Point Pleasant Makes Visitors Feel at Home
When I was a kid, my father told me a story about the infamous winged, red-eyed creature that lurked around Point Pleasant, West Virginia. As a native West Virginian and someone who always had an unusual interest in the unknown, I immediately obsessed over the tale.
I begged my dad to put on The Mothman Prophecies for weeks on end. I’m sure after the sixth time watching my dad was ready for his daughter to get over this phase.
I never did.
Fast forward to September 21, 2019. That same little red-headed girl who couldn’t forget about the winged creature was standing in the middle of Main Street, surrounded by thousands of festival-goers.
I was still the eager 12-year-old kid inside; the only difference was now I’m the brand manager and chief strategist for #BrandPointPleasant. The team was on a mission that day: ask everyone we could to take BrandJRNY’s cryptid survey in exchange for a one of a kind Mothman sticker. Courtesy of my professor and BrandJRNY’s principal investigator, founder, and director, Dr. Rita Colistra, I was sporting antennas and wings (we all had to look the part, right?). With my antenna and wings situated, I went around Main Street with my clipboard, surveys, and stickers in hand.
While this wasn’t my first time in Point Pleasant I was still amazed by how the town felt like I was shoved back in time to when the first Mothman sighting took the town by storm. Walking around downtown Point Pleasant felt like it had been eclipsed from the rest of the world — giving me small-town vibes, but with a modern twist. Each person I came across had a bigger smile than the last. I didn’t feel like I was visiting just another town; I felt like I was home.
I met several attendees who traveled hours to get to Point Pleasant: a mom and her daughter from Arizona, three coworkers from New York, and a couple from Florida. I asked them why they all decided to travel so far to attend a festival in a small town. They all had the same answer: to experience something unusual, interesting, and one of a kind. I realized they all wanted to experience the same thing I was enchanted by when I first visited Point Pleasant.
After leaving Point Pleasant, I’ve learned some key takeaways everyone should know before visiting:
1. Mothman is a BIG deal — but there’s so much more to Point Pleasant than just this creature. Check it out for yourself and let us know what you think.
2. Don’t be afraid to approach people you don’t know. Point Pleasant residents are some of the kindest and welcoming people I’ve ever met.
3. Book a room at the Lowe Hotel. If you plan to attend next year's Mothman Festival, you’ll want to plan your trip in advance, so you can stay at Point Pleasant’s Lowe Hotel (I’ve heard rumors it’s haunted!).
I can’t express how grateful I am for BrandJRNY, the team, and Point Pleasant. Getting to know everyone on this project has been a life changing experience and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the semester goes with the #BrandPointPleasant fall team. Check back for future blogs and updates from the team soon.
My name is Adrianne Uphold — but you can call me Adri. I am the brand manager and chief strategist for BrandJRNY’s Point Pleasant Project. I’m probably wearing socks with my Australian Cattle Dog, Wren, face printed on them. Follow me throughout our journey — @adriiaanneee.