LOGAN, W.Va. — The first official sighting of the terrifying flying creature took place on Nov. 12, 1966 when five gravediggers at a cemetery outside Clendenin claimed to see a man-like figure soaring above their heads—gliding just above the treetops.
It was then that the Mountain State’s most famous legend began, and the massive winged creature, dubbed the Mothman, was seen repeatedly thereafter in the Point Pleasant area—alarming the local citizenry—between the winter of 1966 to late 1967.
The creature, often described as being a flying, seven-foot monster with red eyes, was widely covered by the press and was even connected by some with the tragic collapse of the Silver Bridge on Dec. 15, 1967, causing the death of 46 people.
For some time afterwards, there were a select number of sightings around the world of a similar winged creature; but, for the most part, in-state sightings eventually diminished.
However, a new book, Return of the Mothman, brings the evil, red-eyed monster back to its old stopping grounds, to West Virginia—this time making its appearance not in Point Pleasant, but in rugged Logan County. The new novel, penned by Bram Stoker Award Winner Michael Knost and published by Woodland Press, will be released nationally on
Sat., Feb. 8th, during a book launch party from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Books-A-Million at Huntington Mall, Barboursville, WV.
“Since the Mountain State really birthed the bird-like legend, it made perfect sense to release the novel here,” said Knost, who is also a West Virginia native. “The dreaded Mothman has some unfinished business here in the Mountain State.”
The novel—described by the publisher as having skillfully drawn characters and riveting suspense—is already receiving a lot of industry buzz in pre-release reviews. For example, Ronald Kelly, a nationally known bestselling author of speculative fiction, stated in his appraisal that the author “breathes a fresh vitality and an unsettling aura of frightfulness into the Mothman legend,” adding that Knost’s “crisp narrative and ability to chill to the marrow of the bone makes for a fascinating and dread-inducing read,” and that the author spins a riveting take on the Appalachian myth.
According to Knost, Return of the Mothman had actually been in the making—“slow-cooking and simmering”—for the last three years or so, and that many of the elements and characters in the tale hit very close to home.
“At the time I was writing, one of my main characters in my book was undergoing a life-threatening health crisis. It just so happened that at the same time my own dad became ill, making it all an especially personal and heartrending experience for me,” Knost said, noting that his father eventually responded to treatment and recovered.
“Although the book is a horror/thriller, the story also has a number of tender and touching scenes, with rich, realistic characters with personalities, actions, and language that are identifiable with the Appalachian region and our culture.
“And, at the same time, the main character is ready to deliver a full dose of red-eyed-fright and winged-terror during his sudden return to West Virginia,” Knost said.
“Although I’ve been writing short stores and editing for several years, I consider this to be my most important work to date. I’m very pleased to offer it to the public on Saturday, and humbled that Books-A-Million has embraced this project and is hosting the event.”
Joining Michael Knost at the title’s launch will be Brian J. Hatcher and S.Clayton Rhodes, both nationally recognized writers in the horror and thriller genres.
For more information about the book party, contact Books-A-Million at Huntington Mall, 120 Mall Rd, Barboursville, WV, or call (304) 733-9252. Or, see www.woodlandpress.com.