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Organizers gear up for festival celebrating local cryptid in downtown Grafton, West Virginia

By Nicki Skinner, The Mountain Statesman

GRAFTON, W.Va. — Local lore and a Taylor County cryptid will be at the heart of a festival in downtown Grafton this weekend.

The community is welcoming guests to the inaugural Grafton Monster Festival on Saturday and Sunday, a two-day event to learn about the local legend and celebrate one of Grafton’s claims to fame.

Nearly six decades ago while driving on Route 119, now called Yates Avenue, an anomaly was spotted and reported, thus giving birth to the legend of the Grafton Monster.

According to the West Virginia Encyclopedia, in June 1964, journalist Robert Cockrell wrote in the Grafton Sentinel newspaper his account, stating that the monster’s stature was between 7-9 feet in height. He said it had “seal-like” skin, appeared to be almost headless, and produced a whistling sound.

Cockrell’s account was the only recorded sighting of the Grafton Monster, and never being found, the local cryptid remains a mystery.

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