The Mothman Terrorized West Virginia In The 1960s


The mythical Mothman creature is one of those creepy urban legends which is based off a real encounter. The first time anyone had ever heard of the Mothman was back in 1966 when five gravediggers working in Clendenin, West Virginia, noticed something strange fly over their heads. All five men were working in the cemetery at the time and described looking up to see a “brown human being” fly past directly overhead. They described seeing the creature glide from tree to tree and so The Mothman legend was born.

Three days after the cemetery encounter the creature was spotted again but this time in nearby Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Two couples were sitting in one car when they noticed a seven foot tall white-winged creature standing in front of them. Roger Scarberry and Steve Mallett reported the sighting to local newspaper, The Point Pleasant Register, and described the creature as having bright red glowing eyes and a large wingspan of around ten feet.

Within three days after this encounter, eight more Mothman sightings were reported in the Point Pleasant area. Two firefighters claimed to have seen what they thought was a large bird with fiery glowing red eyes flying around the area. Dr. Robert L. Smith, who was professor of wildlife biology at West Virginia University, dismissed the claims that a flying red eyed monster was staking the town and put all the sightings down to a large sandhill crane.


One creepy Mothman sighting was reported by West Virginia resident Newell Partridge, who told of seeing strange shapes and patterns appear on his television screen one night. While his television was playing up he heard strange sounds outside so went to investigate what was going on. Once outside his home, Partridge pointed his flashlight towards the direction of the strange sounds and saw two red eyes shining back at him. The story is a popular one among Mothman tales as the encounter resulted in the disappearance of Partridge’s dog adding weight to the story.

Since these sightings have taken place the legend of the Mothman has grown and become a cult worldwide. The Mothman creature has been likened to something from the supernatural realm, a flying demon that shows itself when death is near. The creature was connected to the collapse of the Silver Bridge on December 15, 1967, which resulted in the deaths of 46 people. Even though the disaster was said to have occurred due to bad welding, many locals put it down to the presence of this demonic flying creature terrorizing West Virginia.

The Mothman has since been linked to more disasters worldwide including the 1986 nuclear Chernobyl Disaster. People reported seeing a strange looking winged creature flying over the town on numerous occasions before the disaster struck at the power plant. Workers at Chernobyl also allegedly saw the same winged creature flying over the nuclear plant. Oddly, those who claimed they saw the creature were reportedly plagued by nightmares and harassed by strange threatening phone calls soon after. The creature was named “the Black Bird of Chernobyl.”


The Mothman can be seen in Point Pleasant, West Virginia today, thanks to a 12-foot tall chrome statue being erected in honor of the mythical beast.