For decades, the legend of the Mothman has flourished in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Now some residents want to replace controversial statues of historical figures with their favorite winged cryptid.
In 1966, people in West Virginia began seeing a man-like figure with wings. A group of grave diggers from Clendenin appear to be the first to ever see the Mothman, but the story gained traction when two young couples from Point Pleasant described an eerily similar creature to the police.
Although details varied, most sightings involved massive wings and glowing, reflective eyes. Some officials insisted the sightings could be explained by an unusually large heron or crane.
Then the Silver Bridge collapsed, and nothing was ever the same for the residents of Point Pleasant.
46 people died when the suspension bridge collapsed. People began wondering if the sightings of the strange cryptid for six months before the tragedy were meant as some kind of warning. That idea inspired John Keel’s book The Mothman Prophecies.
Mothman is a source of pride for West Virginia residents. In a state that has seen more than its fair share of adversity, Mothman is something unique that they can call their own.
The 12-foot statue of Mothman (complete with killer abs) was unveiled in 2003 in Point Pleasant, a year after the first Mothman Festival. We’re not 100% sure why sculptor Bob Roach lavished so much attention on those abs. Don’t even get me started on the rear view!
Locals and tourists can visit the Mothman Museum and Research Center (run by the gentleman in the video above) and learn more about their hometown horror-turned-mascot.
Sadly, this year’s festival has been canceled because of the pandemic. Over 10,000 people flood the West Virginia town every year for the event, and organizers felt that they would not be able to adapt to social distancing guidelines. However, they promised a bigger-than-ever 20th anniversary festival next year.
The change.org petition to tear down West Virginia’s Confederate monuments explains why these statues are so harmful to the communities where they stand.
“Confederate monuments serve as rallying points for those that hold on to belief systems rooted in bigotry and racial supremacy, and do not embody the ideas or values of Richmond, Virginia, or the United States. They were wrong when they were installed, and they are just as wrong today. They have no place in our public spaces and THEY MUST COME DOWN!“
A local resident suggested that the Civil War traitors should be replaced by a local legend instead.
The tweet went viral, with others amplifying Brenna’s idea.
Could this start a trend? As protestors topple statues of Confederate generals and slave traders, could we see Bigfoot or the Florida Skunk Ape raised in their place?
Obviously, it would be better to erect monuments of Black heroes like Harriet Tubman or Frederick Douglass. But if the choice is between Confederates and Mothman, I’ll take the winged terror every time.