Flatwoods, a small, sleepy town in West Virginia, hardly seems like a place that would garner attention worldwide for a monstrous claim to fame. The Flatwoods of West Virginia are home to the Flatwoods Monster, otherwise known as the Braxton County Monster, the Lizard Monster, or the Phantom of the Flatwoods.
No matter what you want to call it, the Flatwoods monster is described as being a super fast lizard man. He floats around in a metallic exoskeleton and attacks anyone or anything it encounters. His weapon of choice is a gas like mist, often compared to mustard gas.
The monster is seven feet tall with a black body and a dark glowing face. He has an elongated head shaped like a sideways diamond. His has non human eyes and a large circle cowling behind his head. With an inhumanly shaped body and dark pleated exoskeleton, some have often described him as a shadow. Different accounts claim he has no arms due to his increased speed. Others say that he has long, stringy arms protruding from his front that have long claw like fingers.
The Flatwoods Monster has often been associated with a large, pulsating ball of light. The ball appears to hover directly over or rest on the ground. Some say this is where the cryptid monster gets his reputation as being an unidentified extraterrestrial. Ufologists say that the ball is likely a powered craft that is piloted by the creature.
It is unlikely that that first reporters of the Flatwoods Monster cared about any of these facts. The first reported sighting was on September 12, 1952. Seven Braxton City residents reported a ten foot Frankenstein. They indicated, in separate stories, that they noticed a bright light which seemed to hover over them and then quickly disappeared up over a hill and into the woods. Curious, they wandered off in the direction of the light.
Pulling out their flashlights, they swept the forest. They were about to give up their search when one of them noticed a pair of bright eyes located directly above him in the trees. Shining his flashlight further down, he noticed a blood red face and a body which appeared to glow green. Even worse was the overpowering smell that quickly filtered through the forest when they discovered the creature.
When they could overcome their fear, the group raced out of the woods and back into town. One of the members was vomiting profusely before finally fainting. When one of the members told the story, a few local residents returned to the area where the creature had been spotted. Following a tracking dog, they followed him as he frantically barked and raced ahead. Just as soon as he had vanished he had reappeared, hiding behind the group and whimpering with his tail between his legs. While they could not find the monster that the group had described, the putrid smell still lingered in the area the group had left.
That night, stories of the discovery circulated throughout the town. Only then did other reports of the glowing ball of light begin to pour forth. Additionally, other residents reported hearing a shrill, hissing noise for which they could not locate a source. Others reported their house shaking as if an earthquake had passed through the area, radio interference and electric difficulties, and a mother and daughter were both hospitalized after being exposed to what doctors could only speculate was some type of mustard gas.
The group returned to the area again in the morning. Again, there was no sign of the creature, but they did spot tracks in the mud and traces of a thick, black liquid. Unfortunately, while the group was unable to locate the source of their fears, they were left with an ongoing problem after its departure. The group seemed to have taken ill from the mist they described expelling from the monster. For months they had irritation of the nose and swelling of the throat. Many had lifelong issues with vomiting and convulsions.