The West Virginian folklore brims with a variety of mythical beings. The beast of Grafton, Bigfoot, and Mothman are to name a few. One more baffling entity that is found on the pages of the Virginian folklore is the Flatwoods Monster also given the name Braxton County Monster. The myth started when two brothers, Edward and Fred May and their friend Tommy while playing cricket on the field on 12 September in the evening, out of the blue caught sight of a vivid form whooshing through the grey skies and alighting on a close farm. The boys hurriedly sped to seek aid. Later accompanied by their mother and a guardsman, they hiked up the hilltop to probe into the nature of the sighting. Pungent smell like that of rotten eggs greeted them and they saw a fleeting commotion in the trees. Upon flashing the light they had a rendezvous with a creature that made them run for their lives.
They described it as a 10 feet tall monster floating above the ground surrounded by smoke and gas. It had a spade-shaped pointy head of red color. Its eyes were glowing like rubies. Its body was like a green armor.
The police on further investigation brushed off the sighting as the delirium of the group since no evidence other than the pungent smell was found. Though the sighting impelled a U.S. Air Force UFO investigation, part of an initiative called Project Blue Book.
In an investigation carried out half a century later, it was concluded that ball of fire was nothing more than a likely meteor passing through the sky and the description of the creature resembled that of a barn owl which had caught the light of the meteor and was startled.
Like so many other myths, this too has different classes of men; the believers, the doubters, and the ones who earn cash by the myth. A museum was inaugurated in the honor of the Flatwoods monster named The Flatwoods Monster Museum. The monster has also been featured in the Halloween episode of Inside Appalachia.
There is even a West Virginian folk song on the Flatwoods Monster called “The Phantom of Flatwoods”.
The Virginian cultures take pride in most of their cryptid beings and tend to incorporate them in their local ethnicity more famously referred to “pop state culture”. Even when so many locals smirk at the myth now the town still supports and celebrates the existence of Flatwoods monster.