GHENT, WV (WVNS) — When some think of West Virginia, they immediately turn to the ‘Wild and Wonderful’ slogan that accompanies the beautiful Mountain State.

While concentrating more on the ‘wild’ part, one may stumble upon the not-so-wonderful folklore and legends that follow. Myths, monsters, legends, and other conspiracy theories continue to fascinate many in society.

That is no different in West Virginia.

These mythical creatures in question, cryptids, are animals that are thought to exist but have yet to be proven real by science. Cryptozoologists, those who study cryptids, aim at proving some of these legendary figures real.

West Virginia is believed to be home or have been home to multiple cryptids. While you could spend hours going into the details of every cryptid in West Virginia, like the Grafton Monster, Sheepsquatch, the Snarly Yow, or even the Cumberland Dragon, we will stick with the ‘Big 3’.


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Maybe the most popular cryptid of all-time, Bigfoot is believed to have called much of the United States home. While some cryptozoologists tend to trust that Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, roamed mainly in higher-elevated regions of the country, every single state has had their share of sightings. It is also believed that if a creature like Bigfoot existed or still exists, it is a close relative to the Gigantopithecus, an giant extinct ape. Either way, if you are hiking around the New River Gorge or taking a relaxing vacation to Canaan Valley, you will want to keep your eyes peeled for this hairy, yet extremely popular cryptid.

If you are indeed travelling across West Virginia, the West Virginia Bigfoot Museum in Sutton, West Virginia has everything you need to know about Bigfoot. The museum also puts on the West Virginia Bigfoot Festival, kicking off on June 23, 2023.

Flatwoods Monster

It all started in Flatwoods, West Virginia as the Summer of 1952 began to wind down. According to, three boys were reportedly playing outside when they noticed a red light streak across the sky before landing in a nearby farm. The boys grabbed their mother and ran to the property to see what had landed. They were joined by other kids and a dog, before they saw what a local newspaper described as a “10-foot Frankenstein-like monster”. A 17-year-old National Guard member at the time, who also witnessed the monster, said he saw a “pair of bright eyes in a tree”.

Based on witness accounts, the Flatwoods Monster was described as a 10-foot monster with a blood-red body and green seemingly glowing face. The sightings ignited a U.S. Air Force UFO Inquiry, which was an integral part of Project Blue Book. Make sure you remain vigilante, as the Flatwoods Monster could still be roaming among us.

Of course, Bigfoot can’t be the only West Virginia cryptid with its own museum. The Flatwoods Monster Museum, also in Sutton West Virginia, gives the public the opportunity more about the myth and maybe even grab some cool cryptid clothes.


What may be the most recognizable of the three Mountain State cryptids is of course, Mothman. From the Point Pleasant area, Mothman was reportedly widely seen in the surrounding area from 1966 to 1967. According to CryptidWiki and witness accounts, the bird-like monster stands around seven feet tall, with a nearly 10-foot wingspan.

Some even relate the 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge to Mothman’s presence. Recorded sightings of the monster stopped soon after the tragic bridge collapse that left 46 people dead. While nothing was ever proved one way or the other, Dr. Robert L. Smith, a wildlife biologist from WVU, said all of the recorded sightings resembled the Sandhill Crane.

The most recent sighting of Mothman was reportedly made in 2007.

Of course, like the two previous cryptids, Mothman has his/her own museum and festival. But not only that, there is a 12-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture of Mothman. The statue, an Instagram opportunity for many, stands in the Mothman Park in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

While the Mountain State is known for being ‘Wild and Wonderful’, it may be more wild than you think.