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About

The Mothman Museum was opened in 2005 by Jeff Wamsley. It is a museum dedicated to the Mothman of West Virginia folklore.

The museum is located right next to The Mothman statue on Main Street in Point Pleasant, The town in which the original 1966 -1967 Mothman sightings are said to have occurred.

Its the World's Only Mothman Museum and Shop, The #1 destination for Mothman fans and for things to do in Point Pleasant.

The Mothman Museum is the only place where you can see the largest collection of props and memorabilia from the movie "The Mothman Prophecies" and read rare historical documents from the Scarberry and Mallette Mothman eyewitnesses documenting what they experienced that fateful night on November 15th 1966.  

The museum contains rare press clippings and photographs of the Silver Bridge disaster and information about the historical figureheads of the Mothman legacy like John Keel, Mary Hyre, and the many eyewitnesses. The museum is open seven days a week from 12pm to 5pm, excluding major holidays. It is the premiere stop for Mothman fans and entry is $3.00 for adults and $1.00 for kids ages 10 and under.​
Moth147

The Mothman Museum Contains:

The Exhibits:

The TNT Area Exhibit

The first exhibit is about what locals refer to as The TNT Area or the McClintic Wildlife Management Area. This exhibit displays actual artifacts from the West Virginia Ordance works facility that took place in The TNT Area during World War II. 
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Many of the Mothman sightings are said to have taken place in or around The TNT Area leading people to think of it as Mothman's home or hideout.

On display in the museum is a miniature replica of the North Power Plant. The abandoned North Power Plant building was the location of several Mothman reports including the initial Scarberry and Mallette sighting which was the first to make local news in November of 1966.

The teens speculated that the creature, which locals then referred to as simply "The bird", lived in the North Power Plant. The building eventually came to be known as "The Bird House". Throughout 1966 and 1967 many West Virginia locals and sightseers flocked to the area in search of the monster. Volunteer police officers and firemen estimated that each car in the area had at least one gun.

In the exhibit is a miniature replica of Roger Scarberry's Black 1957 Chevy which the four teens were in during the encounter. There's also TNT area fuel tank, powder container and railroad stakes. Standing above it all is a gray Mothman figure.

A long poster beside the table features a Mothman illustration by Gary Gibeaut and details the Scarberry and Mallette sighting. It reads the following:

When it all began...
November 15th, 1966

On a dusty road in the TNT area, just outside of the 
little town of Point Pleasant, two young couples were 
driving by the old abandoned ammunitions plant 
(the North Power Plant) when something strange, unusual 
and terrifying caught their attention.

They described it as being around six or seven feet tall 
with hypnotic red eyes, and a wing span of 10 feet in 
width, "It was like a man with wings." Mallette said. 
Linda Scarberry compared it to looking like what some 
would describe as an angel.

Within seconds of seeing the winged being, they took off 
in Roger's 195[7] Chevy Bel Air, While exceeding speeds 
of over 100 miles an hour, they raced their way back 
toward town trying to escape the creature. But that 
didn't stop the "thing" from keeping up with them as 
he flew over top of their car, keeping right along with 
them as they sped straight to the Point Pleasant police 
office.

From that point on, things changed for Roger and Linda 
Scarberry and their friends, Steve and Mary Mallette, 
all because of the events of that fateful night on 
November 15th, 1966. They were never the same and some 
believe that night was the pinnacle event that resulted 
in more strange things to come for the small town of 
Point Pleasant...and it was.

The Mothman Claw Machine

The Museum features a black and green Mothman themed claw machine on display. The sides have Mothman illustrations on the glass and the top banner reads "Search For Mothman - Roam The TNT Area and hunt for the ever elusive winged creature known as Mothman".

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Dale Morton's Mothman Costume

Next is the Mothman costume created by Dale Morton. This costume stands as a photo opportunity in the Mothman Museum but is also used during the Mothman festival.

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Billboard Cut-Out Art

This art piece is a Mothman billboard with a cut-out for people to place their face into. Steps are located on the back. It reads "World's only Mothman Museum - Point Pleasant, West Virginia" and features art of Mothman chasing someone away, illustrated by Larry Blake.

Newspapers and Press Clippings

A large portion of the Museum is display frames preserving Mothman related press clippings from the 60's. These important news articles document the strange sightings and offer a glimpse back into the time in which these things were being reported. They give proper historical context to the legend and incite into the forming of the folklore. They remind us of the Mothman's roots as a social and cultural phenomenon.

These newspapers were provided to the Museum by Linda Scarberry, the display frames also house police reports written by her which detail her experiences.

The John Keel Exhibit

This exhibit is dedicated to John Keel, author of The Mothman Prophecies. The front table features a box of some John Keel books, including Our Haunted Planet and various editions of The Mothman Prophecies. There's John Keel magazine articles, Mothman related comic books, A Point Pleasant themed monopoly game, A Fate Magazine article about The Mothman Festival and letters from John Keel to Point Pleasant residents and witnesses. Some of these letters are addressed to Mabel McDaniel who is the mother of Linda Scarberry and also claimed to have encountered the Mothman herself.

This table of information also includes an old history textbook from Point Pleasant High School, where many of the Mothman witnesses went, including the Scarberry and Mallettes. The interesting thing about this textbook is that on Chapter 1 there is a sketch of the infamous Mothman supposedly drawn by Steve Mallette whom previously owned the book. George Dubbing later acquired the book provided it to the museum. He was a 16-year-old sophomore at the time of the Mothman reports.

The back table has frames of various John Keel and Mothman related documents including the original rough draft pages of The Mothman Prophecies, Keel autographs and photos, more Keel related articles, letters and newsprint, Mothman coloring books, comics and even a letter to John Keel from United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

The exhibit also contains the old Point Pleasant 30th Street sign. In the late 1960's during the Mothman reports, John Keel would often stay on this street at the homes of the eyewitnesses. It's also the street in which Museum curator Jeff Wamsley grew up.

The main focal point of the John Keel exhibit is a glass display case containing a white suit which John Keel wore to the 2nd Annual Mothman Festival in 2003. It was John Keel's last trip to Point Pleasant. He was the festival's guest of honor and was present during the unveiling of the Mothman statue. Surrounding the encased suit are photos of Keel wearing it during that festival. The Men In Black had met their mirror image with John Keel, The Man In White.

The long poster reads as following:

Who was
John Keel ?

In 1966 John Keel became hooked on the subject of 
UFOs. He traveled all over the country interviewing 
witnesses and conducting his own field research on 
the subject. But the paranormal activity that was 
overtaking the small town throughout 1966-1967 
resulting in Keel adopting that area as his own 
research microcosm. He had already received 
numerous reports of strange phenomena that 
people were experiencing in what he labeled as a 
UFO flap. As it turned out, Keel would not be 
disappointed with his selection of Point Pleasant.

Upon arriving in Point Pleasant, Keel soon finds 
the impossible coincidences and strange phenomena 
would follow him wherever he traveled. He would 
find the same thing to be happening with any of 
the eyewitnesses of the creature that was later 
dubbed "the Mothman."

Keel stayed in contact with some of the 
eyewitnesses for many years and would frequently 
travel back to Point Pleasant from his home in NYC 
to conduct more investigations. Keel himself never 
had a run in with the infamous Mothman, but he 
often would see strange lights over the town of 
Point Pleasant in which he claimed were real 
life UFOs.

Eight years later he published "The Mothman Prophecies" 
which was based on the events he experienced during his 
time in the small town. More than twenty years after 
that, a major motion picture was released based on 
his book.

The Mary Hyre Exhibit

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This exhibit features information about local reporter Mary Hyre who wrote about the odd happenings in Point Pleasant. The Museum doesn't have any of Mary Hyre's belongings so instead an old wooden desk, typewriter, phone, lamp and camera stand in place to convey to the visitor what it would be like to be a small town reporter in the late 1960's.

Mary was determined to figure out what was going on. She worked with John Keel, helping with his investigations and keeping him updated through correspondence. She claimed to have seen the weird lights in the sky on several occasions and even claimed to have been visited by mysterious Men In Black. The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel is dedicated "To Mary Hyre and the people of West Virginia".

The long poster reads as following:

Who was
Mary Hyre?

Mary Hyre was a reporter for the newspaper, "The Athens 
Messenger" and was the acting manager at their sister 
office on 6th Street in downtown Point Pleasant. During 
the Mothman and UFO sightings in Point Pleasant, Mary 
Hyre would often report the strange occurrences in her 
newspaper column called "Where the Waters Mingle." As a 
result, John Keel and Mary Hyre became associated 
together out of mutual interest in the paranormal 
happenings in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

She was often relentless in her endeavors to report the 
strange phenomenon going on in Point Pleasant. Some 
believed this led to the strange "Men In Black" paying 
her regular scheduled visits to her office in attempts 
of putting a stop to her released newspaper reports.

Her most notorious and well known stories were ones in 
which she regretted ever having to write, these were 
the numerous reports that she released on the collapse 
of the Point Pleasant Silver Bridge which killed 46 
people on a late December evening of 1967.

Mary Hyre died at 54 years of age and had worked for 
"The Athens Messenger" for 27 years. She was dedicated 
to her family, her career, her hometown, and to her 
interest of paranormal occurrences happening in 
Point Pleasant.
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The Men In Black Exhibit

The Men In Black of West Virginia folklore are featured in the Museum through dark suited mannequins as well as wall stickers depicting a classic John Keel phrase "Watch your back for the Men In Black". The MIB were supposedly part of the strange occurrences going on in Point Pleasant in '66 and '67 with several sightings reported of strange men in black suits attempting to silence people.

The long poster features a MIB illustration by Gary Gibeaut and reads as following:

Who were the
Men In Black ?

Who were these persons unknown that frequented the small 
town of Point Pleasant? Well let's start with the 
description of the MIB.

They are said to drive large and always black 
old-fashioned cars that resemble Lincolns and Cadillac's 
with strange logos and insignias.

The MIB were always impeccably dressed from head to toe, 
in black suits, white shirts, black ties, and black shoes 
which all appeared to be perfect in appearance. Their 
hair is jet black and shiny and their skin is said to be 
without blemish and some reports and have stated almost 
translucent. They are said to have had dark features. 
Some were reported as having an oriental or eastern 
European look with expressionless faces and movements 
that sometimes appear to have been robotic in nature.

They usually traveled in groups of two or three and had 
a knack for knowing things about the witnesses that they 
taunted, things that only the witnesses knew, there were 
even reports of them being masters of illusion by way of 
being able to make themselves appear and disappear 
without trace.

Some thought they were aliens. Some thoughts they were 
government agents. Some thought they were from a spiritual 
realm. Whoever they were, they left a strong impression on 
those who witnessed these mysterious men when they roamed 
the streets of Point Pleasant.

The Silver Bridge Exhibit

This exhibit is about The Point Pleasant Silver Bridge which collapsed on December 15th 1967. The exhibit features information and news clippings about the historical tragic event as well as structural information and even a piece of the bridge itself.

The long poster reads as following:

The Old
Silver Bridge

The general Corportation and the American Bridge Company 
constructed the Silver Bridge in 1928. It was designed 
as a two-lane eye-bar suspension bridge, measuring 2,235 
feet in total length. The bridge was designed under the 
specifications set forth by the American Society of 
Civil Engineers. The design criteria required was an 
H-15 load demand. The load demand is the weight 
restrictions and guidelines that the designing engineers 
must factor into their design considerations.

The bridge was dubbed the "Silver Bridge" because it was 
the country's first aluminum painted bridge. Some unique 
engineering techniques were featured on the Silver 
Bridge such as "High Tension" eye-bar chains, a unique 
anchorage system, and "Rocker" towers. The Silver Bridge 
was the first eye-bar suspension bridge of its type to 
be constructed in the United States.

On December 15, 1967 at approximately 5 p.m., the U.S. 
Highway 35 bridge connecting Point Pleasant, West Virginia 
and Kanauga, Ohio suddenly collapsed into the Ohio River, 
At the time of failure, thirty-seven vehicles were crossing 
the bridge span, and thrirty-one of those automobiles fell 
with the bridge. Forty-six individuals perished with the 
buckling of the bridge and nine were seriously injured.

Ironically, the Silver Bridge collapsed exactly thirteen 
months from the day of the original sighting of Mothman In 
Point Pleasant, which was on November 15th 1966, and it was 
the 13th eye-bar that resulted in the bridge's collapse.

The Mothman Movie Exhibit

In 2002 a movie was released loosely based on The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel.

When filming wrapped on The Mothman Prophecies movie, the producers auctioned off the film's props for charity. Butch Kane, of Kittanning Pennsylvania, purchased as many movie props and pieces that he could afford.

Once his collection was complete, he displayed it in his grocery store and later brought the prop collection to the town's Mothman Festival in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

In late 2005, after interest in the movie died down in Kittanning PA, Butch graciously donated his entire collection of Mothman movie props to the Mothman Museum where it was put on display for all to see.

The props include news and magazine articles about the movie, posters and photos autographed by the actors, police uniforms used in the movie, items used in the diner scene, the broken window from the car crash scene, Point Pleasant logos and license plates from the movie, prop debris from the bridge scene, Mothman drawings from the hospital scene, a blanket from the hotel scenes and even the Chapstick prop.

There's also the black Western Electric twelve button touch-tone desk phone with gray face-plate and added red light which was used during the dramatic telephone sequences of the movie. Although the film greatly differs from the source material, it certain increased interest in the Mothman legend.

The long poster reads as following:

The Movie
Versus Reality

The Mothman Prophecies differed in reality when compared 
side by side to the real Mothman legend.

The actual events that took place here in Point Pleasant, 
happened in 1966 and not in current, modern day times.

In the movie, 36 people died during the silver bridge 
collapse, when in reality, it was 46 people who perished 
when the bridge fell on December 15th, 1967. The Movie 
also said that the cause of the collapse was never 
explained, but it was later proven that a crack in the 
13th eye-bar was the reason for the collapse.

On numerous occasions, John Keel received several strange 
phone calls with odd sounds and warnings about impending 
disasters. The movie portrayed Richard Gere's character 
in the same way, although John Keel did not have an 
interaction with Indrid Cold.

The dreams about Christmas presents floating in a body 
of water did actually happen. It was local reporter and 
close friend of John Keel (Mary Hyre) who had these 
strange apparitions. When the bridge collapsed, it was 
during rush hour traffic two weeks before Christmas, 
at peek holiday shopping time.

Interesting Fact: It was John Keel who wrote the book 
"The Mothman Prophecies." In the movie, Alexander Leek 
is Keel spelled backwards.

Interesting Fact: The movie was filmed in Kittanning, Pa. 
No scenes were ever filmed in Point Pleasant.

Intresting Fact: The Point Pleasant police and fire 
department vehicles and personnel were actively used 
as extras and props in the movie.

The Carolin Harris Exhibit

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In 2017, an exhibit was added to the Mothman Museum in dedication to Carolin Harris who owned a local diner colloquially referred to as The Mothman Diner. The exhibit features the soda fountain counter and chairs from her restaurant which were donated by her family.

The backroom which houses these items also has a Mothman themed quilt sown by Constance Snyder on the wall as well as chairs and a television for viewing the 2002 "Search For The Mothman" Documentary which plays on repeat.

The long poster reads as following:

Who was
Carolin Harris?

Carolin Harris was the owner and proprietor of Harris Steak 
House, which later became known to many as the 
"Mothman Diner." She was like a mother to all, always 
smiling when she greeted her patrons, and the highlight 
for many was the time she took from her busy day to answer 
questions and tell stories about the legend of Mothman.

Harris Steak House and located on Main Street and was a 
living time capsule of what life looked like in Pt. Pleasant 
during the 1960's, emitting the pleasant nostalgia of a 
bygone era. She opened Harris Steak House in 1969, just two 
short year after the Silver Bridge collapse, in which she 
lost her three year old son, Timmy, and his father. Despite 
that tragic turn of events, Carolin's kindness, hospitality, 
hard work, and dedication never faltered.

Carolin was passionate about the businesses and events 
happening in Point Pleasant. She served on the Board of 
Directors for Main Street and was heavily involved in Mason 
County Tourism. She was also the co-director of Mothman 
Festival, helping it grow from its start of less than 100 
people in attendance, to what has now reached more than 
10,000 attendees from all over the world.

In an effort to preserve her memory, we've dedicated this 
room to Carolin and the Harris Steak House. Her family 
graciously donated many of the items that were a part of 
the diner, including the soda fountain and the "Harris 
Steak House" sign. Now Carolin's memory can live on here 
with us, as a reminder of the countless hours of kind 
hospitality and love she's passed along to all who came 
for a visit into Harris Steak House and to the town of 
Point Pleasant.

Novelties, Toys and Miscellaneous

Throughout the museum are posters and paintings of Mothman art. At the end of one of tables there is a glass case filled with toys, novelties and miscellaneous things.

There's also a large glass display case at the end of the movie exhibit which features some interesting items such as different book cover printings of The Mothman Prophecies and audio tapes of an interview from November 1966 with a West Virginia man named Woodrow Derenberger whose story became it's own local folklore; the story of Indrid Cold. It's mostly relevant because it's in The Mothman Prophecies as something John Keel was looking into at the time but also because it's a West Virginia legend from 1966.

Beside of this miscellaneous display case is a mannequin dressed in a Point Pleasant police uniform. The name tag reads "M. Halstead" in reference to Deputy Miller Halstead who was the local deputy at the time of the Mothman reports along with Sheriff George Johnson.

Lastly, there's another Mothman costume. This one was used during the early Mothman festivals and now it stands as a photo opportunity. Next to it is a long poster which reads as following:

Who or what was the
Mothman?

Some - believe that Mothman was an alien, a supernatural 
manifestation or an unknown [animal]. Other eyewitnesses 
described it as a "large bird." Wildlife biologist Dr. 
Robert L. Smith told reporters that descriptions from 
many of the eyewitnesses all fit the sandhill crane. 
That species of American crane had a seven foot wingspan 
and red feathers above its eyes. Many eyewitnesses were 
turned off to this alleged theory due to all of the fear 
and turmoil they experienced as a result of their encounters 
with the Mothman. They knew that it was no bird. If anything, 
they thought that perhaps it wasn't even from this world.

"The Mothman Prophecies" author, John Keel, became the major 
chronicler of the Mothman case and wrote that at least 100 
people personally witnesses the creature between November 
1966 and [Dec]ember 1967. According to the eyewitnesses 
reports, the creature stood around seven feet tall, was 
wider than a man and shuffled around on human-like legs. 
It's eyes were set near the top of the shoulders and had 
bat-like wings that glided when it flew. It's skin was 
described as being murky in color with a gray or brownish hue.

The theory that Mothman was a omen or a warning sign to alert 
when a disaster was about to strike, took its roots when 
sightings of the creature would be reported just before a 
disaster took place. Some reports claim that he was seen 
just before the collapse of the Silver Bridge. Whether it was 
trying to warn of the impending collapse. Mothman 
[sightings ceased for a long time] in Point Pleasant after the 
horrific event in December of 1967.

The Old Location:

The Mothman Museum had a previous location at The Lowe Hotel before moving across the street to be directly by The Mothman Statue.

The old location later became The Navy Poster Museum.

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