The Lantern

Andrew Smith, the executive director of the Braxton County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the Flatwoods Monster Museum, is no stranger to video editing. Over the past two years while working at the Braxton County CVB, Smith has created many short promotional videos for different attractions in Braxton County with most of those being two to three minutes long. In mid-2019, Smith had the idea to make a short documentary about the history of the semi-famous “Braxton County Monster” Lanterns, which were originally created in the late 1960’s by the Braxton County Chapter of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. The monster lanterns were the first novelty item created to celebrate and depict the Flatwoods Monster and the tale behind it was one that Smith felt deserved sharing. In his free time, Smith shot footage, recorded interviews, and slowly edited his film. The shutdown caused by the corona virus was just the time needed to finish it up.

Watch Trailer below:

While most of America is in self quarantine and streaming media more than ever, this seemed like the perfect time to digitally release this short documentary. The short documentary can now be streamed for free on YouTube at @BraxtonWV or on Facebook @FlatwoodsMonsterMuseum.

The documentary starts with a brief retelling of the Flatwoods Monster incident which took place on September 12th, 1952. From there, the film fast forwards to the late 1960’s to the formation of the Braxton County Chapter of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, also known as the Jaycee’s. Then continues into the history and making of the Braxton County Monster Lanterns and into present day.

Watch the full 22 min. doc below.

For more information on the Flatwoods Monster, or Braxton County West Virginia in general, visit

Press / Awards

The Lantern is a current selection for the Lift-Off Sessions!