West Virginia December 04, 2017
The One Paranormal Festival In West Virginia That Will Spook You Into Oblivion
Some paranormal festivals are fairly general, dealing with ghosts and other unusual phenomenon. Others are more specific, choosing to focus on a single aspect of the paranormal, like haunted buildings. But there is one festival in West Virginia that is very specific, tied into some truly spooky events that occurred for a period of 13 months in 1966 and 1967. It was a period in West Virginia where the city of Point Pleasant was terrified by a winged creature with red eyes, an unusual amount of UFO sightings and mysterious men dressed in black. Every year, the Mothman Festival takes the time to commemorate these spooky events.
It all started on November 15, 1966.
That night, two couples were driving down a road toward their homes in Point Pleasant when they encountered a humanoid creature with giant wings and glowing red eyes. For the next 13 months, the name Mothman became familiar to every resident in the area, and sightings were occurring all the time.
During that time, strange lights and objects were seen in the sky on such a regular basis, that every night people would flock to a hill in nearby Gallipolis Ferry to view them.
Then there were the Men in Black. Strange men with unusual features and mannerisms who would visit people who had reported personal experiences with these strange phenomena and warn them to not to speak about their experiences again. They did not claim to be government officials or to represent any governmental body. Some were short, others were tall. Some of them would exhibit strange behavior and behave in bizarre ways. A reporter named Mary Hyre recalled an incident at The Point Pleasant Register when she was visited by a short man dressed in black. He told her to stop writing about the strange occurrences in the city. The man wore a short sleeve shirt despite the 30 degree weather, kept one hand in his pocket the entire time and never blinked his eyes. Hyre later said she felt like she was speaking to an alien disguised as a human being.
To commemorate these events, The Mothman festival is held every year.
While many people have fun and enjoy good food, they are also reminded of these truly spooky events that cannot be explained away as a few isolated incidents.
Festival goers can learn a great deal about these events in the Mothman Museum, which has displays comprised of hundreds of artifacts, drawings and news clippings related to the event.
It also includes a viewing room where folks can watch a documentary about those harrowing 13 months. The incidents were very common, reported by respected people from all walks of life who were not known for outrageous claims or eccentric behavior of any kind. These were normal people, thrust into a very abnormal series of events.
But many people believe that the strange occurrences go back much farther than 1966.
In 1777, Chief Cornstalk of the Shawnee was captured and later killed—along with his son and two other Native Americans—by soldiers at Fort Randolph, just a few miles from what is now Point Pleasant. As he lay dying, the legend says that Cornstalk cursed the land for 200 years.
In the two centuries that followed, the region around Point Pleasant had its share of bad luck, including floods, fires, accidents and lightning strikes on clear days.
The Mothman incidents are considered the strongest manifestations of this alleged curse—incidents that came to a sudden end with an unexpected tragedy. On Dec. 15, 1967, 13 months to the day that the Mothman first appeared, The Silver Bridge—spanning across the Ohio River between Point Pleasant and Kanauga, Ohio—collapsed, taking with it the lives of 46 people.
After the bridge fell, the UFO sightings stopped, the Men in Black disappeared and the Mothman was never seen in Point Pleasant again.
But its legacy remains...
Do you know of any other festivals in WV that commemorate the paranormal? Let us know by by leaving a comment below.
To learn more about Point Pleasant and its paranormal past, check out