9/20/16. This was our first year at the annual Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, WV, which has been going on in this little town for 15 years. We spoke with some people who had never missed a year. This year was also the 50th anniversary of the Mothman sighting. Happy birthday, Mothman!
The festival takes place on a few blocks of historic downtown Main Street. Around 10,000 people showed up to take in the sights. There was a very large area for food and vendors, a Hillbilly zip-line, hay rides, bus tours, and many costumed humans to take your photo with. If you see a character you want a photo with, don't hesitate, they might not be around long. It was very humid out. I couldn't imagine walking around in one of those costumes. There were free paranormal speakers located in the old State Theatre every hour.
If you can find a parking spot in town you can park for free or there was a parking area at a local park for $5 with a free shuttle or a 0.7 mile walk into town.
We did the TNT Bus Tour which takes you out to the original Mothman sighting. We learned that you can go to this site, which is an area with abandoned ammunition bunkers called McClintic Wildlife Management Area and is about 5 miles north of Point Pleasant off State Route 62, on your own, even at night. It was pretty crowded there during the festival.
We also went to the Mothman Museum which was only $3 or free with a TNT bus tour ticket. It was very interesting and well done.
The Silver Bridge that collapsed was replaced by another bridge down the river. So the site of the new bridge is not in the same location as the one that collapsed. There is a memorial on Main Street at the location of the original Silver Bridge.
We booked our hotel a few months in advance. There was nothing available for 40 miles! Book early! We stayed at the Quality Inn, 605 E. Main St., Jackson, Ohio, which, like I said was 40 miles away from Pt. Pleasant. A closer city, across the bridge, is Gallipolis, Ohio. The ultimate hotel, which I found out later is also haunted, is the Lowe Hotel right in the midst of the Festival on Main St. in Point Pleasant. If we return this is where I will be staying. It is a historic hotel with rumors of ghosts roaming the floors. I would book this place very early. The Quality Inn in Jackson, OH, was OK. The beds were very hard, sheets scratchy, pillows old but on the positive side the shower was good, remodeled bathroom and a free breakfast which included scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, and waffles.
UPDATE: We returned to the festival in 2017 and scored a room in Gallipolis at the Quality Inn, 577 State Route 7 North, Gallipolis, OH, 45631,(740) 446-0090. This hotel is much, much closer to the festival, just across the bridge. They had a free, hot buffet breakfast. I would recommend this hotel.
While in Jackson we ate at Arch & Eddies Gathering House, 181 E. Main St. The food was to die for. They have a real chef who prepares the daily specials with whatever is in season. We had the scallops and they were delicious. There is a menu with steak, chicken, pasta, burgers, and sandwiches, and also a microbeer list. There is also a Bob Evans located in Jackson.
While in Point Pleasant at the festival, you need to try the Mothman Pancakes in the food vendor area and Mothman cookies found in the local coffee shop. We also tried a Mothman in a blender shake at the coffee shop. We also ate at the Mexican restaurant in town, which was just OK. The food was bland.
UPDATE: In 2017 we could not find the Mothman Pancakes. I hope they return in the future.
The only complaints I have were the theatre where the speakers were located had no air conditioning. It was very hot. I don't think there was much anyone could do about that though. We parked in the lot at the city park with the free shuttle. The shuttle was not big enough for the amount of people that attended. We waited one time a half an hour for the shuttle only for there to be no room. The walk from the parking lot to town is 0.7 miles, not too bad, but the route was over bumpy grass and at night in the pitch black dark. The speakers were there until 9-9:30pm but the last shuttle was at 8pm. I think they need more shuttles and some lighting for the walk to the parking lot. Point Pleasant might be a safe town but I did not feel safe at all walking that far in the dark.
UPDATE: In 2017 we parked in the same parking lot at the city park but the shuttle service was way better this year. There were many shuttles to and from the parking lot.
wiLL we return
I really liked this festival because it was different than other paranormal conferences because the speakers discussed not ghosts, but other supernatural topics such as cryptids, Bigfoot, UFOs, the Men in Black. It was also very reasonably priced to attend. The festival itself is free, the speakers were free, photos were free with costumed characters, and the food prices were reasonable. We will definitely be returning to the Mothman Festival.