Our Weird World: Eyes Aglow in the Darkness

Glowing eyes piercing through the dim haze of a foggy night….

Is is paranormal activity, or is the explanaton even stranger?

Urban legends can begin as truth or nightmare. They may either grow from an actual occurrence and become more nightmarish, or begin themselves as nightmares made up to scare friends or explain away impropriety. Regardless of their origin, the most memorable stories make deep roots and stick around until they become an ingrained part of our culture, a source of paranoia about government activity or the guarded glances you cast over your shoulder on a night-darkened street.

They are fuel for our imaginations. But what if everything you ever heard about the Mothman was true…in a way?

The story of the Mothman is arguably one of the most famous tales to come from the state of West Virginia, and its details are simple. The story begins in 1966, in a graveyard. The harsh truth of life is that sometimes, there are graves to be dug, and someone has to dig them. This particular grave was being worked on by five people who were much surprised to see a giant man lift off and fly away. It most definitely was not the last time that anyone would see the Mothman, and for the next year, more sightings would come, all centered around the town of Point Pleasant.

They were always much the same. A large winged humanoid flying through the night sky, eyes aglow, often red, and terrifying. Some dismissed it as a bird, while others embraced it as a sign of something supernatural, or alien.

The sightings ended, apparently, when the Silver Bridge collapsed a little over a year after the first time the Mothman made his appearance. It was December 15, 1967, and a total of 46 people died. After that, no one said much more about the Mothman, for good reason. John Keel wrote a book about it, 1975’s The Mothman Prophecies. A connection was established between the bridge’s collapse and the appearance of this creature. Perhaps he was a warning?

Another famous figure with glowing eyes is Spring-heeled Jack. Jack first appeared in London in 1837, amid already existing stories of street hauntings there. The first time he showed up, he jumped out of an alley and attacked a girl by the name of Mary Stevens. The next time, he ran in front of a carriage, caused it to crash, and jumped away, over a wall, laughing. He was said to have claws, the jumping gave him his nickname, and later accounts would give him glowing red eyes.

Though he is linked so firmly with England, Spring Heeled Jack has been spotted in New Mexico. Some versions of him breathe fire, and he still attacks people, and still jumps away, scaling seemingly impossible heights very quickly.

He was last seen in 2012.

The last on our list of strange-eyed folk are the Loveland Frogmen. It was the middle of the night, summer 1955. The person who first saw the creatures is to this day unknown. As the story goes, he was driving along this particularly dark stretch of road when he saw, off to the side, a few creatures, roughly 3 or 4 feet tall, standing. Watching. The creatures are described as having skin like a frog, big eyes, wide faces, and, instead of hair, scalp wrinkles. I imagine they must have looked eerie, because a human’s eyes don’t reflect light like an animal’s.

So who were these guys? The Mothman, Spring-heeled Jack, and the Frogmen? Just stories, embellishments on real people with a little shared nightmare thrown in?

The eyes are the key.

Might they have something to do with the mysterious Moon-eyed people? This group was said to see better at night. It might follow, then, that their eyes were reflective.

We still have no idea where they might have come from.

But the Mothman, Spring-heeled Jack, and the Frogmen might have an origin even odder than any of us can imagine.

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