The 11th Mothman Festival was held this weekend in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. I have been to the past four Festivals. Point Pleasant is a small town of 46oo residents along the Ohio River. For a town of that size it has a surprising amount of things to do [even when it isn’t Mothman Weekend}
The Top Dozen things to do at the Mothman Festival in no particular order. Most of this stuff is free!! Only the museums charge money and they are cheap tickets.
1. The guest speakers- Always a highlight of the festival. They open the old State Theater downtown and on Saturday from 11am-5pm and Sunday from noon until 4pm speakers on all kinds of the paranormal give hour long talks. Some are better than others. There are always more people at the festival on Saturday so it always seems like the better speakers are there on that day. Saturday Chad Lambert kicked it off as he usually does. Chad is the creator of the “Return To Point Pleasant” comic, among other things. He talked about his experiences. At noon Jeff Waldridge talked about government conspiracies. 1pm-Stan Gordon on UFO’s and Big Foot in Pennsylvania. His talk was exhausting, so much info in one hour! 2pm-Rosemary Guilley another regular at the festival, talking about the Monsters of West Virginia [which is the subject of her new book} at 3pm- another regular Susan Sheppard -spoke on Newell Partridge and Indrid Cold. At 4pm Mothman eye-witness Tom Ury was scheduled to speak but there was a change- some fellow-last name Fisher-who was going to talk on UFO’s in Pennsylvania. We were hungry at this point and left. We had heard enough about UFO’s in PA from Stan Gordon.
Sunday at noon- Joey Madia previewed a Mothman play. After that we were exhausted and left for home. There were three other speakers lined up- Fritz Zimmerman-on Point Pleasant Skeletal Remains, Robin Bellamy-on the Haunted Lowe Hotel and Sharon Shull, the niece of reporter Mary Hyre-who did reporting on the Mothman when that was going on in Point Pleasant in the 1960’s
2.Miss Mothman Pageant- Starts things off Friday evening down by the Ohio River. Took 3 hours but was fun as always.
3.TNT Area Hayrides- Out at the TNT area where the Mothman was first sited in 1966. Cost is $5. We do this every year. The “Men In Black” are out there, you’ll see a few Mothmen…
4.The Point Pleasant River Museum- Tells the history of the Ohio River in the area. A lot about the Silver Bridge tragedy. The Silver Bridge collapsed in December 1967, killing 46 people. Nice little museum located near Tu-Endie Wei.
5. The Mothman Museum- They keep the Mothman archives here. A lot of stuff here, clippings from the newspapers, stuff from the Mothman Prophesies movie, documentaries that you can sit and watch. Worth the $3 entry fee.
6. Mothman Movies at the State Theater. On Saturday nights the past few years they have shown movies- 6pm the excellent documentary “The Eyes Of The Mothman” and at 9pm- “The Mothman Prophesies” which in my opinion is a bunch of garbage.
7. Guided Tour of Mothman Sites- We haven’t done this in a couple of years. From the Mothman Museum they take you on a tour of the Mothman sites- including the infamous TNT area.
8. The Tram Ride of Downtown Point Pleasant a half hour ride around the downtown area, you hear stories of the Battle of Point Pleasant, Chief Cornstalk, Daniel Boone, George Washington, floods, the Silver Bridge disaster.
9.The Floodwall Mural Paintings-the floodwall has been painted with scenes from Point Pleasant’s history. Awesome murals. They have a lot done- its great walking along looking at them and there is also statues of Andrew Lewis, Chief Cornstalk and Mad Ann Bailey along the way. The sad thing is they haven’t added anything in the past year. The city has run out of money to pay the artists-who came up from Lafayette, Louisiana each summer to work on it. Hope they get more funding. I love the Floodwall Murals.
10.The Vendors at the Mothman Festival-selling everything from t-shirts, books, crafts, posters, postcards, comic books,,,you name it. Interesting folks.
11.Tu-Endie Wei State Park- WV smallest State Park. The Battle of Point Pleasant is highlighted here. Chief Cornstalk and the Indians vs Andrew Lewis and the Colonials. A defeat for the Indians.
12.The Mothman Statue- Located downtown across from the Lowe Hotel. There always seems to be someone getting a picture of it or getting their picture taken with it. If the city someone got $1 for every photo they’d be rolling in the money.
13. The live music. Down along the river they have music each day in the afternoon. My favourite though is out at the TNT Hayride- every year the Mothman Band play and they are excellent. Classic rock.