Monday, July 16, 2018


        Recently, a friend of mine brought this creature to my attention when I was talking to her about this class, so I knew I had to write about it for one of my posts. Cryptozoology and cryptids are one of my favorite paranormal topics, yet I was disappointed in myself for never having heard of Mothman—who is actually really popular! New Jersey has the Jersey Devil, Puerto Rico brought us the Chupacabra legend, and West Virginia has Mothman. The Mothman legend first started on November 12, 1966 when five men at a cemetery who were digging a grave claimed to have seen a “brown human being.” Soon after on November 15 of the same year, a couple driving past a TNT plant claimed to see the creature as well as it followed their car with glowing red eyes. Even more reports of Mothman sightings came in after that, continuing on for quite a while and even being linked to other incidents (and even some supposed UFO sightings).

        Most interesting about this cryptid legend, I found, is its popularity. In 2002, Point Pleasant, West Virginia actually held a festival for the Mothman creature, and it is now an annual event. There is even a Mothman museum! Talk about embracing a local legend. The popularity of Mothman led to a book and movie of the same name, “The Mothman Prophecies,” a SyFy channel movie, appearances in video games (“Castlevania” and the Japanese role-playing game “SMT” series), and a number of books. It’s amazing how popular the creature became after its first sighting, and how it continues to be a big attraction even when there is no tangible proof of its existence (besides hearsay and supposed sightings) to this day.

        Check out Buzzfeed Unsolved's episode on Mothman! (For some interesting facts, further background information on the cryptid, and a lot of laughs.)


  1. Hi Marie,

    I liked reading your post about the Mothman in relation to cryptozoology! I think it's interesting that most of these cryptid origin stories are spread mostly based on sightings and claims rather than true actual encounters. I feel like at some point in places that consider it, local legend, these cryptid stories become heuristics for locals to an area like Point Pleasant, and eventually become a figment of truth. I think it would be interesting for actual, concrete evidence studies to be conducted to determine the validity of things like the Jersey Devil and the Mothman. Overall, I enjoyed reading your post!

  2. Hi Marie,
    I really enjoyed reading your post. Just like you, cryptozoology and cryptids has been one of my favorite paranormal topics. Having heard of only a few mythical creatures, I haven’t heard of Mothman. Even though it is interesting to believe in these types of creatures, often times their stories are made up based on what people have seen or heard. Also, most of the time, the stories that have been passed down are altered by the people who tell them. However, it is so interesting to see how much popularity these types of creatures have gotten over the years, it’s so fascinating to learn that there are even festivals such as the one held for Mothman.

  3. I have never heard of Mothman either, but I really enjoyed your post! It is very interesting to me that a rare sighting by a few individuals can spark events such as annual events and movies. I think some of these creatures start as scary stories and the fact they can gain such popularity is what keeps the legend around. I would love to look into more stories in cryptozoology and I found your post very interesting!

  4. I have never heard of the Mothman. It is so ridiculous that West Virginia has a festival for the creature. People believe in the Mothman even though there is no evidence that it exists. They prefer to believe in fantasies and legends than in the real world.