Long ago, when the trains were still the main commerce transportation in the state, an accident occurred on the tracks of Budd Lake. Now these tracks, which run through Netcong, Flanders, and Budd Lake, were said to carry coal, and other industrial fuel sources.
One night, while repairing a railroad track, one man had the extreme misfortune of getting his arm, shirt, skin and all, stuck on the tracks. In this hand he held the latern that was helping to light his way.
And although the trains were not supposed to be running at this time of night, one did, and the conductor of this very train did not see the trapped man struggling by the side of the tracks, nor did the conductor see the faint glow of his latern. Within a matter of minutes, but what surely seemed like hours for the trapped man, the train had passed and made its way towards the next town. But with this train went the man’s hand and lantern.
He died that evening from blood loss and shock, his body found later the next day by town locals. But to the dismay of everyone, his hand, and his latern, were missing. Some say that it was swept up with the force of the train, others say an animal took it as dinner.
But if you stand on the tracks in the middle of the night, close to the time when the unfortunate man lost his hand, you will see a green light hanging above the tracks, bobbing up and down the same stretch of land.
And that green light is no other than the man’s latern, being held on to fastly by the man’s hand, searching and searching in vain for it’s body.
Now, for all intents and purposes, there actually is a green light that seems to hang over the tracks in this area – but unscarily enough it is supposedly due to chemical deposits in the soil, either due to pollution or natural mines. Still, the sight of the green light on the tracks in the middle of the night will always recall the tragic tale of the Hookerman.