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I call you not believers, but followers. For we no longer are believers, but followers in these new beginnings. Open your eyes, open your ears, and open your hearts. Have you not heard from all of the new inhabitants of Appalachia? The sightings are real, the encounters are true. We offer the gift of the woods.Sermon notes

The Cult of the Mothman (or simply the Mothman Cult) is a religious movement in the region of Appalachia based in the exaltation of the Truth of the Mothman, though the term is often used by outsiders to refer to the largest faction, the Followers of the Winged One. Prior to the Great War, the faithful congregated in a small makeshift church under the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant.

Mere days before the bombs fell, Brother Charles experienced a vision, which prompted the cultists to seek shelter in the faraway Lucky Hole Mine. Following the War, mutant creatures resembling the legendary Mothman were seen across Appalachia, and the cultists eventually emerged from the mine to engage with them in various ways.

The religion split into two major sects, which are bitterly at war;

  • The Enlightened, a relatively secular movement, were the first group to leave the mine. They fled Appalachia with the prophet Brother Charles to exalt the Wise Mothman, an individual mortal being, distinguished by its otherworldly fuchsia glow.
  • The Followers of the Winged One descend from those who remained in the mine (with the First Priestess of the Wood), and emerged later to carry out crusades, claiming considerable holdings in the region. Crazed and superstitious, they worship the numerous red-eyed "Holy" Mothman species as manifestations of their god of Light.


FO76 Atomic Shop - Mothman statue

Pre-War history[]

The Bridge[]

Prior to the Great War, the Mothman was a mythical creature in Appalachian folklore, considered a "cryptid" in pop culture. Described as a terrifying half-man, half-moth hybrid, it was believed to haunt the area around Point Pleasant.[1] It was feared as a herald of disaster, due to its historic 1967 appearance before the collapse of the Silver Bridge, which connected Ohio and West Virginia.[2]

F76 Mothman Museum Poster

The story was a media sensation, and caught the attention of many people, ranging from eccentric paranormal hobbyists to obsessive conspiracy theorists determined to "uncover" some deeper meaning in the legend.[3] The Mothman was embraced by the town for attracting tourists, prompting the creation of the Mothman Museum, which sold cryptid novelty goods such as pulp novels, magazines, and posters.[4][5] Adjacent to the museum, a pavilion was built around a large Mothman statue, infamous for its prominent, muscular buttocks.

Long-term interest in Mothman sightings was generally insignificant, and the matter was not seen as worthy of genuine inquiry by the scientific community.[6] However, the legend found enduring notoriety in the region, and left an imprint on pop culture which attracted sincere cryptid hunters and researchers.[7][8] A clandestine organization coalesced in the quiet town of Point Pleasant, which hoped to directly interact with the Mothman through ritual.

The hidden chapel in 2104.

The group congregated within the root cellar underneath the Mothman Museum, which was converted into a small chapel, where Mothman enthusiasts attended meetings and sermons. They grew fervent in their worship of the Mothman as a divine being. They believed they could predict future disasters by communing with the Mothman, and often attempted to summon him for this purpose.[9][10]

The Summoning[]

76 NOTM Answer

Brother Charles

On October 21, 2077, only two days before nuclear Armageddon was unleashed across the world, a service was held in the hidden church. The preacher was organizing a ritual to summon the Mothman, hoping to be warned of a coming danger.[9]

Shortly thereafter, they conducted the ritual. One member, Brother Charles, believed he had seen the Mothman in the periphery of his senses, who delivered a message of great danger.[11][12] The omen was communicated to the preacher. He called a second mass the following day, and read a sermon titled "Impending doom," advocating for Charles and relaying the warning to the group.

According to his sermon, the Mothman informed Charles that the cult must seek high ground, or they would perish in a flood on the following day.[11] The preacher further proclaimed that the faithful must stand on the rooftops of Point Pleasant and wait for the flood, and ordered those present to spread the word.[11] They planned to praise the rushing waters in the light of dawn as the faithless perished beneath them.

For reasons which went unrecorded, a large group then eschewed the plan declared by the preacher, and fled Point Pleasant with Brother Charles. They traveled across the state to the entrance of a decommissioned mine, perched upon on a cliff overlooking Watoga.

Decades later, the Enlightened would describe this event as a misguided ritual to the red-eyed "Pretender Mothman,"[12] yet attribute this revelation to the Wise Mothman.[12] They also claim it was Charles who "guided his brethren to safety in the Lucky Hole Mine" by hearing the Whispers of the Wise One.[12] Further, the Enlightened attest that the Wise One foretold of "fire and flood," while the preacher at Point Pleasant spoke only of a flood.

The Mine[]

76 Lucky Hole church service

A worship site in the Lucky Hole Mine

The sprawling Lucky Hole Mine features two major chambers of worship; a large church area where a natural spring of drinking water has formed, and the hidden lair of a creature referred to by the cult as "the Firstborn of the Wood." Both are marked by giant sculptures of faces of unknown origin, which appear to have been excavated. The cultists believe the spring was formed when their god collected their tears in His branches and spread them on the earth.[13]

However, the Cult of the Mothman were not the first mysterious group to seek sanctuary here.

Some time prior, an old woman approached the under-staffed security team of the inactive Lucky Hole Mine, asking for a "tour." She was turned away. Shortly thereafter, the mine was ordered to permanently cease operations by its parent corporation.[14] Immediately following this development, the old woman returned with a group of people. Again, she requested a tour of the mine, and again, she was turned away. After this, people were seen lurking around the premises at night, and locks were found smashed. Before long, the security team left an entry on their terminal explicitly surrendering the decommissioned mine to this unknown group out of fear.[14]

Currently, the security terminal remains intact at the entrance of the mine, immediately next to the note He agrees. Per the corresponding note His home, according to the post-War dwellers of the mine, it was prophesied that the group would be denied a new home by the faithless three times before "He would open the way,"[15] which may refer to this historic incident.

The first time the old woman visited, a guard decided to call the nearby Allegheny Asylum to ask about escaped patients, which places the incident no later than March of 2061.[16]

Fallout period[]


The Cult of the Mothman arrived at the Lucky Hole Mine before the bombs fell on October 23, 2077, and took shelter inside. As nuclear shockwaves ripped across the surface of Appalachia, the group settled into their new home.

Meanwhile, in the years following complete societal collapse, there were frequent reports among the Charleston Emergency Government of people claiming to have seen Mothman.[17] The creature was also documented by the Appalachian Enclave.[18]

Jeff Lane and the Interloper[]

Jeff Lane was a man obsessed with the paranormal, who moved to Point Pleasant because of the town's historic connection to supernatural events. He lived in an apartment adjacent to the Mothman Museum, a business he either owned or worked for. He had a key to the bathroom of the Museum which concealed the entrance to their hidden chapel.[5]

FO76 Interloper worshippers

A cultist worships the Interloper

He remained in Point Pleasant after the War,[7] and developed a fixation on an entity called "the Interloper,"[7] after encountering a "story teller" whom spoke of this entity waiting deep beneath the earth.[7] Jeff described this man as "mad by any reckoning," but held his story to be "no less true,"[7] and became convinced that the Interloper was waiting for him. He described the Mothman as a mere "creature" and aspired to understand the horrors hidden in the periphery of the subconscious mind.[7]

Jeff eventually left Point Pleasant and made his way to the Lucky Hole Mine. By this time, he was completely obsessed with the Interloper, believing it had chosen him for some higher cosmic purpose.[19] He arrived alone,[20][21] and was unaware that his former neighbors had taken shelter here, though he noted that "the signs are all around that I am not the only one to hear the call."[19] At this time, Lane expressed his desire to act as a "vessel" and a "conduit" for the Interloper, and his belief that he was specifically ordained for this role.[19] After recording this tape, Jeff Lane disappears from history. Beyond these scant facts, the nature of his relationship with the Interloper and its cult is unknown.

Schism of the Enlightened[]

76 NOTM Contempt

Interpreter Clarence and Charles of the Enlightened

In the years following the War, some within the mine "turned to darker worship" under the guidance of a figure known as the First Priestess of the Wood. Many of the cultists within the mine began to worship the Firstborn of the Wood, to the disgust of others. When this perceived corruption of the religion became unbearable, a group fled the mine with Charles. They came to call this new sect "the Enlightened" and founded a church called the Lantern, somewhere beyond the hills of West Virginia,[12] leaving those who exalted the First Priestess to dwell in the mine.

The Enlightened define themselves by their exclusive reverence for the Wise Mothman, an individual mothman with magenta eyes. They characterize this Wise One as a benevolent mortal messenger who does not ask to be treated as a god, only wishing to impart intellectual gifts upon mankind.[22]

76 WL Mothman visitation

Pre-Plague period[]

On the surface[]

By 2088,[23] groups of cultists began to emerge from the mine and settle Appalachia, building shrines in all regions of West Virginia except for the Cranberry Bog. They sought communion with the forces they believed dwelled in the forest. They also attempted to summon or encounter the Mothman and be blessed by his divine power.[24][25] The cult consisted not only of individuals, but entire family units and communities.[26] Some of their settlements appeared to be hatcheries for feral red-eyed mothmen.

FO76 WL Cultist vestments

They came to call themselves the Followers of the Winged One.[27] They have also been known to refer to themselves, perhaps in certain contexts, as "brothers of the Wood" or "servants of the Wood."[28] They seek to become one with "the Light."[25][29] At some point, the Followers purged their enemies in an event called the Crusade of Light.[29]

The First Priestess of the Wood eventually died, and her casket was enshrined in the chapel at Lucky Hole Mine, elevated prominently between the pulpit and the springs.[30] A human skull was placed on this casket, neatly arranged with radstag antlers, evoking the form of an antlered human. Those loyal to the Priestess continued to address her and deliver blessings unto her posthumously.[30]

During the pre-Plague period, raiders came to control Point Pleasant until power changed hands to the Responders, who eventually fell to the Scorched.[31][32] A ghastly shrine by the water indicates cult activity in Point Pleasant at some point before or after these events.

Humanity abandons West Virginia[]

The Scorched Plague hit Appalachia in 2085. Eventually, all of the faithful left West Virginia or died there. The latest written evidence of human activity in Appalachia dates to 2097.[33] By the time Vault 76 opened in 2102, none remained alive in the region.

In the wake of the Plague, Mothman stalked the ruins in silence. The cultists' distinctive remains were seen occasionally, especially near their abandoned settlements. Scores of scorched humans and feral ghouls were left milling about the region, but none have ever been spotted wearing cultist attire.

Current history[]

Reclamation period[]

MTG 0343 crop

When the 76 Dwellers emerged on Reclamation Day, the earliest among them reported seeing a friendly purple-eyed mutant moth in the wild, but sightings ceased by the end of the year. Outside of certain Enlightened summoning rituals, the Wise Mothman has not been spotted in the region since.[34][35]

Over the next year, various people groups returned or migrated to the region due to the defeat of the Scorchbeast Queen. As they fought viciously to settle the corrupted forests of Appalachia, red eyes fell upon them, and the Mothman disturbed their dreams.[36]

Return to the Holy Land[]

76 NOTM art crop

A mothman observes a torch-wielding man in Enlightened robes.

In 2103, the Followers of the Winged One returned en masse and thrived in West Virginia. Restored to their holy land, they resolved to drive out or destroy all within His domain who shun the Light of the Holy Mothman.[37] The sect has maintained a mounting presence in Appalachia ever since. They began by fortifying and sanctifying positions across the state, including Clancy Manor, Ingram Mansion, Johnson's Acre, and their ancestral home of Point Pleasant. Shrines of various size can be found in any given forest in the region, and ephemeral ritual bonfires are constructed throughout the woods.[38] Small bands of initiates and aspiring Mothman Priests freely camp in the wilderness by night and wander the country roads by day.[38][39][40][41] High Priests are spotted in the region seasonally, some of them apparently caring for mothman eggs.[42]

They settled the church at Kanawha County Cemetery, hoping to track down the works of a deceased entomologist by the name of Dr. Wallace. They sought his doctoral thesis on the moths of the Appalachian region.[43][44] Additionally, a shrine called Blake's Offering appeared very close to the ruins of KMAX Transmission, a student radio station whose host was a conspiracy theorist with a cryptozoological interest in Mothman.[6]

Further developments[]

76 NOTM Marlon summoning

During the seasonal Equinox, members of the Enlightened travel to Point Pleasant, driving away the Followers who normally occupy this location. This begins a two-week long ceremony in honor of the Wise One. The Followers attempt to sabotage the hourly rituals throughout the festival, and ultimately reclaim the town each year after the Enlightened leave. During the first festival, a throne was constructed on top of the Mothman Museum. They also attached Hornwright industrial fans to the roof, which they use to disperse neurotoxic dust into the air.

In 2104, a Follower named Brother Scarberry began socializing with the Dwellers of Vault 76. Meanwhile, a Smiling Man who seemed to have the shadow of a moth[45] was seen wandering the wilderness. Shortly thereafter, the cult settled the Glade in Cranberry Bog, now known as the Sacramental Glade.

FO76AC Organ Cave 09

In 2105, the Followers were found to be living in the sprawling Organ Cave beneath the Forest, and came into conflict with the Responders in the area. Around the same time, they were driven from Ingram Mansion, and their occult structures were cleared away to make room for a new development.

Conflict between sects[]

Philosophical disputes[]

FO76 icon quest mothmanequinox
Time and again has the Wise Mothman come, and time and again the mad and twisted have rejected his message. They were attuned to other whispers, hearing the Call of a thing beyond, drawn to the deep places of the earth for inhuman purpose. The broken heard the song of the Interloper and turned from the Truth, scorning wisdom as the product of mere mortals in favor of the unknowable.Catechism of Wise Hilary the Scourge

Each denomination decries the other as heretical servants of "the Pretender Mothman."[12][46] The Followers hold their spiritual beliefs to be observable truth.[47] In their parlance, the Enlightened have actually "left the Light" in their apostacy from the larger faith.[29] They take great offense that the Enlightened still practice some of the same rituals in the name of a different benefactor.[29]

In response, the Enlightened describe themselves as students of "the physical reality of the Mothman,"[44] and look down on the larger cult as believers in the supernal.[44]In-game spelling, punctuation and/or grammar They scorn these "Dim Ones" as heretics projecting mythology onto unthinking creatures, and condemn their red-eyed Holy Mothman icon as "the Deceiver."[12][44] In the words of the Enlightened, their former peers have "succumbed to the delusion of Holiness" in heeding "the Call of a thing beyond."[48] They hold the Wise Mothman to be "among us, and of us," and they claim to "know that he is more alike to us than not."[49][48]

Both sects recognize the Mothman Equinox as a sacred cosmological event[50] and claim ownership of the Mothman Museum. Both are interested in psychic phenomena, especially the ability to hear voices[30][51][12][52][53] and remote viewing,[54][55] though neither is known to use the word "psychic."

The Enlightened recognize and emphasize a distinction between voices associated with the Wise Mothman and those associated with the Interloper.[48] The Followers are known to celebrate auditory hallucinations as "His voice"[30] and "the voices of the Woods."[51]


The schism formally occurred when a group left the mine with Charles. The First Priestess of the Wood remained at the mine and eventually died there. As Interpreter Michaela tells the story in Exodus, the schism began when the entire cult began to hear the whispers of the Wise Mothman while living at the mine, filling many of them with fear. Conversely, Charles and some of the cultists focused on these whispers, and became "Wise" in doing so.[12]

76 NOTM Eventful summoning

Upon learning that the Enlightened still practice traditional Mothman rituals, Brother Scarberry remarks "It seems that there is the need for another Crusade of Light,"[29] alluding to some organized campaign of mass violence the Followers once carried out, possibly targeting apostates specifically. The timeframe, location, and parameters of this Crusade of Light are unspecified. On the tape Cultist - Mind's Eye, a Mothman Priest uses the plural "crusades," either alluding to a multitude of previous events or plans for a second Crusade in the future.[56][54]

Seasonally, the Enlightened wrest control of Point Pleasant from their adversaries for two weeks at a time, to conduct the Equinox festival. The Followers, in turn, attempt to disrupt their ceremonies until the festivities conclude and the Enlightened leave. The timing of the Mothman Equinox may or may not align with equinoxes observed by traditional astronomy.


When the Followers returned to Appalachia in 2103, they were highly interested in the work of a long-dead entomologist known as Dr. Wallace, who had written a doctoral thesis on moths. In a tome titled On the Thesis of Wallace, author Wise Martin the Bearded pointedly criticizes this as an example of his counterparts exercising motivated reasoning and magical thinking.

Our benighted brethren among the Dim Ones, even in their misguided worship of the Pretender, seek to know their false god better by increasing their understanding of him as a natural phenomenon. They make of him a supernal being, yet they have clamored and scrabbled for the writings of those who, like us, study the physical reality of the Mothman.— Wise Martin the Bearded, On the Thesis of Doctor Wallace

Additionally, during the Equinox festival, Charles can be heard whispering the name Wallace.

The Firstborn[]

76 Scarberry altar

Brother Stevie's altar

Brother Scarberry is the only representative of the Followers sect with unique dialogue. When asked about "the Interloper," he will deny knowledge of to "whom" the term might refer. Then, visibly shaken, he begs the player character to stop looking into the matter.[57] In a tome titled False Gods of Appalachia, an Enlightened scribe condemns the Interloper on behalf of Wise Pearl the Augur, as does Wise Hilary the Scourge in Catechism. Aside from Jeff Lane (and the unknown "story teller" he encountered),[7] no other character mentions "the Interloper." However, a series of religious writings at the Lucky Hole Mine mention "The Firstborn of the Wood."[58] Both terms are widely presumed to refer to the creature worshipped by the Followers within the Lucky Hole Mine.


This section primarily concerns the Followers of the Winged One. For more about the culture of the Enlightened, see their page.


The Followers of the Winged One are numerous throughout Appalachia and the surrounding regions. They impede trade between other societies by maintaining territorial control over trade routes.

They have been recruiting individuals who were not at the Lucky Hole Mine at the time of the Great War.[59] Ghouls are commonly seen among their ranks. The cult is stable enough that people have been born into it, and grown to adulthood in social isolation.[60] Their structure includes Mothman Priests who preside over the disciples,[56] as well as High Priests who have memorized sacred books,[61] and other revered elders.[62] Their society emphasizes the importance of crusades.[54]

The Enlightened are only known to live at a mysterious church called the Lantern. The highest rank of their secular society is to be called Wise. These Wise persons work in tandem with Interpreters, who oversee the basic Observers and guide them in visions. Unlike their infamously territorial counterparts, this smaller, more secretive sect are not known to disrupt other wasteland societies, and seem to have gone almost entirely unnoticed in general.


Cosmology and rituals[]

The Followers of the Winged One believe that in death, the Holy Mothman will shepherd them into a divine, eternal Light.[25][63][64][65] They fear the Mothman as a god.[66][22] They believe He is attracted to light,[67] as well as the glow of radiation.[68] They are known to refer to the Holy Mothman with a capitalized He pronoun, and sometimes honor Him as the Great Moth or the Bright One.[28][69][70] They seem to use numerous varied titles for their mythological figures. Very little is known about the nature of their god or gods, and what their different titles might signify. One note found at Blake's Offering begins by invoking two distinct figures; "bright winged one sleeps beneath the earth/the silent watching one sleeps beneath the sea."

76 Cultist pondering scripture

The Followers extensively mythologize and deify various aspects of nature. They deeply revere the flora of Appalachia, and believe they are in direct contact with an entity they call "the Wood" or "the Woods," almost[47][71] always capitalized, which they believe to have multiple voices[51] and which brings them gifts[72][47] in exchange for sacrificial offerings,[51][73] including other humans.[74] They also invoke this entity as "The Eyes of the Forest,"[28] "father of the Woods,"[28] and "the Harvester."[75] They endeavor to "Grow out to Him."[47] They worship Him at holy springs[13] and even commit ritual suicide by imbibing poisoned drinks.[28][76] They assign great spiritual significance to the entity's blood[15][77] and the blood of the Firstborn of the Wood.[58] The cult offers the "gift of the woods" to the faithful,[47] and some cultists aspire to become a "child of the wood" themselves.[71] The Followers of the Winged One were guided in their worship of this deity by a figure known as the First Priestess of the Wood.[30]

At the pulpit of the converted church in Point Pleasant, a pencil can be found next to a ruined book, perhaps emphasizing the improvisational nature of their belief system.

The Enlightened dismiss the Followers' mythology, and preach only the importance of developing one's personal understanding of the Truth of the Wise Mothman. Both sects practice human sacrifice, though Observer Errol is confounded as to why the Wise One always leaves "when they begin to scream."[78]


Both sects fill troughs with albino radstag blood as a ritual offering to the Mothman.[79] These blood troughs are generally wrapped in barbed wire, moss, or roots. In one blood trough on the North Road Bridge, a mass of bloodbug meat has been placed, and the hides of radstags and foxes rest at the foot of the altar. Additionally, the troughs throughout Point Pleasant are wrapped in moss which pulsates with a red glow.

Live humans are offered upon the spire at Moth-Home.[80] The cultists who tend to the Interloper seem to engage in rituals involving bloodletting,[77][81] but the specifics of this are entirely unclear. Jars litter the creature's lair, and a sickle can be found there.

Errol attempts to sacrifice humans to the Wise One, who has repeatedly rejected the offering.[78] The Enlightened also present diverse arrangements of produce and flora to the Wise Mothman. A strangler pod grows within one of their offering baskets.



76 Cultist paint 2

Cultists style themselves strangely in general. They wear loose, durable clothing, always either informal or ritualistic. Their hair is typically short and unkempt. Some have bizarre pointy beards or curly moustaches not typically seen in Appalachia. Many are missing patches of hair.

76 WL generic cultist Scary Larry

Most older members have a stern, serious look. Some younger congregants may have more relaxed demeanors and softer features. Occasionally a cultist may be spotted with some uncanny, egregiously distinctive feature, such as beady, unexpressive eyes, or a very large mandible and mouth.

They often bear facepant or facial tattoos. Some resembles war paint typical of raiders. Others appear to be intense ritualistic coloration, apparently having used their hands to smear a variety of pigments across the entire face. They may have symmetrical face tattoos resembling branches, or patterns around the mouth evoking large teeth.

Cultists tend strongly towards a muscular bodytype, and seem to clench their fists when idle and unarmed. Looking over a cultist, one may notice their damaged, sinewy hands. In fact, they have strange deterioration and scarring across their entire bodies, not normally visible during gameplay.

Ghoul men and women are a common sight among the Followers. These ghoul members are never seen with face paint, and none of them seem to have hair. They are otherwise no different from human members in any obvious way.


76 cultist ghoul eating

The dwellers of the Lucky Hole Mine were able to survive because an underground spring formed in the main chamber. The spring was not always present. The cultists believe it was created by their god when He gathered their tears in His branches and spread them upon the earth.[13] The cultists at the Organ Cave drink from the blood-red water of the underground river, which may be the result of a natural iron deposit.[82]

Soup is a staple of their diet. Underground, the cultists pick glowing mushrooms and cook them into stew.[83] They also eat canned soups. The door guards of the Lucky Hole Mine may occasionally produce a large bowl of noodles and eat it standing up, as will revelers at Clancy Manor. The manor's kitchen is littered with a remarkable abundance of large pots, several of them filled with stew. Bowls of chicken noodle soup and vegetable medley soup can be found on tables here.

At their settlements, they hunt wild game, including radstags.[84] Salt and sugar can be found at most cultist locations. Some also have spices. Although the Followers routinely capture and ostensibly butcher humans for ritual purposes, there is no clear evidence of them directly eating human meat. However, the Enlightened Observer Errol loudly implies a singular fascination with hunting individuals shown to him in visions and eating them.[85]

Mind-altering substances[]

Chems are commonly found at cultist settlements. Buffout is most abundant, and a chalkboard in the Lucky Hole Mine suggests putting buffout in a syringe. In the chapel beneath the Mothman Museum, there is a chem within the pulpit, and in the side room. At the waterfront prayer circle in Point Pleasant, a cultist kneels with a random chem placed directly in front of them. Hallucigen gas canisters can be found near ritual spaces at Moth-Home and Hopewell cemetery, and could formerly be found at Ingram Mansion. Cultists also appear to drink coffee and beer.[86]

The Enlightened use neurotoxic dust gathered from mothmen in their ceremonies, and believe it allows the imbiber to "see the world through His eyes." In Observations, the visions of an observer named Dave are dismissed due to their unusual nature and his heavy chem use.

Settlements and ritual spaces[]


FO76 NOTM Point Pleasant effigy

Fallout 76 removed contentPoint Pleasant effigy circa 2103

The Followers appear to value primitivism, using a combination of wood, bones, wire, leather, vines, and cloth to construct their armor and shrines. Their bases usually utilize pre-existing structures, modifying them with bones, vines, wood, and otherwise to create shelters, balconies, and altars. Their places of influence are overwhelmingly infested with overgrown roots and vines.

The distinctive bones of a large aquatic creature are universal to cultist architecture. The nature of this creature is unknown, but the remains of one rest underwater at the Big Maw. The cranium of this beast is commonly used to construct an effigy of the Holy Mothman. Glowing red mushrooms, berries, or candles are often placed in the eye sockets. The creatures' spines and ribs are commonly used to decorate structures.

They are especially interested in reclaiming pre-War churches, such as the ones at Helvetia and the Swallowed Town, as well as historical estates such as Clancy Manor and Ingram Mansion. Some strongholds, such as Sacrament and Moth-Home, appear to be newly assembled from natural materials.

Architecture and fortification[]

Recently-founded camps such as the one at Old Mold Quarry may make their presence known with simple canvas tents, torches, stakes, and a central bonfire. Blake's Offering is a large camp in the process of being fortified.

Nearly all of their settlements are built around a prominent spire, where mothmen can perch. Sometimes a human sacrifice is bound and offered up on the spire.[80] The creatures do frequently visit these settlements at night, and almost exclusively leave their eggs in the care of the cultists.

When the Followers reclaimed Point Pleasant from the Scorched, they wove roots through the wreckage of the North Road Bridge, converting it into an enclosed worship space. The mutilated body of a Scorched hangs from a beam of lumber jutting over the entrance,

76 Kanawha congregation

In 2103, the Followers reclaimed Kanawha County Cemetery. They apparently guided the roots of a large tree to rapidly grow towards the church and infest the building. As the church broke apart, they reinforced the structure with massive animal bones and tangled roots, in support of a central spire. Kanawha remains a major cultist settlement, and church services are held in the desecrated stronghold.[43][47][87]

The Followers can still be seen holding mass at the Kanawha church, as well as the church within the Lucky Hole Mine. They also occupy and meditate within original Mothman church in Point Pleasant.

Atomic Shop A cultist furniture set can be unlocked through the Atomic Shop, which features a chair, small table, and elaborate bed fashioned from roots growing out of the ground.


76 Cultist symmetry totem

Their totems are generally shaped from roots growing out of the ground, intertwined with human and animal bones. Most feature a single triangle prominently scratched into their surface or assembled from twigs. They also fashion sconces, chandeliers, and other strange displays purely out of human bones. At Kanawha County Cemetery, a cultist can be seen tending to an opened grave beneath a headstone (separate from the tomb of Dr. Wallace), indicating some of these remains are obtained by robbing graveyards. Cultist paraphernalia also exists at the cemetery above Hopewell Cave.

In 2102, these totems could be found in the chapel beneath the Mothman Museum. It's unclear if they were present before the War, nor how the human remains may have been obtained. A key to the chapel is found at Wilson Bros Auto, where another totem is found, with a post-War animal sacrifice laying at its base. When the Followers reclaimed Point Pleasant in 2103, they spread the vines to infest the entire town, and erected several new totems. In 2104, they elevated crucified remains beneath signs reading "abandon hope," creating Totems of Warding which the Enlightened find disturbing.

76 Cultist pylon

Nearly all of these effigies are topped with antlered radstag skulls, or the skulls of humans or brahmin affixed with tree limbs positioned to resemble antlers. Strangely, some appear to incorporate the skulls of gazelles, ibexes, or other creatures which are not known to live in the area, though they could have plausibly acquired these through trade, looting, or hunting in other territories. Some were fashioned from pre-war taxidermy, evidenced by fine wooden plaques. One variety of skull seen mounted at the Sacramental Glade and Organ Cave resembles a sheepsquatch, but not a sheepsquatch skull, and may have belonged to a mutant ram. The skull of a sheepsquatch or brahmin rests on a prominent casket at the Glade, much like the antlered skull laid on the coffin of the First Priestess. It cannot be interacted with.

76 AC The Earth will rise

One totem in the Forest seems to distort light around it. Some specific shrines are marked by strange ambient audio, or the sudden absence of normal ambient audio such as wind and wildlife. Their "bone-tree" totems are very similar to those built by the Swampfolk of Point Lookout. As they typically feature antlers, they could be likened to a verdant stag. A unique totem seen in the Organ Cave features a fresh red eyeball set into the right socket of an off-center human skull, crowning a tangle of roots which has bloomed through the left. Shelf mushrooms grow at its base.

Ritual objects[]

The holotape Chapter 7 describes the construction of a holy effigy using blessed implements and the entrails of a sacrificial beast, as well as a holy oil made from mothman eggs. Subsequent tape Chapter 8 refers to the completed effigy as a Divine Lamp and prescribes an incantation to be recited as it is burned on a pyre.

They repurpose fusion cores as candles, producing ritual objects identical to those later produced by the Atomites of the Nucleus.[88] Like the Atomites, they also fill bottles with bioluminescent fluid, but other folk in Appalachia use these same glowing bottles as a light source.[89]

FO76 Big Maw Cult Statue 01

The Followers have been known to hang wind chimes from the psychoactive strangler vines which infest the Mire, such as at Blake's Offering. Chimes also hang from the Towering Might totem at Big Maw and within the doorway of Kanawha Church.

An antler rests on a small altar at Lucky Hole Mine. When cultists held Ingram Mansion, one could be seen praying with an antler placed on the ground directly in front of them. Several coffins at Old Crimora Mines are topped with a human skull and a single antler.



FO76 lesser cultist

Incidental Followers of the Winged One are often seen wearing pastor's vestments, flannels, or long johns, as well as many different types of gas mask, including several modified by the cult. They may wear incomplete wood armor or a complete set of leather armor. Practitioners have been known to wear ritual bindings featuring a mask with fake wooden antlers, as well as the antlered cultist incarnate helmet. The cultist neophyte, adept, and elder sets (the last of which sports antlers as well) are identical to various Treeminder robes. Prophets can be seen wearing ghillie suits and glowing red mothman glasses.[90][91]

The Once in a Blue Moon update added a gazelle gas mask and rooster gas mask based on earlier cultist concept art.

FO76WL Cultists


The cultists' daggers and swords are fashioned from a sharpened scrap of black titanium, crudely fastened to a handle fashioned from a bone or antler. They use these blades to flay living people in ritual sacrifice.[92] The Cultist Piercer is a pickaxe inscribed with strange runes.

Flamers are often wielded by Wrathwings. The Holy Fire is a flamer covered in cultist symbols. Similarly, the Elder's Mark is a tommy gun inscribed with runes.[Bug 1]

Prophets have been known to wield gamma guns which emit the same sonic blasts as mothmen.


Hardware and science[]

Despite their preference for natural materials, one cultist holotape advises that the cathode ray tube (commonly known as a CRT screen) is "the retina to the mind's eye," suggesting some understanding of and reverence for A/V hardware.[54] Their ritual use of fusion cores also indicates some spiritual interest in modern technology. In late 2104, cultists styled as "sanctifiers" were seen utilizing raider-style power armor at the newly consecrated Glade.

There is a large chemistry lab hidden in the Lucky Hole Mine immediately before the lair of the Interloper. A chalkboard here indicates rudimentary experimentation with chems. Additionally, several functional lightbulbs within the mine appear to be hung from roots rather than wires, with no circuitry in sight. On the rooftop of the Mothman Museum, several lightbulbs sit at the base of a totem among a decorated shrine. They cannot be interacted with, indicating they are part of the ornamentation of the shrine, not loose junk.

Allegedly, a member of the Enlightened once attempted to clone the Wise Mothman, and was eaten by the infant creatures.[93]

Relationship with pop culture[]

The original Mothman church at Point Pleasant was hidden beneath the active Mothman Museum, a popular shop where novelty goods such as posters and books were sold to cryptid tourists. Brother Scarberry, who was born after the War, expresses disdain for the meaningless display of Mothman iconography.[94]

A comic book or pulp novel can usually be found on the lectern of the active church within the Lucky Hole Mine, suggesting their religious services sometimes involve directly discussing popular science fiction media, which is typical of real-life apocalyptic cults.[Non-game 1] Mythical reinterpretation of pop media is also a universal feature of fringe conspiracy theory,[Non-game 2] a topic the pre-War operators of the Mothman Museum showed interest in.[95][96]

The aforementioned notion of a screen being the "retina to the mind's eye"[54] is a quotation of the 1983 science fiction film Videodrome.


The Enlightened believe the Followers of the Winged One have the power to send vines to harass them.[97][98][99]

Brother Scarberry twice implies he can see literally see radiation as a hallucinatory glow, both on a person and ambiently.[68][100] Further, he voices disapproval if the player character has been blessed by the Wise Mothman, apparently able to detect a "lilac glow" not visible to the player.[101]

The Followers deploy large numbers of newborn mothmen when attacking locations.[102] The full-grown creatures will fight alongside their human sycophants if provoked, exhibiting the ability to distinguish between friendly and hostile humans. Grown mothmen attack the Equinox ceremony alongside cultists.

The events of the Mothman Equinox would suggest their high priests have the power to possess people and creatures, influencing their behavior. The effect is visible, as small glowing red moths seem to orbit such NPCs. This power extends to deathclaws. Brother Scarberry dismisses these claims, attributing such incredible notions to the high levels of neurotoxic dust in the air.[103] As there was an abundance of neurotoxic dust in the air, producing psychedelic hallucinations, this gameplay event may not reflect the objective reality of the situation being depicted. However, high priests roam across Appalachia throughout the annual event, exhibiting this power wherever they go.


The following is a list of sites containing evidence of cult activity, sorted by the time at which they were discovered by the Vault 76 surface empire.

Plague period[]

The following sites were discovered between Reclamation Day and 2103. It's theoretically possible some of the lesser shrines may have been constructed after Reclamation Day.

A major contingency of the Cult of the Mothman survived the Plague by retreating to unknown territories they established somewhere outside the state at an unclear time.


Humans returned to Appalachia at this time, including the cult.


In 2104, the Enlightened began visiting Appalachia seasonally to celebrate the Equinox.


The cult abandoned Ingram Mansion early in the year.

Named members[]

76 NOTM Scarberry portrait

Brother Stevie

The Followers of the Winged One[]

The Followers are a violent sect who thrive throughout the hills of Appalachia and hold several large settlements.[107] They are headquartered at the Lucky Hole Mine, where they care for and worship the Firstborn of the Wood. Their religious practices were shaped by the First Priestess of the Wood.[30] Although she has since passed away, her followers continue to exalt her even in death.[30] They have been known to address each other as brothers/servants of the Wood.[28]

The Enlightened[]

Main article: The Enlightened
76 NOTM Pretty dust

A relatively peaceful and reasonable offshoot of the Cult. Headquartered at a faraway church called the Lantern, the Enlightened have no permanent presence in Appalachia, but occupy Point Pleasant seasonally. They follow the Wise Mothman rather than worshipping mothmen in general. For a list of members, see their page.

Unspecified affiliation[]


Main article: Cultist (Fallout 76)

Roles (Followers)[]

  • Brother/Sister
  • Cultist
  • Prospect
  • Ascender
  • Seeker
  • Disciple[109]
  • Elder (gender neutral)[110]
  • Awoken
  • Chosen
  • Wrathwing
  • Destroyer
  • Sanctifier
  • Mothman Priest[109]
  • High Priest
  • High Priestess[111]
  • Prophet
  • First Priestess[30]

Roles (Enlightened)[]

  • Observer
  • Interpreter
  • Wise

Interactions with the player character[]

As a faction[]

Initially, sites of the cult's influence could be found across Appalachia, especially in regions such as the Forest and the Mire. Many small unmarked shrines and ritual spaces dotted the map. The ritual bindings and ritual mask are clothing items of the cult's make, and can commonly be found in areas of their influence. The cultist dagger and cultist blade are weapons of similar origin. The only interior cell associated with the cult was the Lucky Hole Mine.

Cultists arrived in Appalachia with the Wastelanders update. They can be seen at many small shrines and camps across the map, and densely populate Point Pleasant and the Lucky Hole Mine. They will attack Vault Dwellers and Settlers on sight. There is no way for player characters to join the cult.

NPC behavior[]

They perform various animations depending on their location. Many of them actively prostrate before a totem, icon, or visiting mothman. They can often be seen peering off into the distance with binoculars, or staring attentively in a certain direction, even as they turn their bodies. They also perform normal NPC behaviors like warming themselves near fire, sitting in chairs, sleeping in bedrolls, and leaning.

Some random encounters involve cultists fighting a creature or another faction, or the appearance of a temporary cultist bonfire. Random encounter spots in any region may also spawn a group of cultists who will attempt to walk to the nearest cultist settlement.

There is a random encounter spot adjacent to a pair of cultist bonfires south of Watoga. When the crashed satellite event occurs here, the cultists will abandon the bonfires to patrol near the satellite. If approached at night, there may be a mothman inspecting it. Like its cultists, the mothman will pace back and forth, periodically stopping to stare at the wreckage. The cultists may walk alongside the mothman. Alternatively, this spot may spawn a third bonfire, and there will be five cultists around it, replacing the usual three. Other random encounters, such as the vertibird crash or lemonade stand, will be ignored by the cultists.

A cultist at Moth-Home may peer into a trough of blood for minutes at a time. At Organ Cave, cultists can be seen maintaining equipment, rummaging through storage, foraging for mushrooms, cooking, and digging. The Followers occupying Point Pleasant occasionally play an upbeat, jaunty tune on the piano there, like any NPC. Those at the Kanawha church do not interact with the central piano. When cultists patrolled Ingram Mansion, they would occasionally do push-ups on the back patio, or pray towards the foliage in the courtyard.

One NPC within the Lucky Hole Mine mine performs an unusual animation, excitedly pouring over a scripture while glancing up at a totem, as if comparing the two. A cultist within the mine's hidden laboratory is using a chemistry station. In the chapel, a cultist can be seen leaning over the pulpit and glaring down at the congregation, but this apparent preacher speaks no more frequently than other cultists.

76 Blake's Offering canopy deck

Some cultists may be encountered lying by a bonfire in pain, apparently dying, but they will get up and fight when a threat approaches. Cultists at most locations may spontaneously die at night. Multiple NPCs may die simultaneously, especially at the Kanawha church, where ten cultists gather around ten empty glasses and a box of rat poison. There may also be multiple separate deaths over the course of the night. Occasionally, when a player arrives at a cultist location, some or all of the NPCs will already be dead in their normal idle spots, even sitting upright in chairs. Cultists will never drop dead during combat, but may drop dead upon killing an enemy and returning to idle status.

76 wounded cultist

All cultist NPCs regularly pray aloud to the Holy Mothman, and call for divine aid in combat. Eavesdropping on cultists, they can be heard asking the Mothman to give them its strength and punish the non-believers, and pleading to be saved when the day of reckoning comes. Cultists are never heard conversing in the game. Upon death, they deliver a final utterance, such as "I go to the divine light," "The divine light...I can see it," "More will come to take my place," or "I regret nothing."

Post-Wastelanders content[]

Cultists were added to Daily Ops in the Locked & Loaded update, which introduced Cultist Prophet NPCs and mothman hatchlings. Both would later be seen in The Mothman Equinox seasonal event, added in the Night of the Moth update, in which players help the Enlightened summon the Wise Mothman while the Followers try to intervene.

Steven Scarberry is a lite ally who grew up within the Followers sect. He is the only NPC affiliated with the sect who will speak with the player, and was added in the Mutation Invasion update. The Followers also serve as the antagonists of the Beasts of Burden public event, which debuted in the Once in a Blue Moon update.

When the game progressed into 2105 with Expeditions: Atlantic City, the Organ Cave location was added, a cultist cavern connecting several entrances throughout the Forest. The cultists also left Ingram Mansion at this time. Additionally, asset records indicate that several unmarked shrines may have been added throughout the map.


  • Brother Moncrief's note is addressed to a High Priestess, though it is unclear if this figure is the First Priestess, her peer, or her successor.
  • In their correspondence, a Follower referred to Dr. Wallace as "a famed etymologist," and hoped to find "his thesis paper he wrote while studying moths in the region."[43] Enlightened author Wise Martin refers to Wallace as an "entomologist of some small repute, who wrote his doctoral thesis on the moths of the Appalachian region," and further notes that "to him the thesis was just another paper among many, notable only for securing his doctoral credentials," concluding "Those who would seek his thesis, unblinded by the beliefs of the Dim Ones, would be better served stalking the libraries of the institution which granted Dr. Wallace his degree. I expect it waits there if it survived at all, moldering unread among the hundreds of other student works."[44] Neither text names said institution.
  • Grandma Junko, a Lite ally who avoids acknowledging the apocalypse due to trauma, has a set of lines in which she refers to each type of enemy in the game euphemistically, assigning each a mundane pre-War analog. She refers to Mothman cultists as "the University's Entomology students."[112]
    • Stand-up comic Joey Bello characterizes the cultists as "rednecks" and "hillbillies" who worship a giant bug, but jokes that he would like to trip with them. He also refers to the cultist activity at Point Pleasant as a "dance party."[113]
  • While the sheepsquatch club and sheepsquatch staff appear to be cultist weapons, they are not directly tied to the cult in any way. They are only found as a reward for the Free Range event or crafted by Vault Dwellers.
    • Similarly, the sacrificial blade is a machete mod which appears to be of cultist make, but can only be crafted or found in vendor inventories. Sacrificial machetes are identical in appearance to Kremvh's Tooth.
  • All three of the cultist weapons added in Once in a Blue Moon can have their legendary effects rerolled. Two of them are Cursed, and will retain this quality after being rerolled.
    • The Cursed attribute has always been frequently bugged and broken between updates, ever since its introduction in The Legendary Run. At any given time, it may be absent from some or all weapons, apparently unintentionally.
  • Atom Various items related to the cult can be acquired on the Atom Shop, or as season rewards.
  • Atom The unlockable Cultist cuckoo clock CAMP item plays a short jingle. The same motif can be heard in the "Funky Mothman" dance emote. The "Cultist" emote plays a corresponding melodic droning sound.


The Cult of the Mothman appears in Fallout 76, Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, Fallout: The Roleplaying Game, and the Magic: The Gathering - Universes Beyond crossover. In the modern IP, they may be invoked around any given Fallout materials which draw from the entire setting, such as the P.A.L.S. minigame produced for the series' 25th anniversary.

In the launch version of Fallout 76, they were only mentioned, appearing only as cultist corpses. In Wastelanders, cultists appeared as enemy NPCs. New cultist enemies appeared in the Locked & Loaded update. The lore of the cult was significantly expanded upon in the Night of the Moth, Mutation Invasion, Once in a Blue Moon, and Expeditions: Atlantic City updates.

Behind the scenes[]

This lore is broadly based on the cultural history surrounding the urban legend of the Mothman, which mainly entails a flap of supernatural and ufological reports across Appalachia in the mid-'60s, centered on Point Pleasant, West Virginia. These unusual reports steadily escalated from late 1966 until the Silver Bridge collapsed on December 15, 1967, at which point they abruptly ceased.

The Mothman has since become a symbol of imminent disaster, and superstition holds his appearance to be a bleak and disturbing omen. The legend is also commonly associated with pollution and mutation, explosives and mining, psychic disturbances, aliens and psychedelia, hubris, madness, and the wrath of nature.

Historical context[]

  • The first high-profile Mothman witnesses were a pair of young couples: Linda and Roger Scarberry, and Steve and Mary Mallette. They were driving on a country road at night, away from a hangout spot called "the TNT Area," when a red-eyed figure suddenly appeared and flew alongside their car. Reports of similar sightings in the area soon followed, and the story received immediate national attention for its novelty.
  • At the time, Mothman was often speculated to be a mutant, awoken by the dumping of TNT into the Ohio River.
    • This explanation would position Mothman as a mutated creature spawned from the pollution of explosive weapons, yet completely unrelated to atomic bombs or nuclear waste.
    • In some reports, multiple creatures matching its description were seen at once. Public perception of the story rarely reflected this, and Mothman was usually discussed in terms of an individual creature.
    • Skeptical explanations (then and now) often attribute the sightings to specific species of owl. Infamously, theorist Mark Hall attributed the sightings to one very large owl, which he dubbed "Bighoot."
  • Even before Mothman was first seen in the vicinity of the government installation known as "the TNT Area," locals were already known to gather throughout that portion of the Ohio River valley at night to watch for UFO activity, or the "lights in the sky."
    • In Fallout 76, Black Mountain Ordnance Works is based on the geography, architecture, and folklore of the TNT Area. Its sealed subterranean chambers conceal lore concerning UFOs and Zetans.
  • Reportedly, Mothman appeared to the people of Point Pleasant not only in the wilderness, but in vivid, connected dreams which they felt compelled to share. Legend holds that as the Silver Bridge catastrophe drew nearer, it was vaguely foreseen by local people in night terrors.
    • In Fallout 76, several CAMP allies mention experiencing strange dreams.
  • The real Mothman Museum is an establishment in central Point Pleasant, founded and operated by Fortean researcher Jeff Wamsley. He commissioned the now-infamous Mothman statue in 2003, and its installation was finished in 2005. Previously found down the street from the statue, the Museum later relocated to its current location at the corner adjacent to the pavilion, as depicted in the game.
  • Various details in Fallout 76 characterize some pre-War Mothman enthusiasts as fringe conspiracy theorists.[117] Among the real-world pantheon of cryptids, Mothman is of particular interest to conspiracy theorists, owing to its association with psychedelic precognition and its role as a herald of sudden mass death. Conspiratorial interest in Mothman peaked in the '00s.

The Mothman Prophecies[]

Fortean researcher John Keel travelled to Point Pleasant following the first Mothman sightings, before the bridge collapsed, to closely study the story as it unfolded. He publicized his findings and theories in the 1975 non-fiction book The Mothman Prophecies.

  • Keel speculated extensively on the relationship between radiation and the paranormal.
    • Red and purple light have metaphysical connotations in Keel's philosophy.[Non-game 3] He reasoned that, as the most extreme visible wavelengths (just before infrared and ultraviolet), red and purple light represent the limits of human perception. He associated purple light with knowledge and the interconnected nature of life on earth.
    • He also believed people suffered radiation burns after beholding the Mothman, explaining why some witnesses went temporarily blind.
  • Keel he believed he personally saw the Mothman gliding silently among the other unexplained lights above the TNT Area, its red eyes turned downward to regard the awed spectators gathered along the hilltops of the Ohio River valley.
  • The urban legends of Indrid Cold and the Men in Black were popularized and codified by The Mothman Prophecies. Keel appeared to experience severe paranoia while writing the book and suspected he was being stalked by the Men in Black and/or the government, which are not necessarily related.
  • The book concerns the nature of folklore and legend.
    • Keel characterizes his Fortean approach as an agnostic skepticism toward paranormal matters. He entertains the interdimensional hypothesis as well as the extraterrestrial hypothesis, without ever dismissing the possibility that these matters may be an intangible product of humanity's flawed senses, existing only in perception. He further explores the potential spiritual, psychical, and Jungian implications of the apparently-skeptical hypothesis of a purely hallucinatory Mothman.
    • The book concludes; "UFOmania is no different from demonomania. [...] We are meant to be crazy. It is an important part of the human condition. [...] This planet is haunted by us; the other occupants just evade boredom by filling our skies and seas with monsters."[Non-game 4]
      • In the full context of the book, "other occupants" may allude either to unknown terrestrial entities or to humanity itself.







Skyline Valley[]


  1. Fallout 76 loading screens: "According to local folklore - as well as a statue and museum in Point Pleasant, West Virginia - the Mothman is a terrifying half-man, half-moth hybrid. Pray you never encounter it and learn the truth."
  2. Silver Bridge plaque in Point Pleasant: "SILVER BRIDGE COLLAPSE In 1928, Silver Bridge was constructed. It was the first eye-bar suspension bridge in the US. It served the communities of Point Pleasant, WV and Gallipolis, OH until December 15, 1967 where it collapsed tragically during rush hour traffic. 31 vehicles fell into the Ohio River and all told 46 people lost their lives. To prevent further tragedies of this nature, Congress adopted the National Bridge Inspection Standards in 1968."
  3. C.H. Monthly, January
  4. Tales from the West Virginia Hills
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wilson's Bros. garage
  6. 6.0 6.1 KMAX Transmission terminal entries; KMAX Talk Radio show notes, The Conspiracy
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Interloper
  8. Note from Miller
  9. 9.0 9.1 Sermon: Summoning the Mothman
  10. The Path to Enlightenment
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Sermon: Impending doom
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 Exodus
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 His springs
  14. 14.0 14.1 Lucky Hole Mine terminal entries
  15. 15.0 15.1 His home
  16. After the old woman's first visit, a guard called Allegheny Asylum to ask about escaped patients. According to Herald editorial on Allegheny Asylum, the institution was closed in 2061.
  17. Speaker Poole interview
  18. At the Whitesprings Bunker, anatomical depictions of nearly every enemy in the game can be seen on a series of displays in a certain room. Mothman can be seen as part of a small miscellaneous group with three other uncategorized cryptids.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 The Chosen
  20. The Chosen: "Though where they have failed, I will not, for it summons me alone in the end."
  21. Jeff Lane's campsite, where he laid out his sleeping bag and recorded The Chosen before venturing deeper into the mine.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Sayings of Alicia
  23. Steven Scarberry was found as a baby among a clutch of mothman eggs. By 2104, he is a young man. Therefor, the cult found him on the surface before 2088.
  24. Fallout 76 loading screens: "The Cult of the Mothman is made up of fanatics who seek the blessings of the enigmatic creature known as the Mothman, which they believe is a divine being."
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Fallout 76 loading screens: "The Mothman cultists seek to become one with the divine light, and they believe the Mothman will guide the worthy to this sacred source of everlasting life."
  26. Cultist's reply
  27. Steven Scarberry: "Greetings fellow Follower of the Winged One!"
    (Steven Scarberry's dialogue)
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 Cultist's final pleas
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 29.4 A Vault Dweller: "There was an abundance of Albino Radstags."
    Steven Scarberry: "I wonder how they were able to find them. Usually I need to... Wait, do you mean to tell me that they have left the Light but still use His teachings for rituals? It seems that there is the need for another Crusade of Light."
    (Steven Scarberry's dialogue)
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 30.5 30.6 30.7 His Priestess, the note found on the casket in the church at the mine. The author of the note addresses the departed priestess, identifying this casket as her resting place.
  31. Leaving at dawn
  32. Responders signs are prominently displayed in Point Pleasant,
  33. Scattered journal pages
  34. The Wise Mothman is summoned during the public events The Path to Enlightenment and The Mothman Equinox, first conducted by Vault 76 Dwellers in 2102 and 2104, respectively.
  35. Fallout 76 removed contentRandom encounter: Wise Mothman! (removed prior to the events of Wastelanders)
  36. Beckett: "I dreamed of the Mothman the other night... I think it was a dream anyway." (Beckett's dialogue) (Script Notes: "Admiring the landscape")
  37. Fallout 76 loading screens: "To the cultists who worship the Mothman, Appalachia is holy ground, and all non-believers must be driven out... or destroyed."
  38. 38.0 38.1 Random encounter: Mothman Cultist Totem Worship
  39. Enemy variants: Cultist prospect, Cultist seeker, Cultist chosen
  40. Steven Scarberry: "So a disciple with a cigarette walks up to the Mothman Priest and says 'have you got the Light?' *Laughs* See? We can have fun."

    (Steven Scarberry's dialogue)
  41. Random encounter, any region: Cultists Moving to Cultist Location
  42. perfect mothman egg, found only in Cultist High Priests' packs.
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 Letter (Wastelanders)
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 44.3 44.4 On the Thesis of Wallace
  45. FO76 Smiling Man disappears.gif
  46. Steven Scarberry: "The Pretender has purple eyes. The Holy one has red. What could this one be? Another false one?"
    (Steven Scarberry's dialogue)
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 47.3 47.4 47.5 Sermon notes
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 Catechism of Hilary
  49. "The Wise Mothman is among us, and of us... The Wise Mothman lives..." (Interpreter Clarence's dialogue)
  50. "I hope you are having a blessed Mothman Equinox." (Brother Scarberry's dialogue)
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 51.3 Cultist's scrawlings: "Let the voices of the Woods join us with pomp in the festivities."
    "Now we must busy ourselves in preparation for tonight's offering."
  52. Observer Errol: "Those voices he hears... What do they tell him? How can I hear them too? What prey can they reveal to me? They are wasted on him. He bickers and cowers. He holds a gift, and he wastes it."
    (Observer Errol's dialogue)
  53. Observer Johanna: "They say the dust may harm us if we breathe it too long. Who said so? Observer Marlon. Well, THEY told him. They told him, he told me."
    (Observer Johanna's dialogue)
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 54.3 54.4 Cultist - Mind's Eye
  55. Observations, vol. XXVII
  56. 56.0 56.1 "So a disciple with a cigarette walks up to the Mothman Priest and says "have you got the Light?" *Laughs* See? We can have fun." (Brother Scarberry's dialogue)
  57. A Vault Dweller: "What exactly is "The Interloper"?"
    Steven Scarberry: "I- I know not of who you speak. That said... It is in your best interest to drop this line of inquiry. Please. I beg of you. The response will not answer your questions. It only adds more."
    (Steven Scarberry's dialogue)
  58. 58.0 58.1 His birth
  59. Bronx
  60. Steven Scarberry was born into the cult and grew up socially isolated.
  61. Steven Scarberry: "Fortunately, the high priests know the books by heart, and won't fall for false words by a false prophet."
    (Brother Scarberry's dialogue)
  62. Elder Adelaide
  63. Cultist: "Holy Mothman, shepherd me to the light."
    (Cultist's dialogue)
  64. Cultist: "The light is eternal."
    (Cultist's dialogue)
  65. Cultist: "The divine light... I can see it!" (Cultist's dialogue)
  66. False Gods of Appalachia
  67. "Although He is drawn to light... Hmm... perhaps...no. No, now's not the time." (Brother Scarberry's dialogue)
  68. 68.0 68.1 Steven Scarberry: "You are absolutely glowing. Would you mind climbing something tall and jumping around? I think that might attract Him."
    (Steven Scarberry's dialogue)
  69. Cultist's scrawlings
  70. Chapter 7
  71. 71.0 71.1 "Maybe one day I will become a child of the wood. I just need to... Oh, hello. Don't mind me. Just... ruminating." (Brother Scarberry's dialogue)
  72. Cultist's scrawlings: "Just today with his whispering and beckoning we came across this camp, another gift from the Woods, deepening our gratitude and solidifying our bond."
  73. He agrees
  74. Examples include human sacrifices of settler corpses at Big Maw, Lucky Hole Mine and the unmarked sacrifice altar.
  75. Harvest
  76. Ongoing suicide rituals at Kanawha County Cemetery and Old Mold Quarry
  77. 77.0 77.1 His blood, a note found next to a small ornate bowl
  78. 78.0 78.1 Observer Errol: "The Wise One always leaves when they begin to scream. Why? Does he not find them worthy? Or me? Surely not."
    (Errol's dialogue)
  79. "Still gathering that Albino Radstag blood. I'll let you know when I can get a barrel that hasn't fully congealed." (Brother Scarberry's dialogue)
  80. 80.0 80.1 There are handcuffs on the perch at Moth-Home, and a dead cultist can sometimes be found lying on it. Additionally, there are human-sized cages at Blake's Offering and Johnson's Acre.
  81. The Interloper's lair is littered with jars.
  82. Geologist's note
  83. A cultist can be seen picking mushrooms and cooking them at Organ Cave.
  84. Cultists are butchering radstags on the southern bridge at Point Pleasant and at Johnson's Acre.
  85. Observer Errol's dialogue
  86. Cultists drink from mugs outside Clancy Manor. Behind the building, many beer bottles are left around a small campfire, distinct from their ritual bonfires.
  87. Up to ten cultists will gather in Kanawha's church at night and worship while an eleventh oversees them.
  88. Fusion core candles surround the moth altar at Helvetia church. Glowing jars are seen at the Sacramental Glade.
  89. The former resident of East Mountain lookout was an apparent non-cultist who lit his home with bio-luminescent bottles.
  90. Cultist prophets wearing ghillie suits can be seen at the Mothman Equinox event or as the final boss in Daily Ops
  91. Observer Errol: "Look for eyes that glow. They believe themselves to be the pretenders incarnate. Rip those silly glasses from their skulls."
    (Observer Errol's dialogue)
  92. There is a flayed, impaled body in the back of the Kanawha church. A stimpak is nearby.
  93. Observer Johanna: "My brother Jelle, he tried to clone him, you know? So foolish. His wisdom was not his at birth. The little ones, they eat poor Jelle."
    (Observer Johanna's dialogue)
  94. "Do you mean to tell me that you showcase Mothman Imagery, yet do not follow the flutter of His wings?" (Steven Scarberry's dialogue)
  95. There is a Sugar Grove insignia in the Mothman Museum.
  96. Issues of the conspiratorial publication Cryptid Hunter Monthly can be found in Jeff Lane's home.
  97. Interpreter Clarence: "The Dim Ones believe they can darken his glow. Destroy the vines around each pyre. Leave their efforts in ruin."
    (Interpreter Clarence's dialogue)
  98. Interpreter Clarence: "The Dim Ones have attempted to contain our light. Destroy their vines encircling each pyre before we proceed."
    (Interpreter Clarence's dialogue)
  99. Interpreter Clarence: "Seek out the three pyres, children. Rip the vines that try to contain their light. There is much left undone. This sacred land must be properly prepared for his coming."
    (Interpreter Clarence's dialogue)
  100. Steven Scarberry: "*Gasp* Is that the warm glow of the Holy Mothman!? *Sigh* Alas no, just more radiation."
    (Steven Scarberry's dialogue)
  101. "What... Is this? A lilac glow? Surely you are not walking under the light of the false prophet." (Steven Scarberry's dialogue)
  102. Hatchling mothmen are seen in Daily Ops and the Mothman Equinox.
  103. A Vault Dweller: "There was some 'Moth Dust' and then I remember fighting some weird glowing cultists."
    Steven Scarberry: "Ha. I hope you were not fooled by such a 'display'. It's obvious that was merely some kind of mind-altering substance. Why would the True Followers need to invade Point Pleasant, their home? Exactly. They wouldn't."
    (Steven Scarberry's dialogue)
  104. Brother Moncrief's note
  105. The church has a giant Mothman effigy.
  106. Records indicate prayer animation markers deployed at an unseen location south of Cranberry Bog. In the distance, a patch of trees seem to be lit from below at night. There are no unusual physical assets here.
  107. A Vault Dweller: "[Charisma 4+] Finally! But I do seem to be running low on albino blood at the moment."
    Steven Scarberry: "Ah, isn't that always the case? Perhaps I can help you replenish your stock. I must say, it's reassuring to meet a fellow Follower of the Winged One."
    (Steven Scarberry's dialogue)
  108. Steven Scarberry: "That said, Brother Ryan had made mention of a 'White Fox'. Perhaps this is what he was alluding to."
    (Steven Scarberry's dialogue)
  109. 109.0 109.1 Steven Scarberry: "So a disciple with a cigarette walks up to the Mothman Priest and says 'have you got the Light?' *Laughs* See? We can have fun." (Steven Scarberry's dialogue)
  110. A blessed gift
  111. Brother Moncrief's note
  112. Junko: "You mean the University's Entomology students? Yes they're rather odd, but I guess that's just what their hazing is like these days." (Junko's dialogue)
  113. "Come on! I'd heard Appalachia has its hillbillies but you're telling me there's really a whole group of rednecks out here worshipping a giant bug?"
    "I heard there's some kind of dance party over at Point Pleasant. Might pop some Day Tripper, check it out later. I just hope it doesn't get weird."
    "By the way, how many moths does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Just two, but I don't know how they get 'em inside there. Haha!"
    (Joey Bello's dialogue)
  114. Beckett: "I dreamed of the Mothman the other night... I think it was a dream anyway." (Beckett's dialogue) (Script Notes: "Admiring the landscape")
  115. Sofia Daguerre: "I just can't shake these nightmares. Floating in space forever... Just, why?"
    (Sofia Daguerre's dialogue)
  116. Steven Scarberry: "I just can't shake these nightmares. Floating in darkness forever... What if I cannot find His Light?"
    (Steven Scarberry's dialogue)
  117. See Mothman - Cultural context and conspiracy theory for more information on conspiratorial Mothman enthusiasts in the Fallout setting.


  1. Aum Shinrikyo and Heaven's Gate internally discussed their mythologies in terms of popular science fiction.
  2. Spiritual-conspiratorial movements such as Qanon or InfoWars (both of which orbit cultural leaders who claim they embody the will of God and possess psychic powers) are completely inseparable from the direct mythologization of pop culture products as "encoded messages," especially pulp and science fiction films like The Matrix and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
  3. "Early in my own UFO investigations I noted that some people could see UFOs, often objects of very large size, while others standing in the same location would see absolutely nothing. This is because persons with psychic ability can see over the fringes of the spectrum into infrared and ultraviolet when certain special conditions exist. These conditions include the intensity of the natural magnetic field in the area where the sightings take place. The psychic is not hallucinating. He’s seeing something that is there but that is invisible to normal eyesight.
    Some UFO contactees, such as Mr Gary Wilcox of Newark Valley, New York, April 24, 1964, have allegedly been told by the entities that UFOs are normally invisible in daylight and become visible at night because they glow with energy within the visible spectrum. These masses of energy are apparently very plastic, capable of assuming an endless variety of forms. The UFO lore abounds with descriptions of objects and entities glowing. The famous ‘little green men’ are usually small humanoid figures surrounded by the distinctive cyan glow. In ancient times, angels were self-luminous, usually white or yellow. Artists conveyed this by creating halos of light around their heads. Paradoxically, in a business filled with paradoxes, one useful criterion in dealing with UFO cases is the fact that if the object or entity is surrounded by a glow or is seen going through the spectrum changes, it is probable that the thing seen was real or at least a real intrusion into our reality. When no glow of any kind is present, there is a good chance that the sighting was hallucinatory. When a mass of energy enters the visible spectrum by turning red or violet, it must somehow be altering the frequency of its ‘vibrations’. These frequency changes are so well controlled that rhe object can vibrate at the exact frequency of the percipient’s brain waves. When the object’s pulsations are synchronized with the percipient’s frequency, a medical phenomenon occurs. The witness lapses into a hypnotic-like trance and hallucinates. If the percipient is psychic, the trance can seem like an extension of reality, and the hallucination will seem like a very real experience."
    The Eighth Tower, John Keel, 1975, p. 32)
  4. "UFOmania is no different from demonomania. My forms of religious and political fanaticism are linked directly to these other manias and to paranoia and schizophrenia. We are meant to be crazy. It is an important part of the human condition. Otherwise there would be no wars, no Hitlers or Napoleons, no Woodrow Derenbergers (and his unfortunate psychiatrist). This planet is haunted by us; the other occupants just evade boredom by filling our skies and seas with monsters. I was clearly meant to blunder into that little town in West Virginia, and learn things that some men have known for centuries but were afraid to ask. I warned Sheriff Johnson and Mary Hyre that this was folklore in the making. Gray Barker did try to turn it into a celestial fairy tale, making me decide to write this book and tell the truth as it happened."
    (The Mothman Prophecies, Keel, 1975, afterword written 2001, pp. 271-272)


  1. The "Cursed" prefix was once active on these weapons, but doesn't currently seem to be. "Cursed" weapons have temporarily lost this trait due to a bug in the past, so the intentionality of this is unclear.
Cult of the Mothman