Point Pleasant, West Virginia sits alongside the Ohio River where it is joined by the Kanawah in a river valley shrouded in mystery and mountain fog. Fifty-four years ago, under the dim glow of a crescent moon, a creature that would eventually become one of the most notorious legends in American history made its maiden flight through the dense Appalachian hillside.
The Man, The Myth, The Moth
Mothman is an enigmatic figure with several accounts of
sightings from a wide array of people. Depicted is the average description of height of Mothman.
In 1967, reports of strange sightings in the area surrounding Point Pleasant became so commonplace that people began to fear leaving their homes at night. A town that once felt so welcoming, so safe, now had its residents glancing over their shoulders at every turn. Televisions would emit strange noises, dogs would disappear from yards, empty stretches of road suddenly felt much longer and much more dangerous. Wamsley, a lifelong resident of Point Pleasant, remembers what it was like to be a curious kid growing up in a town terrorized by a mysterious creature. He would ask questions but rarely got any answers. “They didn't like talking about it,” he says, recalling conversations he had with some of the original witnesses. “They didn't like reliving their story.”
The Mothman was last seen in Point Pleasant on Friday, December 15, 1967, a night that Point Pleasant, and the world, will never be able to forget. The night of the Silver Bridge collapse.
The Silver Bridge, which connected Ohio and West Virginia spanning the Ohio River, collapsed under the pressure of rush hour traffic, resulting in the deaths of 46 people. The collapse was credited to a single fault, a 0.1 inch crack on a single eye-bar. To this day, it is still the deadliest bridge disaster in United States history. The tragedy shocked the small town of Point Pleasant, and in their grief and confusion, people began to search for answers. Theories began to arise, drawing connections between the mysterious creature that had been terrorizing their town and the horrible tragedy that later befell them. Some believed it was an omen, a supernatural being sent to warn them; and others believed it was a winged demon, the result of a curse placed on the land over 200 years ago, sent to bring misery to the town’s inhabitants.
Over half a century after the Mothman’s terrifying reign over Point Pleasant, his intrigue lives on. There are still people who fear going out at night, still people searching for answers, and in some places, under the cold glow of the moon, there’s still the feeling that you’re being watched. “Even 50 years later,” Wamsley says, “I'll get emails of people saying, ‘Hey, we saw something the other night...something strange.’” And they aren’t alone. There have been numerous reports of a large, winged creature, hauntingly similar to the one described in hundreds of archived police reports in Point Pleasant, being spotted in numerous cities all over the United States.
Beware—because the feeling of being watched in the night, may be more than just a feeling after all.