If you’re looking for a good, atmospheric book to read on a dark, cold and wintry night, I have the ideal suggestion. Namely, Loren Coleman’s new book, Mothman: Evil Incarnate. I have been waiting for this book since I first saw it advertised. This is a very, very good study of the Mothman phenomenon and which provides the reader with a lot of new material and updates on earlier aspects of the mystery. Indeed, if you thought there was nothing new to say on the Mothman issue, you would be very wrong.
Mothman: Evil Incarnate begins with a good overview of the wave of Mothman sightings that recently hit the U.S. city of Chicago. Across eight-pages, Loren details how the Chicago angle began, the nature of the incidents, the eyewitness reports, and the response of the paranormal research community. The eerie nature of some of the reports almost echoes back to the 1960s; the days when Point Pleasant, West Virginia was under siege and the Mothman soared across the skies of the town by night.
Loren follows this opening chapter (or opening salvo) with a look at the life and career of the man who made the Mothman mystery famous: John Keel. Of course, Mothman made Keel famous, too. There’s also a poignant – even tragic, at times – section on Keel’s last days, his then-mounting health issues and more. We are also treated to the process by which Keel came to believe that certain, supernatural phenomena (perhaps, even, all of them) are somehow linked to the likes of “window areas.”
Not surprisingly, Loren tackles the matter of the 2002 movie version of The Mothman Prophecies. I particularly liked this chapter, as I had no idea of the origins of the process that led the movie to come to fruition. There are some interesting stories in this particular chapter (which is titled “The Movie: Successful, Sinister, and Symbolic”) on how the movie came to be. Loren also reveals how much of the movie was reality and how much was fiction – and where the two crossed over.
Chapter 6 – “The Town: Curse, Collapse, and Celebration” – is a very good study of the town of Point Pleasant itself. Loren does a great job of instilling in the mind of the reader the history of Point Pleasant. Loren also takes us on his own personal road-trip to Point Pleasant – which occurred in the early 2000s. We also get to learn about Loren’s thoughts on the town, its people, the almost legendary TNT area where the Mothman lurked in the 1960s, and more.
In addition, Loren covers the process by which the people of Point Pleasant came to realize that – just like the good folks of Roswell, New Mexico – their town had the ability to significantly elevate itself as a result of its legendary Fortean history. Loren also shares with us his thoughts on the various documentaries that have been produced on the Mothman, including 2002’s Search for the Mothman, Eyes of the Mothman, (2007), and The Mothman of Point Pleasant, which was released in 2017.
For those who are aware of what has become known as “The Mothman Death List,” you won’t be disappointed. This is an update to Loren’s earlier research in this strange and sinister area. As Loren shows, there are some genuinely weird deaths linked to the Mothman affair – whether related to the book, the movie, or the people of Point Pleasant. It’s hard not to believe that something genuinely weird is afoot when it comes to the many and varied deaths – and their ties to specific Mothman-themed dates, too. There is also a very good section from Michael D. Winkle titled “Annotations to John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies.” It provides the reader with excellent data on certain aspects of Keel’s classic book that, in part, may not have been covered by Keel as deeply as they could have been.
All in all, Mothman: Evil Incarnate is an excellent, well-written study of not just the Mothman but the man who – in one sense – brought it to life: John Keel. The book is also a fine examination of how Point Pleasant and its people are just as important to the story as is the beast itself.
(feature photo: Cryptozoonews.com)