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Batboy, along with Mothman and the Flatwoods Monster, is one of several bizarre creatures attributed to West Virginia. He was first reported by the Weekly World News on June 23, 1992, as having been found in a ‘‘previously uncharted cave east of Seneca Rocks.’’ The sensationalist tabloid quoted a zoologist as speculating that Batboy was the offspring of creatures living deep in the earth, originally human, who had adapted to living in the dark. Batboy was described as standing two feet tall and weighing 19 pounds, with oversized amber eyes and ears ‘‘like satellite dishes.’’ The newspaper published a picture meeting that description, later reproduced on a T-shirt used as a circulation premium.

Batboy quickly found a cult following, and the Weekly World News published several other stories. Batboy was reported as having escaped from those who had found him in the cave, having been recaptured and escaping again, and having fallen in love. In 2000, he was reported as endorsing Al Gore for president of the United States. The popular story was made into an off-Broadway musical, which concluded its New York run in 2001 and moved into repertory theaters in other cities. BatBoy, the musical play, placed the story in the fictitious town of Hope Falls, West Virginia.