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Appalachian Monsters

Ideas for Appalachian monster costumes for the Young Creative Writers Workshop!


From the Mothman Wikipedia page

"In West Virginia folklore, the Mothman is a humanoid creature reportedly seen in the Point Pleasant area from November 15, 1966, to December 15, 1967. The national press soon picked up the reports and helped spread the story across the United States. 

The creature was later popularized by John Keel in his 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies, claiming that there were paranormal events related to the sightings, and a connection to the collapse of the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant, WV. The book was later adapted into a 2002 film starring Richared Gere

An annual festival in Point Pleasant is devoted to the Mothman legend."  

This list of Mothman resources is from the WVU Appalachian Monsters LibGuide







Felted bag from Mothman Festival

Courtesy of associate professor of sociology Katie Morris

Bell Witch

From the Bell Witch Wikipedia page: 

"The Bell Witch or Bell Witch Haunting is a legend from Southern United States folklore, centered on the 19th-century Bell family of northwest Robertson County, Tennessee. Farmer John Bell Sr. resided with his family along the Red River in an area currently near the town of Adams. According to legend, from 1817 to 1821, his family and the local area came under attack by a mostly invisible entity that was able to speak, affect the physical environment, and shapeshift. Some accounts record the spirit also to have been clairvoyant and capable of crossing long distances with superhuman speed (and/or of being in more than one place at a time)."

The Bell Witch story has had significant impact on film, television, and music, influencing films such as Poltergeist and The Amityville Horror and spawning television shows, songs, and musicals.   

The image above from An Authenticated History of the Famous Bell Witch: The Wonder of the 19th Century, and Unexplained Phenomenon of the Christian Era by M. V. Ingram, 1894.

Read more about the Bell Witch at the Tennessee State Libraries and Archives page on "Tennessee Myths and Legends."

Wood Booger

From the Woodbooger Cryptid Wiki: 

"The Wood Booger is a Bigfoot-like creature said to roam the forests of South West Virginia. The name "Wood Booger" was given to the creature because it was often rumored to carry off young children like the boogy man. This cryptid was featured in the Animal Planet TV show Finding Bigfoot episode Virginia is for Bigfoot Lovers. There have been a particularly large amount of sightings outside the town of Saltville, Virginia."

The “Woodbooger Statue” located at Flag Rock Recreation Area, Norton, Virginia. Photo courtesy of Woodbooger Facebook page


The Wampus Cat

From the Wampus Cat Wikipedia page

"In Cherokee legends, the monster is the cat-like embodiment of a female onlooker cursed by tribal elders, as punishment for hiding beneath the pelt of a wild cat to witness a sacred ceremony. The Wampus cat is used as a mascot for several educational institutions. During the 1920–30s, newspapers reported a 'Wampus' cat killing livestock in North Carolina to Georgia. Though possibly due to early intrusions of coyotes or jaguarundi, the livestock deaths were attributed to the Wampus cat."

Image: "File:Wampus cat 20160530 123904.jpg" by 䖆25 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Read more about the wampus cat at