The Official Website of the State of West Virginia

Wild and wonderful folklore of West Virginia


From the world’s largest ball of paint in Alexandria, Indiana to the Sputnik crash site in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, the fabled 2003 Mothman statue of Point Pleasant, West Virginia remains in my own heart one of the most singular examples of road-side Americana strangeness. 

Commemorating the wintertime 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge into the Ohio River and the supposed intercession in that tragic event by the terrifying, supernatural cryptid known as the Mothman, and the titular creature is rendered by sculptor Bob Roach in twelve-feet of winged metal, two glowing red hubcap-sized eyes peering out from the sides of the monster’s insectoid head. 

“They are not from here,” writes paranormalist John Keel in his pulpy classic The Mothman Prophecies, “There is no need for them to be. They have always been here.” However literally you want to take Keel’s contention, it’s at least true that something like the Mothman has always been with us as a way of using the collective language of metaphor and imagination to render our loves and hates, desires and fears into narratives that impart meaning.

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