One of the most frightening of American urban myths is the legend of The Mothman, a red-eyed creature seen by some as a harbinger of doom in 1960s rural West Virginia, where sightings of the winged demonic beast were first documented near an old munitions dump known by locals as TNT.
Many of us know this paranormal oddity from the exceptionally creepy 2002 film The Mothman Prophecies, starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney and directed by Mark Pellington. In the film, one unnerving murmur by the accompanying entity named Indrid Cold was enough to send stalwart horror viewers running for parental safety amid bright lights. The highly underrated Hollywood movie was an adaptation of parapsychologist John Keel's popular 1975 novel.
In 2017, filmmaker Seth Breedlove directed the acclaimed documentary The Mothman of Point Pleasant, which examined the cult phenomenon and supernatural foundations of the odd occurrences around the area that continue to this day. Now Breedlove's Small Town Monsters indie production company soars back with the direct sequel arriving this fall, titled The Mothman Legacy, with more hair-raising accounts of the Mothman and delving further into its uncanny mythology.
This follow-up film tells the bewildering story of dozens of unexplained sightings of an ominous, batlike being that was always thought to be part of ancient folklore, but who continues to be seen around the region. Utilizing a dozen eyewitness interviews, the unsettling film promises to offer some of the most intense and disturbing encounters ever recorded.
Here's the terrifying first teaser to tempt you with its confounding mysteries:
"Most people associate the Mothman with the 1966 and 1967 sightings, but we’ve found that people were seeing Mothman for decades, maybe even centuries before that, and they still do today," Breedlove tells SYFY WIRE. "It’s also surprising the number of sightings we’ve uncovered and how many witnesses are willing to talk about what happened. One interview in particular ended with the witness in tears. These sightings leave a mark that is very apparent."
Breedlove is captivated by this enduring urban myth as it sparks his curiosity as a filmmaker and storyteller.
"The Mothman as a cultural figure is so tied to this idea of being an omen of terrible things," he adds. "All the various paranormal and supernatural components of the legend just add to this rich tapestry of lore that continues to develop around the creature. Personally, I’m fascinated by the persistence of reports of the Mothman. Despite the original story being essentially ignored and hushed up, the popularity of the Mothman stories endure today and still affect all of Appalachia, not just Point Pleasant. That’s something we’re digging into in the film that I’m really excited about. This idea that the Mothman has always been a part of Appalachia and always will be. The legend lives on."
The Mothman Legacy is being funded through a Kickstarter campaign that takes flight Feb. 6. Reward incentives include DVD and Blu-ray copies of the film, posters, T-shirts, and more. The project is produced by Adrienne Breedlove, narrated again by Lyle Blackburn, with cinematography from Zac Palmisano and an original score by Brandon Dalo.
It descends on Sept. 18 with a gala premiere as part of the wild kickoff for the annual Mothman Festival held in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.