Not long afterward lovers strolling near the railroad late at night reported seeing a strange light along the tracks. It would start about a mile from Maco Station - just a flicker over the left rail. Then it would advance, growing brighter as it came up the track. Faster and faster it seemed to come swinging from side to side. There would be a pause and it would start backwards, for a moment hanging suspended where it had first appeared, and then it would be gone.
Watchers over the years have said that the light is Joe Baldwin's lantern and that Joe is hunting for his head. Once the light was gone for over a month but it always comes back. Joe seems to prefer dark, rainy nights.
After roads were built in the area, skeptics maintained that the light was merely a reflection. Several years ago all traffic in the area was blocked off while a group of observers watched for the light. Joe appeared swinging his lantern as usual. A short time before, a company of Fort Bragg soldiers armed with rifles decided to put an end to Joe's nightly excursions. His lantern eluded both guns and soldiers.
Over the years railroad engineers have sometimes mistaken Joe's light for a "real" signal. As a result the railroad ordered its signalmen at Maco to use two lanterns, one red and one green.
And so, after more than 100 years, Joe Baldwin still haunts the track at Maco looking for his head.