Sunday, May 14, 2023

Photos of Sutton, West Virginia, and the Flatwoods Monster Museum

In late-August 2020, Ashar and I got out of the house for essentially the first time since the start of the pandemic and traveled to a state park in West Virginia to visit my dad and stepmom, who similarly needed a chance to fend off coronavirus cabin fever (by traveling to an actual cabin in the peaceful woods). 

On the way back home to Pennsylvania after the visit, Ashar and I passed a sign for the Flatwoods Monster Museum, and we immediately knew that we had to leave the highway and see where this very rural West Virginia exit took us. 

The answer was Sutton, a town of fewer than 1,000 people in Braxton County.

And it is indeed home to a monster museum. The Flatwoods Monster doesn't have the same level of notoriety as Mothman in United States urban legends, but it's pretty interesting. The Braxton County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, which would very much like your tourism dollars, describes what a group of teenagers purportedly saw on a night in 1952:
"Upon reaching the site of the crash, the group saw a pulsing red light. Lemon shined his flashlight up the hill, and the group witnessed a terrifying sight — a ten-foot-tall creature, with a head shaped like a spade and what appeared to be a dark, metal 'dress'. The creature’s hands were twisted and clawed, and what seemed to be its eyes glowed an eerie orange color. It appeared to levitate off the ground. A strange, sickening mist hung in the air. The creature hissed and glided quickly toward the witnesses, the group then turned and fled in terror."
Here are some pictures I took at the museum...
The sign says, "Absolutely no Seances."
Sutton itself, which sits on a hillside, was just as interesting as the museum. I wish we'd had more time to explore, but we still had many hours of driving to get back to Dover. These are some of my snapshots of the struggling Appalachian town (I played around with filters on a couple of them.)

Past photography posts


  1. Hi, Chris. Just found your blog. Beautiful photographs! I have a friend who is trying to find a book she remembers from childhood...wondering if it could be "Mystery At Penmarth" or another book by RMS. A group of children are staying at a country house, their uncle is doing some kind of archaeological excavation on part of the house, there is a house fire that the kids are blamed for, there is a secret room and the ghost of a dead boy who used to live in the house...and the children use a railway vending machine to get letters to make a memorial sign for the dead boy. Any thoughts? Thank you!

    1. Yes, that plot your friend describes is absolutely "Mystery at Penmarth"! I read the book a few years ago and I've also written about it here .... The book can be very hard to find. But I have an extra copy that's in poor condition and is certainly fine as a reading copy. You're welcome to it. Email me at

  2. THANK YOU! My friend has been looking for this book for 40 years. :)