Do You Know The Story of The Mothman From Point Pleasant West Virginia?
Paranormal activity is nothing new to anyone living in the 21st century. Even before reality TV became commonplace entertainment, people would talk about mysterious happenings that no one could explain.
In an online forum, people reminisced about the terrible Silver Bridge collapse of 1967 in Point Pleasant, WV, and the 2002 movie The Mothman Prophecies, based on true events. Here is what people had to say about the Mothman lore.
The Mothman Story
The story of the Mothman goes that in 1966 people started seeing a winged creature that resembled a “man with wings.” The people of Point Pleasant were captivated by the sightings of the creature. However, a professor of wildlife biology at West Virginia University, Dr. Robert L. Smith attributed it to sightings of a Sandhill Crane, but not everyone believed it was a bird…
Fast forward to December 15th, 1967, and pre-Christmas shopping was at its peak, bringing many shoppers across the Silver Bridge on a cold winter night. The strained and stressed bridge collapsed, causing 31 vehicles to fall into the water below. The bridge’s failure killed 46 and injured nine, but the cause of the collapse had people questioning the events of that frigid winter night.
A Local’s Take
Whenever a report of a paranormal encounter comes in, it’s always interesting to have a resident’s take on what may or may not have happened.
One forum viewer said this about the Silver Bridge collapse and the Mothman prophecy: “I lived across the river from here and visited the Mothman Museum out of curiosity. I also had a professor who was adamant that she had seen the Mothman. So while I don’t particularly believe there was something paranormal, I do think there was SOMETHING.”
Undoubtedly, The Mothman Prophecies movie leans toward horror and suspense, especially given the real-life events the story is based upon. While the Silver Bridge collapse was terrible in its own right, one movie lover thought the film starring Debra Messing was cringe-worthy.
They said this about the Sony Pictures Entertainment release: “Unsettling is a good way. No real gore monsters. Just a slow burn creepy…movie.”
Book is Better
Anyone who has ever read a book and then watched a movie based on said book usually admits that the book is much better. This instance is no different.
Someone who read The Mothman Prophecies by John A. Keel and then watched the motion picture said this: “The book is even better. (I love) the bottomless rabbit hole of conspiracies around the Mothman.”
Tragedy or Delight
Sometimes it’s hard to reconcile a tragedy like the Silver Bridge collapse with the entertainment value of the Mothman legacy, but Point Pleasant has tried to do just that. Opening a Mothman Museum and telling the story of the bridge’s failure offers both fun and a hard dose of reality.
One visitor said this about their trip to the Mothman Museum: “I just visited Point Pleasant two weeks ago and went to the Mothman Museum. The sections about Mothman and the “Men in Black” were fascinating, interesting, and fun. The section about the bridge collapse was so tragic and brings you to tears.”
For those who like spooky stories like that of Mothman, diving deeper into the tale is an essential part of the enjoyment. Joking about the story, despite its tragic source material, is like therapy.
One participant said this about Mothman’s value as a therapy tool, “Mothman is my emotional support cryptid, and we’ve been to West Virginia for the museum and the Mothman Festival held every year.”
Sometimes a legend is nothing more than a misinterpretation of a fact. For one forum poster, this is precisely what the Mothman is.
“I had an owl fly at my car a few months ago, late at night. I knew immediately it was an owl, but it was so big, silent, and fast that it was still unnerving and surprising. Having experienced this, I don’t doubt that an owl following a car was the origin of the Mothman legend and that this is all there ever really was to it.”
In the movie, the Mothman was thought to be warning residents in Point Pleasant of impending disaster. According to one forum commenter, it’s not the only time it’s happened. They said this about Mothman’s penchant for warning people of future terrible events.
People often turn to religion for answers when strange events or paranormal activities occur. What happens when religious leaders don’t have a clear-cut answer?
Here’s what one woman had to say about her experience. “My husband is from WV. We asked his grandfather, who is a Baptist minister, and absolutely does not believe in any kind of paranormal stuff whatsoever, what he thought about Mothman. His exact words were, ‘I don’t know what that was, but those people saw something weird.’ I tend to feel the same way.”
Out of This World
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, a show called The Twilight Zone aired on TV and explored the idea of parallel dimensions and otherworldly occurrences. If the show hadn’t ended in 1964 and developers needed source material for episodes, they could have taken the Mothman myth as fodder.
The original poster to the online panel thought it was certainly imaginative. “Maybe it’s from another dimension – a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the twilight zone!”
Truth and Fiction
No matter what you believe about the Mothman, the fact that 46 people died in a horrible bridge collapse is enough to cement this into the history books as a truly devastating and preventable accident. Whether or not a mythical creature predicted or caused it has yet to be confirmed with any substantial evidence. That doesn’t, however, stop believers from attributing it to Mothman.
Featured image courtesy of Jasper AI