Natural History of Wiltshire, c.1697

John Aubrey (c.1697), The Natural History of Wiltshire. On p.18 of Britten's 1844 edition.

Ignis fatuus, called by the vulgar Kit of the Candlestick, is not very rare on our downes about Michaelmass. [These ignes fatui, or Jack-o'- lanthorns, as they are popularly called, are frequently seen in low boggy grounds. In my boyish days I was often terrified by stories of their leading travellers astray, and fascinating them.- J. B.]

Biding in the north lane of Broad Chalke in the harvest time in the twy-light, or scarce that, a point of light, by the hedge, expanded itselfe into a globe of about three inches diameter, or neer four, as boies blow bubbles with soape. It continued but while one could say one, two, three, or four at the most It was about a foot from my horse's eie; and it made him turn his head quick aside from it. It was a pale light as that of a glowe-worme: it may be this is that which they call a blast or blight in the country.

Sean B. Palmer