5. Indrid Cold

In 2002, The Mothman Prophecies showcased a lesson on how not to adapt real life legends into horror movies.  Remember the ridiculous scene with the weird voice on the telephone asking Richard Gere awkward questions about chap stick?  In that scene, the ominous and electric humming voice on the other side of the phone introduces itself as “Indrid Cold.”

Not only is this scene wholly out of keeping with the documented details of the Mothman legacy, it criminally skims over one of the creepier elements orbiting the cryptid.

The name Indrid Cold actually refers to the Grinning Man entity that popped up in the surrounding geographic areas of Point Pleasant, WV (where Mothman made himself famous).  The story centers on a man named Woodrow Derenberger, a traveling salesman on his way home from nearby Athens, Ohio who claims to have been passed by a strange, luminous vehicle on Interstate 77.  The vehicle stopped in front of Derenberger and a passenger emerged and approached Derenberger’s truck.  According to Derenberger’s account (one which he has since adhered to), the stranger was tan with a dark overcoat and dark shiny suit.  He seemed to have no ears and his eyes were very far apart.  His face was locked in a constant grin.  He also communicated telepathically.

The details from that point forward vary greatly depending on your source, but Derenberger would later document his full story in the book Visitors from Lanulos.  With the flimsy, inconsistent details, it would be easy to dismiss Derenberger’s experience as the product of a troubled mind if it were not for all of the similar stories of individuals making contact with The Grinning Man, both in Derenberger’s local area and all over the world.   In fact, if you believe certain sources, the psychologist who met with Derenberger recanted diagnosis after claiming that Indrid Cold had shown up for a visit.

Level of Skepticism:  This is 100% true.  West Virginians don’t lie.  Sorry.

Tips for a Potential Director:  Be David Lynch?

Black Eyed Kids | The Valentich Disappearance | Indrid Cold | Albert Fish | The Silent Twins | Gary, Indiana Possessions | Elisa Lam