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The legend of the Braxton County or Flatwoods Monster arose near dusk on September 12, 1952, when a group of local youths were startled from a game of football by a fireball streaking across the sky. The fireball fell to earth just beyond a hillside at Flatwoods. Joined by Kathleen May, a local beautician, the boys went to investigate. The group consisted of Mrs. May, Eugene Lemon, Teddy May, Ronald Shaver, Neal Nunley, Teddy Neal, and Tommy Hyer.

The group of seven approached the top of the hill where the fireball had landed. Beyond the hill, they reported seeing a pulsating light. Then suddenly, to their left, two powerful light beams pierced the darkness. Turning their own flashlight in that direction, they saw a large man-like creature nearly 12 feet tall and about four feet wide. Making no sound, it floated toward them. The creature had a red face and bright green clothing, which hung in folds below the waist. Its head was shaped like the ace of spades and there was an almost sickening metallic odor emanating from its body. The witnesses quickly fled the scene. A later investigation found only a lingering odor, two large skid marks, and trampled grass.

Although the Monster has never reappeared, Flatwoods celebrated its 50th anniversary with a community festival in 2002. Over the years the Flatwoods Monster has developed a sizable following, taking its place alongside Mothman, Batboy, and other West Virginia legends of the bizarre.

This Article was written by Buddy Griffin

Last Revised on August 30, 2012

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Barker, Gray. They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers. New York: University Books, 1956.

Jones, James Gay. Appalachian Ghost Stories and Other Tales. Parsons: McClain, 1975.

Cite This Article

Griffin, Buddy "Flatwoods Monster." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 30 August 2012. Web. 20 September 2021.


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