Wuhan Journal of Cultic Studies
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Volume 1: Issue 1, 2022
Disaster is the Thing with Feathers: Tragedy, Voids, and the Mothman as Animist
University of Sydney
Since his first sighting in 1966, the Mothman has captured the attention of both residents of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and cryptozoologists across the world. This article discusses the phenomenon of the Mothman and the role he occupies in the imagination of Point Pleasant and its subsequent cryptozoological pilgrims. Utilizing the language of neo-Paganism to frame the discussion, I will demonstrate how the Mothman emerged from a void in the urbanized landscape, and how he has since come to play a key role for the Point Pleasant community. I will specifically utilize the language of animism to explain his relationships with both humans and the non-human aspects of the community. I will consider the role played by the Mothman both during in his emergence between 1966 and 1967, and following the collapse of the Silver Bridge in December 1967, which marked the end of his original appearance.
Mothman, cryptids, cryptozoology, animism, Paganism, voids