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West Virginia Cryptids – are they out there on those lonely Appalachian ‘country roads’ Part 1: The Mothman

THE VAST expanse of West Virginia, two thirds of which is covered with forested peaks and unfrequented valleys is cryptid ground zero, and home of The Mothman.

Although the rumours of some of the scariest cryptids such as White Things, of Cherokee lore, and Sheepsqatch, popularised by the Fallout ’76 computer game, may be questionable, there are some surprising stories to be heard from this mysterious Appalachian region.

Many witnesses have presented compelling evidence for the existence of strange creatures in the West Virginia backwoods.

The topography of West Virginia

The sparsely populated state may contain cryptids and otherworldly beings such as the mysterious Mothman.

The Mothman will be the focus of this article, but future issues will cast an eye on the others, such as the interdimensional Indrid Cold, Flatwoods Monster, Sheepsquatch and Devil Dogs among some others. John A Keel, the famous paranormal investigator, wrote a famous account of his experiences with the Mothman, in Point Pleasant, West Virginia in 1966.

Keel interviewed many for his book, compiled in his book The Mothman Prophecies.

John Keel’s book

There are interesting accounts from different people and not least his own intriguing personal story.

The Mothman has an intriguing history of being intertwined with UFO conspiracy theories and old-fashioned West Virginian cryptid- mythology.

The Mothman has inspired many other creations in media and books as well as the movie version, a 2002 Richard Gere caper called, The Mothman Prophecies, which is quite disturbing.

There are many podcasts online about specifically the Mothman and the other cryptids and mythical creatures of West Virginia.

Gary Gibeaut

There is even a comic book called The Mothman by artist Gary Gibeaut.

He produced two illustrated stories about The Mothman.

It is also of note that Mr Gibeaut is actually a resident of Point Pleasant, the town in West Virginia, where on December 15 1967 the Silver Bridge collapsed causing the death of 46 people.

This incident gave rise to the legend that somehow The Mothman was somehow connected to this tragedy.

Point Pleasant now has a Mothman folklore museum and an annual festival every 3rd weekend in September called The Mothman Festival.

Point Pleasant

It is happening this weekend in fact, so if you are close, get down there.

There is also a statue in the main street of The Mothman.

Cryptid legends are also celebrated elsewhere in the town of Flatswoods, which is a town in Braxton County, West Virginia, located about one mile from exit 67 of Interstate 79.

Flatwoods Monster

The legend of the Flatswoods Monster is celebrated there every year when the town of Flatwoods holds its annual festival called “Flatwoods Days”.

This is a three-day festival across the whole weekend with live music, food and craft stalls.


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