Mothman Festival Attracts Thousands To Point Pleasant

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POINT PLEASANT, W. Va (WOUB) – Every third weekend in September, thousands of people flock to the streets of Point Pleasant, West Virginia to celebrate a local legend: the Mothman.

The Mothman Festival attracts people from near and far to learn the history and hear the stories of the mysterious creature called the Mothman. Festival-goers can also buy Mothman-themed food, souvenirs, and crafts from vendors lining the streets.

Eric Fargiorgio, who traveled from Erie, Pennsylvania to sell his art at the festival, said this weekend is by far the best for his business.

“It’s worth it to come down here,” said Fargiorgio. “We always do really good. We sell more stuff here than any other convention we go to.”

Wallace Fetty, who lives in Point Pleasant, said the festival attracts more people and gets bigger every year.

“It’s brought a lot of people in town that normally wouldn’t be here,” Fetty said. “It’s the biggest festival we have each year.”

Jeff Wamsley, the curator of the World’s Only Mothman Museum, said this increase in tourism has been good for both the community and the economy.

“The tourism has sky-rocked,” Wamsley said. “People come here from all over the world, so that’s been a really good thing”

Melissa Roush, a Point Pleasant native, said the tourism has greatly improved the look and feel of the community.

“I’ve just noticed every time I come down here that the downtown is revitalized and more and more new shops,” said Roush. “It’s just really brought us all together”

The legend of the Mothman began in 1966 when people in the town started reporting sightings of a winged-type creature, said Wamsley. It was reported to resemble a large bird or a man-like creature with wings.

In 1975, author John Keel wrote The Mothman Prophecies, which was turned into a movie in 2002. Keel claimed that Mothman arrived in Point Pleasant to warn of the Silver Bridge collapse, which happened on December 15, 1967, killing 47 people.

Wamsley said its story that attracts a worldwide audience to Point Pleasant each year.

“Fifty years later, people are still enthralled about what is was that people were actually seeing,” said Wamsley.

The first Mothman Festival took place in 2002 and Roush said it united the community in light of the disaster.

“They’ve taken the tragedy out of it and turned it into something that we can remember,” said Roush.

For more images from the Mothman Festival, click here.