The Mothman Prophecies was a hit movie back in 2002. The low PG-13 rating meant that kids and adults alike were spooked by the tale of the nefarious Mothman who brings disaster.
Oh, and he has a truly creepy voice...
What makes The Mothman Prophecies even more frightening is the movie's basis in reality.
Parapsychologist John Keel wrote the original book on the topic in 1975, which inspired the movie when scriptwriter Richard Hatem was in a library - and the book mysteriously fell into his hands.
Here's Richard Gere as the fictionalized John Klein. The photo on the right is the real supernatural expert John Keel.
The events that inspired the movie took place from November 1966 to December 1967 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. A number of sightings occurred, with witness statements eerily matching all over the area.
Local resident Steve Mallette described the creature as around seven feet tall with a huge wing span and glowing red eyes. Fringe Paranormal reports Mallette's description of the creature:
It was like a man with wings. It wasn’t like anything you’d see on TV or in a monster movie. It seemed to be waiting on us.This doesn’t have an explanation to it. It was an animal but nothing like I’ve seen before.
The nocturnal butterfly. In ancient cultures, the moth represents a form of the psyche, or the soul immortally trapped in the hellish death realms. Mothman. Well, that's what the Ukrainians called him. Rough translation of course. There were a hundred sightings in Chernobyl when the nuclear pump went down. Galveston, nineteen sixty-nine, just before the hurricane. They saw it. But seeing isn't always believing.
- Alexander Leek, The Mothman Prophecies
As for the Mothman's reputation as a harbinger of doom, Keel's theories have been widely criticized. The Silver Bridge Collapse on December 15, 1967 - and the resultant deaths of 46 people - may have occurred around the time of the Mothman sightings, but authorities did not suspect a connection.
Whether you believe in the Mothman or not, there are still sightings of him to this day. A witness who heard the Mothman's 'loud, ear-deafening screech' gave this account to Cryptozoology News:
We both saw a black figure outside the house, standing in the road. I thought it was a giant owl of some sort. It would not go away.
It had no fur, only skin. The wingspan was of at least 6 or 7 feet across.
Point Pleasant, West Virginia has a statue and festival dedicated to the Mothman, proof that there are still some believers out there...