Red Eyed Creature? Mothman?
In the early 1960's, Shirley Hensley and her family lived on the outskirts of Huntington, West Virginia. Their house was located on Crotty street also known as 31st Street Hill. Shirley said that she and her family would often hear odd noises and see "two big, red eyes".
It was around 1961 and continued through 1964. I was married in 1964 and then Mom and Dad moved away from there." Shirley told local author Jeff Wamsley when interviewed.
"I didn't realize that other people did not live the way that we did. We had an outhouse, and burnt wood and coal for heat, and basically lived in a shack. We existed from day to day. I am the oldest of nine children and when something like this happens, - you just think that it is just another part of your life. We felt fortunate if a lot of time would pass before we heard this thing again. We not only could hear it, but it went around the house and it would bump up against the side of the house."
"We had plastic covering the windows instead of real glass windows. There was one very big window, and whatever this thing was, could have just come right through it if it had wanted to. You could hear the grunting noise as it bumped up against the house and the leaves crackling - [as it walked.] We could also hear a gargling type of sound, and then a very loud scream would come out...and it was a blood-curdling scream like nothing I had ever heard before or since."
"We all took turns getting the water [from the well], and we had a rule that we had to get the water in before dark - that is when this thing always came around. We never saw it in the daylight, so everyone knew that they had to bring in the water before dark. If you didn't do it then it didn't get done."
"It would come around one or two nights for about three weeks, and then it would go away. This went on for about three years."
"At first, my parents had other things on their mind other than this stuff they called foolishness. The first time I ever heard it was near an old flatbed truck - in the road in front of our house. I had a boyfriend who would visit me at that time, and - we would sit in the cab of that truck and talk. We - heard something bump up against the truck from underneath, and a loud scream. - We - jumped out of the truck and ran into the house."
"A few days later my mother and I, along with a couple of my brothers and sisters, went to the well to get some water. Behind the well were some large bushes and [trees]. When she dropped the bucket in the well, we heard that familiar scream coming from the area where the bushes were. She grabbed us and told us all to run to the house. That was the first time my mother heard it."
"I remember it was in the fall, because I was dating my husband at that time, and my father told me I had to be home by dark, so I would always be home by about 6pm. I had just walked up our driveway and opened the front door, and my mother ran into the room. She was frantic and told me to get in the house, because they had heard that thing again. She said that my family had gone out to get my other two sisters who were outside playing. Dad said he had heard it scream, and after pushing my two sisters into the house, he hunkered down by the door."
"Just out from our front porch was our neighbor's coal pile. He said he could hear it scrambling in the coal pile, so he stuck his arm in our door and told our neighbor Delmer to hand him a gun. Delmer's son handed dad out a .22 rifle. Dad always hated the fact that it was only a .22 and that it couldn't do much damage - if in fact he did get a good shot at it. He pulled the gun up to shoot, and as he watched, he could see two large red eyes coming up over the coal. He shot at it and it let out a loud scream and started running towards the hill."
When asked how her father described the red eyes, Shirley replied "He said they looked like red bicycle reflectors".
"Dad was a little angry, because he had told my sister Mary to stay in the house, but she had witnessed the whole thing while standing behind him. She said it was a big, tall black shiny thing with big red eyes. Dad described it as at least 7 feet tall, and that it had very long arms that went down past its knees and that when it ran up the hillside the arms stayed down at its side. He said it ran in an awkward manner."
"People tried to tell him that what we [were] hearing and seeing was a panther, but dad always said that a panther either screams like a woman or sounds like a baby crying. He said it was neither of those. He also dismissed it as being a screech owl of any sort."
"My two sisters would look for footprints or tracks and one day they found a big print in the dirt. Dad came out and looked at it, and said he had never seen any tracks that resembled that type of footprint before."
"We had two little hound dogs named Roscoe and Sluggo, and they stayed outside because we didn't keep dogs in the house. When we would hear this thing scream the dogs would - [come to] the door whimpering and terror stricken. When we would open the door - the hair on their back would be literally standing straight up in the air. They would - get under the covers on the bed and just sit there and shake."
"I was always amazed at the fact that whatever this thing was never hurt anyone. I think that it was as afraid of us as we were afraid of it."
The few people that Shirley and her family had confided in over the years had either laughed off their story or called them all crazy.
In 1966, Shirley heard about the reported sightings of the Mothman in Point Pleasant. The reports described a man with wings and red eyes. She began to wonder if the incidents were related. She told her story to Jeff Wasmsley, who published it in his 2005 book "Mothman...behind the red eyes".
Source: Mothman...behind the red eyes by Jeff Wamsley (Page 65)