Written by Kai Sanchez
In the heart of Appalachia the legend of the West Virginian Mothman is as iconic as a superhero. The enigmatic creature, with its striking red eyes and dark silhouette, has become an enduring symbol of the region and is my favorite cryptid of all time. After an entire lifetime of learning the history of different cryptids, none have captured my heart quite like he has.
The Mothman was first sighted in November of 1966 in the small town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Two couples: Roger and Linda Scarberry, and Steve and Mary Mallette, told police about a large black creature on the side of the road with glowing red eyes. They claimed it was seven feet tall and had large white wings. Terrified, the couples drove off and claimed they were pursued by the creature to the city’s limit. After this, the Point Pleasant Register published an article titled “Couples See Bird…Creature…Something” leading to more people coming forward with stories and kickstarting the spread of the legend.
What I love about Mothman is the cultural significance he has garnered over the years. The Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant takes place over the third weekend of September every year. I have a few friends who’ve gone to it, and I am endlessly jealous of them. It’s on my bucket list to attend before I graduate. The festival shows off Mothman’s enduring mythos, transforming him into a beloved symbol of community and shared fascination.
Furthermore, the Mothman’s presence has seeped into popular culture, making appearances in literature, films, and even inspiring works of art. I was introduced to Mothman via a Youtube docu-series that discussed the history and lore surrounding him. In the years following he’s become a staple in my life; I’ve been gifted plushies, tapestries, and I might genuinely get him tattooed on my arm. While I’m not sure if I believe Mothman genuinely exists, I admit I’m enamored with him.