Book Review: West Virginia Bigfoot by Dave Spinks
Long-time readers of this blog know I cannot say no to a new book for my personal paranormal library, especially when it deals with some spooky or strange topic relevant to West Virginia! One of my latest acquisitions is West Virginia Bigfoot, authored by local paranormal researcher and investigator, Dave Spinks!
I picked up my autographed copy last November at the Flatwoods Monster Museum’s Bazaare. The Bazaare was a really cool event where various authors, film makers, and researchers of WV ghost and monster lore came together to meet and greet with paranormal enthusiasts, share and acquire new stories, and of course, sell some merch!
Since I go to quite a few paranormal-related events throughout the Mountain State, I was familiar with Dave’s work, and excited to finally pick up a copy of his new book for myself. West Virginia Bigfoot is a slender volume, coming in at 104 pages, but it is full absolutely fascinating case studies and personal experiences with the creature we’ve come to know as Bigfoot.
Admittedly, my interests in the paranormal lie within the realm of ghosts, hauntings, and afterlife studies. However, I’m becoming more and more enamored with the study of cryptozoology and its connections, however tenuous, with other ‘paranormal’ phenomenon. This was a great, quick read to incorporate into my study of this area.
After a brief introduction by researcher David Weatherly, West Virginia Bigfoot starts with Dave’s own experience as a youngster with a Bigfoot creature. Collected tales from friends, family, colleagues, and others fill out the majority of the book. These tales come from all over the state and most occurred between the 1970′s and 2016, with a few historical anecdotes thrown in as support. Also included in the book are theories as to what Bigfoot might be, why West Virginia seems to be such a great habitat for such creatures, and some locations that seem to have a high concentration of sightings.
Obviously, there’s a lot of value to scientifically examining the Bigfoot phenomena and presenting theories along with the evidence to support those theories. Dave takes an objective look at the various viewpoints of Bigfoot and includes information on historical perspectives, anthropological perspectives, and religious perspectives. Research from Rosemary Ellen Guiley is even presented as an overview to the theory of Bigfoot from a ‘paraphysical’ perspective. These are all integral parts of a satisfying and complete Bigfoot book…but my favorite part was the stories!
I love to hear peoples’ experiences. Real people sharing their real stories in their own words is my favorite part of this book. Each experience is documented in just the right way as to be entertaining, yet still contain enough important detail to be useful to a serious researcher. These stories read like stories…and not necessarily dry case studies armed with just the bare facts. Further, these tales aren’t ones you’re going to come across over and over again. Many of the experiences were submitted to Dave through family and friends who have never reported or published these stories anywhere else.
West Virginia Bigfoot is obviously a labor of love, and its apparent that quite a bit of time and research has gone into producing quite a comprehensive, yet entertaining and quick read concerning one of West Virginia’s many mysteries. If you’re a Bigfoot enthusiast, or a just a fan of all things strange and spooky in the Mountain State, I’d recommend adding West Virginia Bigfoot by Dave Spinks to YOUR personal library!
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