Flatwoods Monster, the Entity That Terrorized a Whole Town in the 50s

Since the fall of a mysterious meteorite, the Flatwoods Monster has become a local legend that contributes to the dark tourism of a small town in the United States.

Gabriela Castillo

In 1952, a small town in the United States witnessed a paranormal phenomenon that, to this day, has not been explained (at least not with scientific precision). In Flatwoods, Virginia, part of the Braxton County, a mysterious object crossed the night sky. Several people reported seeing a strange entity that we now know as “The Flatwoods Monster.”

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Around 7:15 p.m. on September 12, three children from Flatwoods observed a kind of meteor that fell from the sky and landed on the property of a local farmer named Bailey Fisher. The children reported the sighting to their families, and a group of people arrived at the scene to investigate. The dogs that accompanied them began to behave strangely, barking and returning frightened, with their tails between their legs.

The locals, led by Officer Eugene Lemon, saw a mysterious ball of fire on a hill and perceived a foul odor that made them tear and cough. On the left side of the incandescent ball, they noticed two small red circles that they soon discovered were the eyes of a creature that was acting erratically and aggressively. Lemon later declared that he saw “a figure similar to a human being with a round, red face, surrounded by a pointed shape.”

This paranormal incident sparked the interest of authorities and the media, which frightened more people across the country. Even a United States Air Force investigation was carried out as part of a project called Blue Book (which was active until 1969) and aroused even more curiosity among ufology enthusiasts.

The Flatwoods Monster became a local legend that contributed to the identity of the small town in the years to come. Even today, it is part of dark tourism, and thousands of people go to Flatwoods to visit the museum dedicated to the monster (and to buy related souvenirs).

What is the Flatwoods Monster?

“Braxxie,” as locals familiar with the legend also call it, is a kind of cryptid; a creature whose existence has not been proven. According to the descriptions of those who allegedly observed it that night in 1952, it is about three meters tall and has a round head with two equally round eyes in the center.

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And although the locals were sure that what they observed that night in 1952 was an extraterrestrial creature, years later, investigators say that the object that fell from the sky was not a spaceship but a meteor. The Flatwoods Monster would not be a humanoid creature from outer space but an owl that, thanks to the shadows projected onto it, made it look like it had huge legs and a human shape.

The Flatwoods Monster has inspired multiple products of pop culture. It is one of the enemies to defeat in Fallout 76 and is briefly mentioned in the game Everybody’s Golf 4. It even has a song in its honor: “The Being” by Argyle Goolsby, founder of Blitzkid.