West Virginia featured in new series

ST. MARYS – Mythological Appalachian monsters – wolfmen, devil dogs, grassman, lizard demons and Mothman – and the mountain men who track and trap them are the subject of Destination America’s new series, “Mountain Monsters.”

A band of West Virginia hunters and trappers, known as Appalachian Investigators of Mysterious Sightings, will be featured in the series, which premieres at 10 p.m. June 22 on Destination America.

AIMS’ mission is to allow resident to share their stories, try to identify or capture the creatures behind them and give them peace of mind. The group uses a conglomeration of traditional trapping techniques and modern technology in their investigations.

West Virginia monsters featured throughout the series include: the Devil Dog of Logan County, featured on the July 6 episode; Wampus Beast of Pleasants County, featured on the July 13 episode; the Mothman of Mason County, featured on the July 20 episode; and the Lizard Demon of Wood County, featured on the July 27 episode.

AIMS was founded in 2010 by “Trapper” John Tice, Jeff Headlee and Willie McQuillian.

“We had all grown up in the Appalachian Region and for years had heard the stories repeated over and over by our families of unusual and mysterious sightings of creatures and beasts in the Appalachian area,” their website said. “All of us thought the stories to be nothing more than legends or folklore, even though the folks telling them seemed to believe they had some real substance.

“Any skepticism we might have had in our early years disappeared for each of us in different ways but we all soon became believers when we had our own personal encounters with these creatures. Our encounters were so vivid and real that soon, upon realizing that all three of us had similar experiences, we all pooled our interest and became somewhat obsessed with these mysterious sightings.”