The Mothman (A true story)

This story is one of many found in a book called "The Little Giant Book of 'True' Ghost Stories" See Scary Reviews/Books for more info.

Strange things sometimes happen that can turn a simple event into a nightmare.

On November 16, 1966, around 9PM, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Wamsley invited their friend Marcella Bennett and her two year old daughter Tina to join them in a surprise visit to their friends the Thomases. The Wamsleys lived in a little town in the West Virginia countryside. Ralph Thomas lived up the road in the midst of woodlands.

The Wamsley party drove down the dirt road towards their destination. On the way, they had to pass an area formerly used by the Army for storing explosives. The cement domes, or igloos, built to contain the explosives were abandoned. They stood empty. The deserted place had an eerie feel about it. However, as the Wamsleys drove by, they noticed a strange red light hovering over one of the igloos. Not having any idea of what it was, Richard Wamsley stepped on the gas and sped away. Soon after, they reached the Thomas house and parked in front.

Marcella Bennett was the first to jump out of the car, carrying her sleeping daughter. At that instant, a figure began to rise slowly behind the car. Marcella thought it must have been lying on the ground when it was disturbed by their arrival. Unable to move, she stared at it as it loomed before her. It was the shape of a man, but huge and gray with great wings folded on its back. And it had large red eyes that glowed in the dark.

Marcella collapsed, dropping her child who screamed in pain and terror. The Wamsleys were as terrified as Marcella. They jumped out of the car and raced for the Thomas house. Behind them, Marcella broke through the spell that she was under, snatched up Tina, and rushed after them. The were let into the house by three of the Thomas children, who said their parents were not at home.

Ralph Wamsley locked the door behind them and made for the telephone. Excited by the hysteria of the older people, the children rushed to the window and looked out. They saw the strange gray monster shuffling onto the porch.

By the time the police arrived, the creature had disappeared. However, the Mothman, as it came to be called by the press, continued to make numerous appearances elsewhere in West Virginia. Throughout November, witnesses in five counties phoned Law Enforcement agencies to report sightings of the Mothman.


Five days later, Richard West, who lived in Charleston, West Virginia, phoned on the evening of November 21 to describe a "Batman" that was sitting on the roof of a neighbor's home. The Batman, he said, must have been 6 feet tall, with a wingspan of some 6 to 8 feet. Besides it's great wings, the most distinguishing thing about it was it's pair of huge, red eyes.


Four days later, on November 25, Thomas Ury, who was driving along Route 62 at about 7:15 in the morning, phoned in to tell about a tall gray man standing in a nearby field. As he watched, the "man" spread a pair of huge wings, and flew straight up, like a helicopter. When it was about 150 feet above Ury's car, it began to circle over it. Ury, now driving at 75 MPH, could not shake the creature. He sped towards the only protection he could think of - Sheriff George Johnson at Point Pleasant. By the time he got there the Mothman was gone. But Ury was so unnerved he couldn't go to work that day.


The next day, on the evening of November 26, Mrs. Ruth Foster of St. Albans, West Virginia, phoned to say that the Mothman was standing on her front lawn beside the porch. It was tall and had a pinched face that didn't seem to have any other features except for huge, red eyes that seemed to pop out of it's head like the eyes of a crab.


At 10:30 on the Sunday morning of November 27, 18-year-old Connie Carpenter, who was driving home from church, came face-to-face with the Mothman, which almost caused her to have an accident.. That evening, the Mothman returned to St. Albans and chased two young girls, 13-year-old Sheila Cain and her little sister, as they ran screaming for home....

These are but a few of the reports phoned in to law enforcement agencies about the Mothman. More than 100 were received by the time the month came to an end.

What was this Mothman? Where had it come from? People began putting forth all kinds of explanations. Perhaps the Mothman was a bird from Prehistoric times. Perhaps it was some lost, almost extinct, species of human being or a mutation caused by gasses escaping from the isolated explosives area where it may have been making its home.

Scientists would have loved to examine that strange and terrifying creature. But they never got a chance. As suddenly as it appeared, the Mothman disappeared, leaving behind no footprints, no droppings, no signs of its visit... only questions.

Personally, I suspect the poor fellow was a shipwrecked alien, lost and lonely, and quite possibly starving to death if Earth food was incompatible with his biology. Whenever he got desperate and tried to make contact, the humans panicked like animals, even though he had harmed no one. He may indeed have been sheltering in those cold and lonely igloos... perhaps they reminded him of home?

If we think positively, he may have been rescued on December 1, since no more sightings were reported. Or perhaps his powerpack and/or his food gave out, and he went somewhere to die.

It is a shame we didn't give him a better welcome. But I wonder how you would have felt if he chose to peer through your bedroom window with those huge... glowing... red eyes...?