Sunday, May 26, 2013

Monster #15—Mothman

The majority of my early childhood exposure to monsters and horror came at my grandparents house. Both my grandfather and grandmother on my father's side were prodigious readers. My grandpa had several stacks of horror comics, like "House of Mystery" and "Tales of the Unexpected," while my grandmother kept me well supplied with reading material—she gave me Cujo to read at the ripe age of about 9 or 10, and a year or two later gave me some Clive Barker books. It was in my grandparent's reading room that I first discovered F. Paul Wilson, Dean Koontz, and many others.

Including mothman.

The book was The Mothman Prophecies, by John A. Keel. The copy I found in my grandma's collection had what looked like a photo of a scary flying red-eyed monster on the cover, and proclaimed in bold red letters: "COMPELLING AND GENUINELY FRIGHTENING!" How could I resist that?

Turns out, those letters are right.

The Mothman Prophecies doesn't read like a horror novel; it's presented as a collection of case studies and interviews and investigations performed by John A. Keel, exploring the mysterious sightings of a red-eyed monster that was haunting the region around Point Pleasant, West Virginia. The book went on to link Mothman to shadowy government conspiracies, the men in black, UFOs, and of course the collapse of the Silver Bridge.

When X-files finally came along, it already felt familiar to me as a result, because this book was very much a proto-X-files. And mothman's been creeping around in the back of my mind for the past 30 years or so as well.

I wish my hometown had a mothman statue.
Reccomended Reading
 Recommended Viewing

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