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People Keep Saying My Hometown Has a Monster, But Let Me Tell You

By Kirsten Reneau

I grew up in Grafton, so I can tell you there’s no such thing as a Grafton Monster – hell, there wasn’t anything like a Grafton Monster myth or cryptid or like what Flatwoods or Point Pleasant has always had (that is, a legit monster with a real mythology, something people can grab onto) not till some TV show decided so and then the Fallout Games decided so and then all the sudden, where there was once nothing, now the only coffee shop in downtown (which is the only coffee shop in the county) is selling Find the Grafton Monster t-shirts and cookies in the shape of him (if he had a shape, which he doesn’t, because he’s not real and also if he was that’s not what he looks like anyways) with hopes that some tourists may pop in, but I’ll tell you I’ve never seen a tourist in Grafton (not counting when I bring my boyfriend home with me) since it’s too far out of the way and if you’re there you might as well be in Morgantown, or go another few miles and see those big Flatwoods Monster chairs that the Braxton County commission put up or even take a left on old route 50 and go to the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant and take your photo with the statue or hell, go all the way down state and check out the cave where Batboy is from, just don’t come to my hometown because we don’t have any monsters except black lung and opioids, which is what the whole state has anyways so not even that is special, and I just want to make it clear that I’m not deviling you, there is no Grafton Monster here, not a single one, so don’t go looking and if you do, well, don’t say I didn’t tell you.

Kirsten Reneau is a writer from West Virginia, where all the good monsters come from.

Art by Jay Baker, an artist from Colorado living in Oregon, by way of New Mexico; he records music as Tom Foe.


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