The Legend Behind the Mothman Statue

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Close up of a moth

If you like obscure, unique roadside attractions and want to travel through West Virginia, make plans to see the Mothman statue.

This mysterious creature was made famous by “The Mothman Prophesies book and movie. And while there, you can walk a few steps and visit the Mothman Museum. 

Want to know more? Let’s dive into the legend behind the Mothman statue!

Where Is the Mothman Statue?

You can find the Mothman statue at 201 4th Street in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, which was unveiled to the community on Sept. 13, 2003. It took Bob Roach about a year to build the stainless steel sculpture.

The statue’s wings rise 13 feet into the air, but this creature is no fairy. He looks like he could rip anyone in two with his bulging biceps and six-pack abs. The red eyes glow at night. If that wasn’t scary enough, the claws and fangs add to the allure of this vicious creature.

But Bob didn’t create this statue without first interviewing people in Point Pleasant who had seen the Mothman in the 1960s. These eyewitnesses explained in detail these physical features, and Bob produced a stunning piece of art to capture their accounts.

What Is the Legend Behind the Mothman Statue?

So who is Mothman? According to legend, some people saw a mysterious creature flying through the skies near Point Pleasant in the 1960s. The first encounter was when two gravediggers saw a black figure fly over them. It didn’t take long before more sightings were reported.

The most famous sighting was on Dec. 15, 1967. A suspension bridge over the Ohio River that connected Point Pleasant to Gallipolis, Ohio, collapsed, killing 46 people. Before this tragedy, locals claim they saw Mothman standing on the Silver Bridge.

This humanoid beast had a huge wingspan, the face of an insect, and large red eyes. Mothman would frighten dogs and swoop down to terrify the community. But in just a few short years, the encounters stopped. Mothman vanished.

Then in 1975, John Keel wrote an investigative book called “The Mothman Prophecies.” It was later turned into a movie starring Richard Gere. When the town of Point Pleasant needed a pick-me-up, Charles Humphreys, a Point Pleasant native, had an idea.

The Mothman had made Point Pleasant famous in its heyday. So he needed to bring the Mothman back. This was when he asked local welder Bob Roach to build the Mothman statue.

What Is the Mothman Museum?

A few years after the Mothman statue’s creation, the Mothman Museum opened in 2006.  This small storefront has exhibits that detail the mystery of this West Virginia legend. 

You’ll see newspaper clippings and photographs from the time of the original sightings and memorabilia from the Mothman’s media appearances. It also has an exhibit dedicated to various props used in the movie “The Mothman Prophecies.”

You’ll also find the largest collection of Mothman souvenirs in the world, from stickers and t-shirts to mugs and posters. The Mothman Museum is open daily. Tickets for adults and children aged 11 and up cost $4.95. Tickets for children under 11 cost $1.95.

If the paranormal and obscure intrigues you, you’ll likely want to check out a few other popular attractions in The Mountain State. Spread across West Virginia are roadside attractions that may earn a place on your road trip itinerary.

Mystery Hole

Located in Ansted, West Virginia, Mystery Hole seems to defy the laws of gravity.

Similar to mystery houses where people seem to walk sideways and balls roll uphill, Mystery Hole is a place where illusions reign. The hours change seasonally, so check out the website or call ahead before planning a visit.

Pro Tip: You can always find unique stops on the road with the Roadside America App!

Lake Shawnee Amusement Park

Abandoned amusement parks always seem to have a dark history. This is certainly true for the Lake Shawnee Amusement Park in Rock, West Virginia. This land was the battleground between white settlers and the Shawnee people. 

The Clover Bottom Massacre is probably the most well-known event where the Shawnee killed three children of a white family. Then the father sought out the tribe and killed several of its members in retaliation.

An amusement park was built here decades later, but after two children died on the park’s grounds, it closed in the 1960s. Today you can see the creepy Ferris wheel and children’s swing among the overgrown vegetation of the abandoned amusement park.

But you must make reservations. So contact the Lake Shawnee Abandoned Amusement Park to schedule a tour.

Close up of a Ferris wheel

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Another creepy place of supernatural encounters is the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Located in Weston, it was also called the Weston State Hospital. Although the buildings are in disrepair and many are closed to the public, visitors can still tour this 160-year-old asylum. 

However, this spooky area doesn’t just look haunted. Some people believe tortured spirits still roam the halls. You can go on ghost hunts and overnight excursions. 

Keep in Mind: Unfortunately, if you were planning a trip to the Warren Occult Museum, it’s no longer open. Click the link to see why it’s no longer open!


The Nuttalberg Coal Mining Complex was built in 1870 in Fayetteville, West Virginia. It grew to include almost 100 houses and a huge facility to process the ore.

The mine was so successful that the Ford Motor Company took it over in the 1920s. But the success was short-lived as the mine closed down before 1930.

Now managed by the National Park Service as a historic site, Nuttallburg is one of the country’s most complete coal-related industrial sites. If you hike to the site, the trail is steep and strenuous.

View of nuttalberg coal mining complex

Berkeley Springs Castle

Finally, you can’t road trip through West Virginia without stopping to see the Berkeley Springs Castle in Berkeley Springs. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 9,300-square-foot castle has a ballroom, two stone fireplaces, and a grand staircase. 

While other unique roadside attractions in West Virginia are creepy or home to paranormal activity, this castle is a reflection of a husband’s love for his wife.

Begun in 1885, the Berkeley Springs Castle was a gift from Samuel Suit to his bride, Rosa Pelham. Sadly, Samuel died before it was finished. But Rosa finished the home in 1891. She entertained guests and threw lavish parties but soon ran out of money, and the castle was auctioned off in 1913.

Check Out the Mothman Statue and Much More on Your Next Road Trip Through West Virginia

While the Mothman statue pays homage to an insectoid monster, other roadside attractions in West Virginia give insight into other parts of the state’s history.

From an abandoned amusement park to a haunted asylum to a lavish castle, there’s much to discover in wild and wonderful West Virginia!

Would you like to get a selfie with the Mothman statue in Point Pleasant?

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