When I was a little kid, my Mawmaw LOVED her some tent revivals. We would travel far and wide to hear Brother So-And-So preach the gospel. On one particular trip we found ourselves in Pt Pleasant. The sermon was fire and brimstone and souls were brought forward and saved that night. Upon returning home, I heard Mawmaw discuss the story of the Mothman (as described to her by another tent-goer). The story was demonic in nature and one to be feared. Fast forward a week or two. I was watching cartoons and my uncle (not too much older than me) walked into the TV room and flipped the channels. A rip roar of a fight and one helluva tantrum (from me) later – Mawmaw walks into the room and suddenly realizes that I must be possessed by the same demons that brought forth the Mothman. After all, we were right there and it WAS possible the demons crept up on me unawares. So, my uncle (who started the whole ordeal) was ordered to hold me down while she prayed the demons outta me. He smiled down at me, knowing he had won this battle and it sent me into a further fury. The whole time Mawmaw’s prayers grew louder and louder, I grew madder and madder. I remember stomping out of the house that day and into the yard to plot some nefarious revenge, thinking that my temper got the better of me. So, I can honestly say, I have been the recipient of an exorcism.
The story of the Mothman is an unusual one. The creature is a cryptid – an animal cryptozoologists (yes, that is a word) believes exists but has not had its existence proven within the scientific community. The Mothman was “seen” in Pt Pleasant, West Virginia between November 15, 1966 and December 15, 1967. The Point Pleasant Register published a story titled “Couple Sees Man Sized Bird” on November 16, 1966.
1966-Nov 16th Mr and Mrs Raymond Wamsley along with Marcella Bennett and her baby Teena encountered the Mothman on the way to visit friends. They described the creature as having glowing red eyes and gray in color. They described the creature rising off the ground, as if in flight. When they ran into the home to call authorities, the creature glared at them through the window.
1966-Nov 16th A man claims his dog was killed and left in a field after being taken by the Mothman
1966-Nov 26th Ruth Foster claimed to see the Mothman standing in her front yard in Charleston, West Virginia but by the time she was able to call her for her brother, the creature was gone.
1967-Dec 15th Multiple sightings happened throughout 1967. The Final Sighting came on Dec 15th. The Silver Bridge, which connected Pt Pleasant to Ohio, collapsed into the Ohio River. It would later be determined that the cause of the collapse was a single eye-bar malfunction in the suspension chain. Forty-six people lost their lives in the collapse. Immediately following the collapse, all sightings came to a halt.
For a more extensive timeline, click here: http://themothman.wikia.com/wiki/The_Mothman_Timeline
The long and short of it per Wikipedia:
On November 12, 1966, five men who were digging a grave at a cemetery near Clendenin, WV, claimed to see a man-like figure fly low from the trees over their heads. This is often identified as the first known sighting of what became known as the Mothman.
Shortly thereafter, on November 15, 1966, two young couples from Point Pleasant, Roger and Linda Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette, told police they saw a large white creature whose eyes “glowed red” when the car headlights picked it up. They described it as a “large flying man with ten-foot wings”, following their car while they were driving in an area outside of town known as the TNT area, the site of a former World War II munitions plant.
During the next few days, other people reported similar sightings. Two volunteer firemen who sighted it said it was a “large bird with red eyes”. Mason County Sheriff George Johnson commented that he believed the sightings were due to an unusually large heron he termed a “shitepoke”. Contractor Newell Partridge told Johnson that when he aimed a flashlight at a creature in a nearby field its eyes glowed “like bicycle reflectors”, and blamed buzzing noises from his television set and the disappearance of his German Shepherd dog on the creature. Wildlife biologist Dr. Robert L. Smith at West Virginia University told reporters that descriptions and sightings all fit the sandhill crane, a large American crane almost as high as a man with a seven-foot wingspan featuring circles of reddish coloring around the eyes, and that the bird may have wandered out of its migration route. This particular crane was unrecognized at first because it was not native to this region.
After the December 15, 1967, collapse of the Silver Bridge and the death of 46 people, there were no further reports of Mothman sightings, giving rise to legends that the Mothman sightings and the bridge collapse were connected.