Point Pleasant (West Virginia)

Point Pleasant is a town of 4,637 people (as of 2000) in West Virginia. These days it’s best-known for a series of mysterious paranormal occurrences that began in 1966. Starting on November 12th of that year, locals began to catch glimpses of an odd flying creature – people generally described it as a very large grey man-shaped creature, with giant wings and large red eyes – that pursued people and even killed their pets, apparently making its home in an abandoned TNT plant outside of town. The newspapers called it Mothman, and there were over 100 sightings of it during the next year. Then tragedy struck: on December 15, 1967, the 700-foot Silver Bridge between Point Pleasant and Ohio collapsed, killing 46 people. Following the collapse, sightings of the Mothman dropped off, leading some to hypothesize that the Mothman was a sort of harbinger of doom. This same period was marked with an apparent increase in paranormal phenomena, and some have linked the entire series of events to an old Native American curse that was reputedly put on the area by a murdered chief. The events surrounding the sightings inspired the book The Mothman Prophecies, on which the 2002 film was based.

Point Pleasant was also the site of the First Battle of the Revolution – the Battle of Point Pleasant on October 10, 1774, between the Virginia militia and the Shawnee led by Chief Cornstalk (he of the curse). The battle prevented the Native Americans from forming an alliance with the British, which in turn shaped the outcome of the War of Independence.

. . . Point Pleasant (West Virginia) . . .

Point Pleasant is at the intersection of US-35 (which follows the Kanawha River), between Charleston and Jackson, Ohio, and OH-7 (which follows the Ohio River), between Huntington and Middleport, Ohio.

There’s no bus or taxi service in town, so bring your car.

  • The tourism information center is at 210 Viand Street, 304-675-6788. Open M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 9AM-2PM.
  • The 12-foot-tall stainless-steel Mothman statue at the corner of 4th Street and Main Street.
  • Fort Randolph and Fort Blair, Highway 2 and Highway 62, 304-675-1068. Located in the 44-acre Krodel Park. The original Fort Blair was built in November 1774; after being destroyed by Native Americans, it was rebuilt in May 1776 and renamed Fort Randolph. After being destroyed yet again, it was re-rebuilt in 1785, although no trace of it remains today. The fort was reconstructed in October 1974, along with other period buildings. Re-enactments are carried out during warmer weather. The park also features fishing, paddle boats, miniature golf, a playground and camping facilities.
  • 38.8392-82.14081 Tu-Endie-Wei State Park, 1 Main Street, +1 304-675-0869. Open year-round; museum open May through October. The site of the Battle of Point Pleasant; an 84-foot-tall granite obelisk commemorates the Virginia militiamen who died in the battle. The Mansion House Museum, built in 1796 as a tavern and the oldest hewn-log house in the Kanawha Valley today, is also on the site. The name of the park comes from a Wyandotte phrase meaning “the point between two waters”, signifying the spot where the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers meet.  

. . . Point Pleasant (West Virginia) . . .

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. . . Point Pleasant (West Virginia) . . .

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