For the month of October, I am featuring monsters and legends that have fascinated me. This week it’s the Mothman.
The creature that came to be known as the Mothman was first sighted in November 1966 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. A pair of couples driving at night described being attached by a creature that looked like a flying man with glowing red eyes.
Over the course of the next year, the creature was sighted many times. It was reported to chase cars, cause electrical interference, be complicit in at least one pet’s disappearance, an lurk outside of houses at night. Other phenomena such as poltergeists and encounters with “men in black” were reported.
The tragic event that the Mothman came to be linked with is the collapse of The Silver Bridge on December 15th, 1967. Forty-four people died when the structure gave way during the evening commute when their vehicles plunged into the Ohio River. Reports of the creature tapered off after this event, but the occasional sighting occurs to this day.
What was the Mothman? No one is sure. Explanations have been as mundane as a Sandhill Crane or a Barn Owl to as exotic as an alien or the curse of Chief Cornstalk. It has inspired books, movies, and a festival. The Mothman is now imbedded in our culture and will not be flying off anywhere.