Fact or Fiction: West Virginia Folklore

How well do you know West Virginia folklore? This trivia will test your knowledge on the mysterious beings that roam West Virginia.

Fact or Fiction: West Virginia is home to a few mummies that once toured with P.T. Barnum.

FACT. In 1888, amateur scientist Graham Hamrick wanted to try out his very own embalming potion, so he purchased a couple cadavers from the lunatic hospital down the road. The embalmed ‘mummies’ toured with P.T. Barnum and his circus for a while before being sent back to Philippi. A flood resurfaced these mummies years later and legend has it that they were laid to dry on the post office lawn. Today, you can view the mummies at the Barbour County Historical Society Museum for $1!

Fact or Fiction: Mothman is a mysterious creature that turns into thousands of moths when the sun sets.

YOU DECIDE. Mothman is actually a mysterious winged man with red eyes, first seen in 1966. This creature has been found in Clendenin and Point Pleasant, WV and as far as Moscow, Russia. There is a life-size statue of Mothman in Point Pleasant and a festival every year to celebrate the local legend in the town. This folklore has been adapted into films and books as well. The Mothman Prophecies stars Richard Gere and was based on the book by the same name by John Keel.

Fact or Fiction: The Flatwoods Monster is a 7-foot tall creature found at a UFO landing site.

YOU DECIDE. Three friends came across the monster one night in 1952, when they saw a glowing object fly across the sky and land in their neighbors’ yard. When they went to explore, they found a strange, pungent mist and the creature made a shrill noise that scared them away. The next day, reporters from the Braxton Democrat went to investigate and found nothing but that strange smell. Braxton County has embraced the folklore and created oversized chairs that resemble the Flatwoods Monster. The chairs, scattered around the county, make for the perfect photo-op. Can you find all five?

Fact or Fiction: Mamie Thurman was the first female governor of West Virginia.

FICTION. Mamie Thurman was actually a well-known socialite in Logan County who was found murdered near Trace Mountain in 1932. Rumor has it that her ghost haunts the road she was found on, 22 Mine Road. If you put your car in neutral at the bottom of the hill, it is said that Mamie’s spirit will pull your car uphill. There’s only one way to find out!

Fact or Fiction: The Blennerhassett Hotel is haunted by its architect, William Chancellor.

YOU DECIDE. Situated on the banks of the Ohio River in Parkersburg lies a Queen Anne-style hotel. William Chancellor, mayor of Parkersburg and prominent businessman, wanted to build a grand hotel for millionaires of the day – and he did just that! Constructed in the late 1800’s, The Blennerhassett Hotel originally had 50 guest rooms built around a central staircase and a restaurant on the second floor. Legend has it that William Chancellor never left his beloved hotel. A man in a tuxedo appears the hotel’s mirrors and even his children are reported to be heard roaming the halls.

Which West Virginia folklore is your favorite?

This post was last updated on March 24, 2020