A foreigner finds himself on a quasi-paranormal quest in a changing desert town. Turns out, there’s way more to Marfa then design tourism.

The "Ghost Lights" of Marfa, Texas
Credit: via YouTube

Long before the small west-Texas town of Marfa was an art mecca with a famous fake Prada store, it was known for its “ghost lights.” Head a few miles outside of town, south of Route 90 and east of Route 67, and if you’re lucky, you may spy a few flickering orbs of light on the horizon.

Italian photographer Jonathan Zedda was first introduced to the phenomenon by a roadside sign that read, simply enough, “See Mystery Lights.” As it turned out, the sign was an advertisement for a hotel, but the Marfa Ghost Lights do remain a mystery. Some experts say the likely culprit is swamp gas, others an “electromagnetic anomaly” caused by friction between plates of igneous rock.

If the wandering ghosts of Spanish conquistadors sounds equally plausible to you, you’ll surely find likeminded company on any number of paranormal message boards. Zedda’s attempts to document the Marfa Ghost Lights, as captured in a new video from Discovery’s Seeker Stories network, turned up fruitless, like so many others. But it does provide a nice snapshot of a community that, even in its gallery-filled, “new Marfa” state, thrives on eccentric pursuits.