Monster Relic, Found!

The Flatwoods Monster Museum, located in downtown Sutton, West Virginia, has received a very rare piece of Flatwoods Monster history. The item seen in the pictures below is the original master caster for the famed “Braxton County Monster” lanterns first created by the civil group, the Jaycees, in the late 1960’s.

Master cast sitting next to a current production lantern.

For more detailed information about the monster lanterns, click here.

Master casts, such as this, are created in the event that multiple, or replacement molds need to be made some time in the future. These preserve the impression of the original master molds so that future molds will be identical to the original.

As you can see, this master cast is not in great shape, at times in its life it was not stored under ideal conditions. It would be asking a lot to expect that an obscure seventy-year-old novelty such as this to be treated like a museum piece for the totality of its seventy years. The fact that it still exists at all or that the Flatwoods Monster Museum was able to obtain it is a near miracle.

As you can see from the photos, it seems that the original intentions were that the lanterns would have more tear-drop shaped cutouts on the lower half of the figure similar to the cutouts commonly seen in the “chest” area. The museum isn’t aware of any vintage copies that contain these cut-outs. Whether they were even included in a production mold is unknown as well.

The Flatwoods Monster Museum would like to thank Dave Bossert for donating this piece to the museum. Dave obtained this master cast from his father, Bob Bossert, who was the man who helped John Gibson get the lantern project off the ground. Bob was a rep for a paint company that John dealt with often at the hardware store where he worked, and when John first had the idea to make these monster lanterns, he told Bob about it and they worked together to make them a reality.

Bob Bossert circa early 2000’s

The monster museum would also like to thank Kelly Bossert, Dave’s daughter and Bob’s Granddaughter for helping the museum make a connection with Dave.