By Erich Zuelch

The Mothman Festival is a festival held in mid to late September in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, based around the myth of the Mothman. Mothman is a cryptid, animal not yet proven to be real, that terrorized the town and surrounding areas from 1966 to 1967. Some speculate that Mothman was responsible for the collapse of the Silver Bridge on December 15th, 1967. In recent years, Mothman is believed to have been sighted in Chicago. Some believe it may also be the Black Bird of Chernobyl, a creature seen before the meltdown of the fourth reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear power plant in Soviet Ukraine in 1986. Sightings have continued on rare occasions into the modern day.

West Virginia Mothman Festival Postponed Due To Virus Outbreak | WVPB
A photo of a statue of a silver Mothman. In the background, you can see a street festival

The festival was started in September 2002, the same year that the film The Mothman Prophecies premiered. The festival draws in crowds that doubles Point Pleasant’s population. Activities include speakers on topics such as cryptozoology, ufology, and ghosts. Food stands and band stands are also present. I went to the festival in 2018, it was great. I got a commemorative t-shirt from the Mothman Museum, I walked around the town, I attended lectures on the Flatwoods Monster, a mysterious being sighted in Central West Virginia; the Skunk Ape, a Bigfoot like creature sighted in Florida; and extraterrestrial life. I asked questions during two of the lectures. During the Skunk Ape lecture, I asked if Bigfoot was capable of speaking or just mimicking human speech. The presenter speculated they just mimic. During the extraterrestrial lecture, I asked if they were harvesting human DNA for cloning purposes, and the presenter thought they were. I even saw two cryptozoologists, Ken Gerhard and Lyle Blackburn, present the pilot of a show they were trying to pitch, American Monster Tour, that has unfortunately not been picked up. I really enjoyed the experience.

The Mothman Festival is both a street fair and a gathering of the believers in the paranormal. It offers both a fun family activity as well as a chance to learn of what may be out there. I enjoyed attending the lectures and exploring the town. I learned a lot about cryptozoology during that trip. The Mothman Festival is an enjoyable and educational experience.

Edited by avanicole23

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