The Braxton County/Flatwoods Monster has drawn world-wide attention for more than sixty-five years. The well-known UFO account has recently taken a new direction. According to Clarksburg television station WBOY, Amber (Pecora) Haddix, a Braxton County native and this year’s Mrs. West Virginian, decided she wanted to show off some hometown folklore at this year’s Mrs. American competition held Friday, August 25 at Las Vegas Resort & Casino, by dressing up as one of West Virginia’s most unique cryptids — the Flatwoods Monster.
One of the many phases of the Mrs. American competition is the state costume contest, where contestants try and find creative ways to represent their state. The Bridgeport teacher considered obvious ideas like a mountaineer or coal miner but wanted to do something that wouldn’t be entirely obvious to those from outside West Virginia, and maybe even get people curious about the state.
“My sister-in-law is this amazing seamstress, and she has all of these creative ideas,” Haddix said. “When I reached out to her about what I wanted to do, I knew that she was the perfect person to make my vision come to life.”
Although Haddix finished outside the top 15, since appearing on Mrs. American Haddix said she has been blown away by the support she has gotten from the costume. A picture of Haddix in her costume was posted by the Flatwoods Monster Museum on Facebook and was positively received by so many people that the museum decided to invite Amber to the Flatwoods Monster convention this Saturday.
Now that the competition is over, Haddix is looking forward to being able to spend the next five months enjoying her title of Mrs. West Virginian and promoting the things that are most important to her, like working with children and improving leadership and advocacy skills in students across the state. When she’s not competing, Haddix teaches English language arts at Bridgeport Middle School. Most importantly though, Haddix wants people to know that nothing should hold them back from working towards their goals.
“I would really encourage women to step outside of your comfort zone,” Haddix said. “If there is something that you’re passionate about, age should not matter to you, there shouldn’t be something that is holding you back.”
Haddix and her dress were s featured attraction at last weekends Flatwoods Monster Convention held at the Days Hotel and Convention Center. The saga continued to draw widespread attention. The Braxton County Visitors and Convention Facebook post detailing Haddix’s appearance has already drawn over 62,000 views.
Amber Haddix is a graduate of Braxton County High School. She is the daughter of Rob and Cathy Pecora of Sutton.