The Mothman Legend Is SOOO Kentucky…but It’s West Virginia Folklore…Plus, There’s a Museum
While watching the movie The Mothman Prophecies years ago, I kept trying to make this about a Kentucky incident, but it's not.
The Mothman Legend Originates in West Virginia, Not Kentucky
The Mothman legend belongs to West Virginia, and more specifically, the small town of Point Pleasant. And the setting looks like any number of small Kentucky towns I've seen along the Ohio River in northern and eastern Kentucky. Funny thing is, it was filmed in Pennsylvania, which, I'm guessing, can bear a striking resemblance to both Kentucky AND West Virginia--films and TV series set in both states have been filmed in Pennsylvania.
And the creepy Mothman pairs well with any of the five Kentucky urban legends about which Angel recently wrote.
But enough about Kentucky. We just don't have this one. But Point Pleasant, despite being across the river from Ohio (I can't win), isn't THAT far a drive for anyone willing to indulge their otherworldly interests and visit a museum dedicated to the fabled monster.
What Locals Believe About the Mothman and a Tragic Bridge Collapse
And it's a monster that's been "credited" with having something to do with a bridge collapse in the late 1960s that killed 46 people.
Leading up to that tragedy, there had been reports of a large bird-like creature in the area in and around Point Pleasant. There's even a statue in the small town that's become a popular photo-op target for tourists.
Clearly, that's a pretty far-fetched connection and Jack Daly, a graduate instructor at Utah State University, pretty much says the same thing of the account. In fact, his take sports a slightly IRRITATED overtone. Here's more from a 2019 PBS documentary:
The Mothman Museum
It isn't clear if Daly has been to the Mothman Museum, but a folklorist who's delved into this story surely would make the pilgrimage, even if he DOES live in Logan, Utah.
And it's clear from checking out the museum's website that while older residents in and around Point Pleasant might still take the Mothman legend seriously, much like Roswell in New Mexico, business owners have tourism dollars in mind and it looks like they clean up in the process.
I'm just going to have to go. Cryptozoology fascinates me. It's like there's a whole world of X-Files episodes out there waiting to be investigated.