and Picatinny rails built to high-quality standards. All XS Sights products are made from the best American Made materials available, ensuring they provide reliable performance in all conditions. Whether you're hunting in low light or in the rain and snow, XS Sights hunting accessories can help you stay on target and push your rifle further.
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The XS Sights Lineup
Big Dot Shotgun Bead
Standard Dot Shotgun Bead
- Ghost Rings
- White Stripe Fronts
- Tritium powered front sight
- Big Dot front measures 0.188"
- Standard Dot front measures 0.140"
- High-contrast colored front sight
- Glow dot absorbs ambient light and glows in low light
- Comes in different variations: tritium, non-tritium, vent rib, plain barrel, pedestal and more!
- Options for winged or un-winged ghost rings
- Great for no-scope turkey hunting
- Provides a longer sight radius offering increased accuracy
- Easy DIY installation process
- Provides windage and elevation adjustments for precision
- Increases accuracy through faster target acquisition
- High contrast against all backgrounds
- DXT sights come in both standard dot or big dot
- Low-profile V rear provides greater visibility of front sight
- Simple dot-the-"i" sight picture
- Rear sight white outline with tritium center
- Durable CNC machined steel
- Durable, aluminum Picatinny rail
- Easy DIY installation
- Compatible with scopes and red dot optics
Simply put, no. It is important to remember, that each shotgun is very much an individual and requires a sight precisely fit to its design.
Yes! Our ghost ring sights can acquire targets from over 100 yards.
Our tritium sights shine brightly in dim conditions, with high-contrast glow dots for exceptional visibility in bright environments as well. These sights are built to last, with a remarkable glow lifespan of over 10 years and a robust service life of 25,000+ rounds. Read our blog to learn more about the differences between tritium and fiber optic sights.
We would suggest choosing tritium night sights for tactical use given their versatility. However, the decision comes down to you and your personal preferences.
If we had to highlight one, our Ember standard dot sights for vent rib shotguns are fantastic for shooting clays.
Currently, we only offer white for the front stripe. We find white to work the best since it will reflect more of the ambient light that hits than any other color.
Yes! If you own a Remington shotgun and rifle, our DXT Standard Dot Shotgun Bead fits both Remington rifles and shotguns.
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