West Virginia towns have turned cryptic creature sightings, from Mothman to the Flatwoods Monster, into bonafide tourist attractions.
Dee Elliott, a graduate student in Bowling Green State University’s popular culture program, is including research into these sightings and how they have become tourist hotspots in her thesis, “Monstrous Urban Legends of West Virginia.”
She will discuss her research during a special online-only program at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1. The program is free. It was rescheduled from Saturday, July 18.
The program coincides with the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums’ special exhibit, “Ohio: An Unnatural History.”
The monsters Elliott studied – Mothman, the Flatwoods Monster and the Grafton Monster – are looked at from a folkloric perspective, with hands-on interviews and observational research collected in the towns of Point Pleasant, Flatwoods and Grafton in West Virginia.
The project seeks to figure out why and how small towns like these use local legends in order to draw in tourists from around the world, and how the legends have affected communities around the world.
To join the program, go to https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/792759189 on a computer, tablet or smartphone.
Hayes Presidential is America’s first presidential library and the forerunner for the federal presidential library system. It is partially funded by the state of Ohio and affiliated with the Ohio History Connection. The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is located at Spiegel Grove at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues.
For information, call 419-332-2081, or visit rbhayes.org.