If you are even a little bit superstitious you should probably stay far away from Chicago this year.
In 2017 Chicago-resident John Amitrano saw something strange in the skies above his hometown.
"I saw a plane flying," he told Vice, "but also something moving really awkwardly under it."
He said he knows what birds and bats look like, and this wasn't it.
"It didn't fly like anything I've ever seen."
What he described was something vaguely human-shaped that flew in a swooping motion. It's creepy enough to hear someone describe something like that, but Amitrano is just one of 55 people claiming to have seen something in the air.
It's all very reminiscent of the supernatural sighting that happened around Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the 1960s. History buffs or paranormal enthusiasts will be able to tell you why that's a bad thing.
Point Pleasant Sees The Mothman
On November 12, 1966 five West Virginians were digging a grave in a local cemetery when they saw a manlike figure flying near the tree line. They all described the creature the same way: the height of a man with large wings and red eyes.
A few days later two young couples in nearby Point Pleasant told police they saw a large grey creature with "glowing red eyes" that followed their car as they drove out of town.
The sightings continued for about a year, with dozens more residents claiming to see a large manlike, flying creature with eyes that "glowed like bicycle reflectors." The being began to be known as the "Mothman".
One biologist told reporters that the sightings could be attributed to the sandhill crane, although near as anyone can tell it had never been seen in West Virginia before or since.
On December 1967 the odd tale of the Mothman took a tragic turn as the Silver Bridge collapsed, killing 46 people.
Some blamed the collapse on the supernatural being, but others think the Mothman was trying to "warn" residents. In 1975 John Keel wrote The Mothman Prophecies, loosely based off the events at Point Pleasant. That's when the idea of the Mothman as a harbinger of doom really took off. It was made into a movie in the early 2000s with Richard Gere, and Point Pleasant even erected a statue of the Mothman where tourists from all over can learn about the legend.
In modern folklore the Mothman appears in places that are about to experience a disaster. There have been reports of him appearing before Chernobyl, the Minnesota bridge collapse in 2007 and even 9/11.
That's what makes the Chicago sightings so spooky.
Lon Strickler runs the supernatural website Phantoms and Monsters and was chronicling the Chicago Mothman reports.
"This group of sightings is historical in cryptozoology terms. For one, it's happening in an urban area for the most part and that there are so many sightings in one period," Stickler said to VICE in an interview.
There might be hope for Chicago however. Strickler says there are a number of key differences between the Mothman of Chicago and the past sightings in West Virginia.
"These beings are less aggressive than the other one in Point Pleasant," he said. "I believe there was only one being in Point Pleasant-area that was seen during that period." He thinks there is more than one creature flying around Chicago.
While he doesn't think that it's a precursor to doom, he does offer a spine-chilling explanation:
“I think they're flesh and blood beings that aren’t of this world.”
[H/T: Vice, Unilad]