Creepy Cryptids of WV folklore center of focus for new scavenger hunt


TAYLOR COUNTY—West Virginia is steeped in local lore about creatures and beings that are often unexplained, and to help teach the community about the state’s Cryptids, Taylor County Family Resources (TCFR) will soon be hosting a scavenger hunt centered on beings like the Grafton Monster and Mothman, along with some of their well-known buddies.

The Taylor County Monster Hunt is slated to kick off on October 18 at noon and will run through November 1 at 4:30 p.m.

The hunt, a community-wide scavenger hunt, will have youths in grades first through twelfth, as well as adults, traveling throughout the community to find 15 hidden Cryptid figures, and for those who find the most monsters, a special prize awaits.

“Youths, 18 years of age and under, who register and participate are eligible to win a button in the likeness of every monster they find, up to 15 in all,” said Taylor County Family Resources Executive Director Cathy Coontz.

In addition, youth participants who find all 15 monsters will also win a Taylor County Monster Hunt T-Shirt.

“Anyone who is not a youth member of the Taylor County community can still win prizes,” Coontz revealed. “Monster buttons will be provided to those who capture their Cryptids during the hunt.”

To receive prizes, individuals must pick them up at the Taylor County Family Resources office during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. , after the hunt has ended.

Those unable to visit the office to accept their prizes may either forfeit their gifts or pay a handling fee of at least $10 to have their prizes shipped.

Everyone who plans to participate in the hunt should register, according to Coontz. To register, individuals may visit tcfamilyresources.org/registertcmh/. 

Organizers have created a webpage designated specifically for the hunt where participants may find the rules of the game, as well as a photo release. To access that information, please log onto tcfamilyresources.org/tcmonsterhunt/.

“Be sure to read all of the rules before registering for the event,” Coontz urged.

Once registered, participants can whip out their smartphone to solve the riddles and find the monsters through clues that will be released on the site at noon on October 18.

“When we say, ‘find the monster,’ we mean find the poster that includes a picture of monster. The poster will also have facts about the monster,” Coontz explained.

Once the Cryptid is found, smartphone users will be able to scan a QR code or navigate to the URL posted to answer questions about the creature. Participants will then need to snap a selfie with the figure and then submit their responses.

“If the selfie is submitted by a youth participant, the picture must include the youth participant, the adult and a clearly discernible monster in the photo,” Coontz disclosed. “If the selfie is submitted by an adult participant, it must include the adult participant and a clearly discernible monster in the picture.”

There is no cost to participate in this event. However, standard data and messaging rates may apply when completing the entry forms on data enabled devices.

For those who would rather not use a smartphone, registration can be done in person at the TCFR Office, located at 105 Beech Street, Grafton, between the WIC and Salvation Army offices.

On the big day, a paper packet with the clues and questions related to each historical figure will be available for pickup at the office.

“Take this packet around town with you and jot down your answers,” said Coontz. “Be sure to take a selfie with each monster and print it out to be turned in with your packet!”

Packets, complete with as many answers as possible, and smart phone entries will need to be turned in before 4:30 p.m., on November 1 to be entered for a chance at the prizes. 

“This event is open to any child who would like to take part, as long as they have a trusted adult who will participate with them. All participants will need to be pre-registered before the event,” Coontz explained. “We hope that you will join us for the Taylor County Monster Hunt. It’s sure to be a lot of fun!”

In addition, TCFR will also be hosting a coloring contest with a chance to win a Family Art Basket! The basket includes a sand art kit, colored pencils, coloring books and much more! 

Youths in Pre-K through fourth grade can get creative with a coloring page sponsored by the organization. Pages may be obtained at the TCFR Office or by visiting the above-mentioned webpage and must be submitted by November 1.

In addition, TCFR invites the community to get their official Taylor County Monster Hunt Gear!

The organization will be selling t-shirts, printed by Alley Kat Studio, for $20; decals for just $3; and Monster Pins. The pins will be sold for $2 each or a set of 15 for $20, and are specially commissioned by Elisha Rush: Art and Illustration.

According to Coontz, an online storefront is coming soon at wvmonsterhunt.org.

Need your fan gear now? Visit the TCFR Office during office hours.

“In person, we can accept cash or check,” Coontz noted. “Credit Card purchases will be accepted online only.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your fan gear, and get ready to get registered for the Taylor County Monster Hunt on October 18. Happy monster hunting!

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