Road Trip to the Home of the Mothman: Point Pleasant, WV

Point Pleasant, WV

Even though this is Creepy Cincinnati, sometimes we’ll take a drive and check out some other locations. This time went over to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, home of my favorite cryptid, the Mothman!

So let’s go over the story of the Mothman. On November 12, 1966, five men who were digging a grave at a cemetery near Clendenin, WV claimed to see a man-like figure fly by over their heads.This is the first known report of what became became known as the Mothman.

A few days later, on November 15, 1966, two young couples from Point Pleasant, Roger and Linda Scarberry, and Steve and Mary Mallette went to the police in a panic. They claimed to have seen a man sized creature with glowing red eyes and a 10 foot wing span.  It supposedly attacked their car and chased them while they were driving around outside of town near a spot known as ‘the TNT area’, the site of a former World War II munitions plant.

In the days that followed, others started reporting sightings of the strange creature. Two firemen claim to have seen it, and it said was a “large bird with red eyes”. Mason County Sheriff George Johnson said that he believed the sightings were actually a large heron. Contractor Newell Partridge told Johnson that when he pointed his flashlight at a creature in a nearby field its eyes glowed “like bicycle reflectors”, and blamed buzzing noises from his television set and the disappearance of his German Shepherd dog on the creature. Wildlife biologist Dr. Robert L. Smith at West Virginia University told reporters that descriptions and sightings all fit the sandhill crane, a large American crane almost as high as a man with a seven foot wingspan featuring circles of reddish coloring around the eyes, and that the bird may have wandered out of its migration route.

Then there was the December 15, 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge that caused the death of 46 people. With the recent sightings of the so called Mothman, many believed he was actually there to warn them of the impending collapse, though others believed he caused it, as there were some reports that he was spotted on the bridge prior to it falling.

photo credits: Harvey Eugene Smith/AP, left; Corbis, right. Accessed from the Time photo gallery
photo credits: Harvey Eugene Smith/AP, left; Corbis, right. Accessed from the Time photo gallery

The legend has grown ever since, but didn’t really explode until the book “The Mothman Prophecies” by John Keel was published in 1975. There have now been reports of the Mothman from all over the world, but Point Pleasant will always be considered his home. In fact, there is now a Statue of the creature in town, and a yearly “Mothman Festival’, featuring such things Mothman Pancakes and a ‘Ms. Mothman’ competition. Point Pleasant is also home to the Mothman Museum, which is full of artifacts relating to the legend, and stuff from the movie ‘The Mothman Prophecies”

You Can also take a tour of those TNT bunkers, which they call ‘The Igloo’s, where Mothman was said to live at. I’ve visited Point Pleasant twice over the years, but I’ve yet to get a look at these. While I did enjoy visiting the museum, and taking in the sights at the festival, I sadly never had any run ins with the big guy himself. But walking the streets of Point Pleasant at night, you can’t help but look up to the tops of the buildings, hoping you’ll catch a glimpse of something there.

I almost forgot, right across the street from the Mothman statue is the Lowe Inn, Point Pleasants very own haunted Hotel. They give tours during the festival each year, but I don’t know if they do the rest of the year. But if your going Mothman hunting, stop and check it out.




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