I'm always amazed at how many people don't know the story of Mothman. I'm not sure why I'm surprised by this as I didn't really know about the whole ordeal until about 2 years ago when I started researching for my book, Camp Cryptid. The whole Mothman affair is a hell of a story about a flying man/bird witnessed by over a hundred people, peppered with visits from the men in black, sightings of a multitude of unidentified flying crafts, strange, poltergeist type activity, etc.
Here's a little video I did that will give you the gist of the story. For more information I would suggest picking up a copy of the great John Keel's book, The Mothman Prophesies (not to be substituted by simply watching the Richard Gere film... that's a real cliff-notes version). For even MORE info I would suggest picking up a copy of Jeff Wamsley's book, Mothman: Behind the Red Eyes. Jeff is a resident of Galipolis, Ohio, just across the bridge from Point Pleasant. He runs the Mothman Museum, billed as the only Mothman Museum in the world! He has uncovered and interviews even more eyewitnesses.
Anyway... Watch this...
For me it was kind of like when I was a kid and finally arrived at the gates of Disney World. Mind you, Point Pleasant is not anything like that spectacle, and the normal person would likely pass right on through the place with no fanfare whatsoever, but I was so excited to cross the bridge, drive into town, and finally step on this sacred ground. (or perhaps not so sacred since the land was supposedly cursed by the Shawnee Cheif, Cornstalk). Since the towns annual Mothman Festival was cancelled, Terry and I booked a room in the legendary (haunted) Lowe Hotel. It is directly across from the Museum and the Mothman statue (which is a hilarious rendering) and books up about a year in advance for the festival. But... since it was cancelled due to... you know... we were able to get a room. (which is exciting to me too because the late, great John Keel stayed in this hotel... room 202! You're not as excited as I am, are you?)
The hotel is run by this really funny and friendly family, the Finleys. The daughter, Marcia, is quite a character and mans the front desk for her aging parents. I read a story about a young Marcia, sneaking a cigarette up in the attic and witnessing a rattan chair (which belonged to the late Mrs. Lowe) rocking itself. I asked her about it. She confirmed this was true. At any rate, there are a number of ghosts supposed to roam the halls, the third floor being the most active. Terry and I stayed on the third floor and even set an alarm and did some middle of the night snooping around but no... Nobody acknowledged our presence and we didn't feel theirs. I'm beginning to think something's wrong with us!
After checking in, our first stop OF COURSE was the Mothman Museum. It's an impressive place and apparently a great success as they're adding a Mothman Escape Room in the future. I met Jeff, the proprietor. Apparently he once owned a record store and one of his buddies made up a Mothman shirt for him to sell. He couldn't keep them in stock. This led him to start the website mothmanlives.com and eventually to open the museum. Business is booming I guess!
Me and Jeff Wamsley giving a thumbs up to the Mothman I suppose...
(side note: my computer keeps underlining the word Mothman. I guess even my computer is uneducated about this great flying anomaly!)
Even though there would be no 2021 festival, people still flocked to the center of this mysterious town. Terry and I ran into packs of "nerds" who were discussing the great creatures of the world. My kind of people are different to say the least. It's interesting to me that people, including myself, are drawn to spots where something otherworldly has manifested. We don't expect anything to happen, even though it would be quite considerate of Mothman to at least make a fleeting appearance once a year, soaring over the festival, waving down to his fans.
We ate dinner at a crowded Mexican restaurant, Rio Bravo 2. (I'm not sure about Rio Bravo 1. Another Point Pleasant mystery maybe). There we decided to forgo our quest for the perfect Old Fashioned and ordered their top shelf margaritas (a pitcher if I recall) and had some great grub. A little Mexican girl ran around the joint, seemingly the only server in this busy restaurant. I wanted to jump in and help but the margs were kickin' in.
The next morning, looking out the window of our conveniently placed hotel room I noticed there was a line outside the Mothman Museum. Fans of the winged one were continuing to congregate. Terry and I drove just out of town to the igloos at the TNT area. The Mothman was first seen by two couples in this general vicinity so it was a must stop. The igloos are spooky, all overgrown with earth, the inside of the structures full of graffiti. The echo inside is creepy to say the least. Before we walked the path to the spot we were met by a older lady, a "tour guide" of sorts, who told us she was around when the phenomenon first surfaced. A self-proclaimed conductor of the paranormal, she was surprised we had had no otherworldly experiences at the Lowe hotel. Maybe if she'd been with us???
So, do I recommend you make the pilgrimage to Point Pleasant, WV? The depends on you. Even now I find myself being pulled back to the area. If you believe John Keel, (and I do) there are certain window areas... portals to another realm... and Point Pleasant definitely feels like it has been touched in a mysterious, unearthly way. It's ironic really. It's nothing but another of many small communities situated on the Ohio River Valley, but I believe there is indeed something special about it.
Crossing my fingers for a 2022 Mothman Festival!
The Mothman Statue. When we walked up a couple were taking pictures of his butt so we should too right? Look at those hind-quarters!
The Lowe Hotel. Most pics are from our 3am ghost quest. If you happen to see anything do let me know. I've, of course, have studied the pictures. I don't see it but maybe you do?
The Mothman Museum! There's a lot of information here and so pretty hilarious tributes to the movie The Mothman Prophecies. Notice the blanket that ACTUALLY came in contact with both Richard Gere and Debra Messing! My word! Seriously though, apparently that's how the museum started. Props from the film were donated and that was the beginning.
The TNT area.
A mural that marks where the Silver Bridge once stood. (The Silver Bridge collapsed in 1967, putting a sort-of bookend on the Mothman story.)
Some random pics.
Mothman witness, Faye Dewitt, said this painting by Sybilla Irwin closest resembles the creature she witnessed. (so... there he is!)