West Virginans love their lore, so it should be no surprise on this most-monstrous-of-weekends that the crowd at the double-feature at The Elk in rural Sutton will likely fill much of the historic 250-seat theater.
"The Mothman of Point Pleasant" and "The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear" will be shown back-to-back Sept. 14 and 15 beginning at 7 p.m. with a ten-minute intermission between films, according to Andrew Smith, executive director of the Braxton County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Flatwoods Monster was alleged to have appeared in the hills of Braxton County at Flatwoods on Sept. 12, 1952, and the anniversary of the Flatwoods incident, as well as the occurrence of the annual Mothman Festival at Point Pleasant, guarantee plenty of spooky fun will be had across the state this week, Smith said.
"Right now, I'm expecting at least 200 people to attend the double feature, possibly more. It seemed fitting to show these films on the closest weekend to September 12th — the date of the Flatwoods sighting back in 1952," he said.
"If it goes well we might make this a yearly event."
According to local lore, two adults and five children encountered the Flatwoods Monster, also known as the Braxton County Monster, following the appearance of a bright object in the sky passing overhead on the evening of Sept. 12.
In April, the Small Town Monsters production company unveiled its documentary "The Flatwoods Monster" at The Elk. According to promotional materials, the film examines the government-ordered military examination of a purported alien crash-site and multiple UFOs seen by countless residents of Braxton County:
"In the years since their brush with the “Flatwoods Monster,” witnesses have seen their story evolve from a terrifying, true-life event to little more than a fable. Two of the remaining witnesses will set the record straight when the film is released."
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Less than a 100 mile west at Point Pleasant in 1966, a being now known as "Mothman" was allegedly encountered on many occasions, after which the legend was popularized by John Keel, who in his 1975 book "The Mothman Prophecies" claimed a supernatural origin to the sightings and a connection to the tragic collapse of the Silver Bridge at Point Pleasant in 1967.
Small Town Monsters in 2017 similarly produced a documentary "The Mothman of Point Pleasant" that examines the origins and repercussions of the sightings.
It is possible for monster fans to attend both the Mothman Festival at Point Pleasant and the double-feature at Sutton as the two communities are a drive of approximately two hours apart.
Both Mothman and the Flatwoods Monster are expected to be featured as antagonists in the Fallout 76 video game to be released by Bethesda Studios in November.
Admission to the double-feature is $7 per person. For more information, visit The Elk's website or its Facebook page.
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