POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Have you seen those hypnotic red eyes yet?
If not, get ready to, as Mothman prepares for his return this weekend during the Fifth Annual Mothman Festival in downtown Point Pleasant.
Event organizers are planning a weekend full of activities for the young and old alike, and this year’s festival will feature many of the traditional highlights, such as guest speakers and the haunted hayrides, and also a few new activities, such as a Mothman weight and power lifting contest.
According to Jeff Wamsley, one of the organizers of the event, the festival will kick off Saturday at 10 a.m. at Gunn Park, which is home to the Mothman statue, with the mayor’s welcome. A variety of guest speakers are on tap for the day, including Chad Lambert, Mothman comic book creator and writer; Ralph Turner, former Herald Dispatch field reporter in 1966; Newell Partridge, owner of Bandit in John Keel’s “Mothman Prophecies” book; Robin Bellamy, a writer and paranormal investigator; Susan Sheppard, ghost hunter and author; Rosemary Guiley, author; and Carol McCormick and David Mahan, ghost hunters.
All guest speakers will speak at the Point Pleasant Riverfront Park Amphitheater and will answer questions and discuss their topics in an open forum format following their lectures. The speakers will be moved indoors if there is inclement weather.
Saturday’s events will conclude with the popular tours of the TNT area at the West Virginia State Farm Museum. The hayrides will begin at 8 p.m., with three wagons running throughout the evening. Tickets will be sold in an effort to let the riders pick the time they would like to ride. Tour groups will depart every 15 minutes, and between 20 and 25 riders will be designated for each of the wagons.
Sunday will feature more guest speakers, including Travis Shortt, pastor and film producer; Robin Bellamy, writer and paranormal investigator; Dave Peyton, former Herald Dispatch writer who covered UFOs; and Carol McCormick and David Mahan, ghost hunters.
Wamsley said the Mothman Band will make its fifth appearance at the festival and will perform from noon until 4 p.m. Sunday near the Mothman statue.
He added that vendors and information tables will be set up throughout the festival, and Mothman witnesses and authors can be visited at the “Special Guest” table under a tent near the Mothman statue. There also will be a tram and shuttle that will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to drop off and pick up festival-goers at the river museum and Silver Bridge Memorial, returning to Gunn Park on a continuous route. Rides will be available for $1 per round trip.
Mothman, UFO and paranormal clips and presentations, including clips from “Unsolved Mysteries,” a CBS news segment, “Mystery Hunters,” “Search for Mothman” and more, will be show at the State Theatre on Main Street beginning at noon both days. “The Mothman Prophecies” movie also will be shown at 4 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Mothman Festival schedule of events
Saturday, Sept. 16
10 a.m. — Mayor’s Welcome from Mayor Jim Wilson and festival staff, Gunn Park.
11 a.m. — Chad Lambert, Mothman comic book creator and writer, Point Pleasant Riverfront Park Amphitheater.
11:30 a.m. — Ralph Turner, former Herald-Dispatch field reporter, amphitheater.
Noon — Newell Partridge, owner of Bandit in John Keel’s “Mothman Prophecies,” amphitheater.
Noon-4 p.m. — The Mothman Band, Gunn Park.
1 p.m. — Robin Bellamy, writer and paranormal investigator, amphitheater.
2 p.m. — Susan Sheppard, ghost hunter and author, amphitheater.
3 p.m. — Rosemary Guiley, author, amphitheater.
4 p.m. — Prodigy Group/Carol McCormick and David Mahan, ghost hunters, amphitheater.
4:30 p.m. — Ghostly Talk, featuring talkshow hosts and investigators, amphitheater.
8 p.m. — Mothman/TNT area tour at the West Virginia State Farm Museum.
Sunday, Sept. 17
1 p.m. — Robin Bellamy, writer and paranormal investigator, Point Pleasant Riverfront Park Amphitheater.
2 p.m. — Dave Peyton, former Herald-Dispatch writer, amphitheater.
3 p.m. — Prodigy Group/Carol McCormick and David Mahan, ghost hunters, amphitheater.
4 p.m. — To be announced.