When it comes to famous “monsters” and mysterious crypto-creatures, readers of pages like this one are well familiar with the usual lot, “Nessie,” “Bigfoot,” “The Mothman,” “El Chupacabra” and the like.
But, one equally famous creature is America’s own “Bat Boy,” and his celebrated “history” is a very interesting one!
If you never heard of the infamous Bat Boy, you probably were not around in the late 80s and early 90s. This was a time before the internet was the worldwide phenomenon it is now. There were no smartphones, no Netflix, and not 100s of cable news outlets.
If you wanted to get your share of “less than reputable” news, what we did have was supermarket tabloids lining the shelves of checkout stands. Screaming from the headlines of these tabloids were a variety of stories on celebrity gossip and farfetched “news” stories about aliens, bigfoot and the like – and none was better at it, or honestly more fun to read – than The Weekly World News. That was where Bat Boy was born.
The sharped tooth, pointy eared Bat Boy that looked like the offspring of Mr. Spock and Dracula graced the cover of the Weekly World News constantly, since he was supposedly “discovered,” living in a cave in West Virginia in 1992.
“Bat Child Found in Cave”
It was in June of 1992, when an edition of the Weekly World News appeared with what become the iconic image of Bat Boy on the cover accompanied by the headline – Bat Child Found in Cave!”
The story inside went on to describe how a Dr. Ron Dillon found Bat Boy in a “hellhole cave in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia.” The story went on to explain how explorers had captured Bat Boy after they discovered him living almost two-miles underground. The Weekly World News Bat Boy story went as viral as any news story could in the days before social media was a thing.
As the story goes, when explorers discovered Bat Boy in Hellhole Cave, they estimated his age to be around ten-years-old. Dr. Ron Dillon, the scientist credited with the discovery of Bat Boy, went on to describe Bat Boy as being a “human-bat hybrid creature.” While Bat Boy’s father was likely to be a bat, or a creature heavily dominated by bat genomes, his mother, Susan Boy, was a human being.
Explorers also noted that Bat Boy had giant eyes and could see remarkably well in the dark.
Bat Boy Would Only Speak to One Newspaper
According to continuing reports in the WWN, whenever someone wanted to get a glimpse of the amazing child, he would coincidentally escape, and when on the run, he could be very elusive, one time even stealing a car!
As Bat Boy’s fascinating story and ongoing exploits were revealed in the Weekly World News, obviously scientists and researchers from around the globe wanted to meet him, but in a relationship much like Superman’s with Daily Planet, or Spiderman’s with the Bugle, Bat Boy would only permit the Weekly World News to publish his pictures, or tell his story.
So Where Did Bat Boy Come From?
One time WWN said they had found a chart dating back to the 17th century that showed Bat Boy’s “family tree.” The chart “proved” that a species of bat-like creatures, who possessed bat DNA, started breeding with humans as early as the era of the Mayflower landing. It’s believed that Bat Boy is a highly intelligent version of his breed. However, he is also dangerous, as he frequently enjoys drinking human blood through a crazy straw.
While the Weekly World News was still in print, (unfortunately the paper met its demise in 2007, but it was resurrected in an online version) it followed Bat Boy’s career for years, and what a busy one it was! In the years since Bat Boy’s discovery, WWN has reported that he met Elvis, announced a run for president, converted to Judaism, and even dated Jennifer Lopez for a time.
The Weekly World News tabloid sensation about Bat Boy even inspired a musical.
Where Did Bat Boy REALLY Come From?
In reality “Bat Boy” was the brainchild of WWN editor Dick Kulpa, and writer Bob Lind.
In a recent interview with Kulpa, when he was asked why he thinks that of all the wild stories and “All the News That Seemed Unfit to Print” (WWN’s slogan) that appeared in the paper, Bat Boy caught on and became so wildly popular, he replied:
“His face just connects. People see themselves in him. I imagine millions of people who may feel the same way that I do. They see emotion in that face. When you look at Pixar movies, which are so wildly popular, you see the emotion. They really capitalize on characters. And Bat Boy does that with his face. It says, ‘Get me out of here!’
Look at the shape the world is in. Maybe it needs a Bat Boy to straighten it out. Maybe he reflects the deep-down feelings of millions, if not billions, of people on this planet. With everything we have, we’re still slaves. I think it’s even truer now, than it was then.
I see these kids suffering, working these nickel-and-dime jobs with no insurance. In my day, we could move up. I see these kids working these same jobs five years later.
We want to feel good about something, we need to feel good about something, and Weekly World News and Bat Boy, just made people feel good.”
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