The West Virginia Bigfoot Museum had its grand opening in June, 2021 at the first annual West Virginia Bigfoot Festival in Sutton, West Virginia. The museum’s grand opening and festival was wildly successful garnering approximate 1200-1500 attendees! The museum was organized and launched after the owners of the Mountain Laurel Country Store, Louis and Laurel Petolicchio, learned about sightings, not only in Braxton County, but throughout West Virginia. The Bigfoot legend was further highlighted when a (now famous) six-foot tall, solid hemlock carving of Bigfoot, was delivered to the store by a local carver. This carving drew significant interest and encouraged people to share their personal experiences, or the experiences of friends and family, regarding Bigfoot. It wasn’t long before David Petolicchio (business associate and son of Louis and Laurel Petolicchio) decided that this was a significant point of interest both locally and across the state and thus The West Virginia Bigfoot Museum was born.
David Petolicchio, one of the primary organizers for the museum, has done years of research in cryptozoology and paleontology and has always had an interest in unknown or previously thought extinct animals. David believes that Bigfoot, if it indeed exists, may be a large, intelligent, North American primate and should be a protected species if it can be proven to exist.
The museum currently includes a large collection of original Bigfoot footprint casts from around West Virginia as well as cast copies from around the rest of the United States. The museum also has posters of local and statewide Bigfoot accounts, a compiled binder of Bigfoot sightings, a Bigfoot sightings map, and museum quality replica skulls of an Orangutan, a mountain gorilla, and a Gigantopithecus.
The museum is trying to expand as fast as possible to meet the increasing space demands of bigfoot evidence and information. Plans are being considered to add a second, and much larger, room to the museum that will include even more cast replicas from around the United States as well as additional displays that educate the public on natural history and primatology. The museum plans to be one of the most professional and scientific presentations of the Bigfoot legend in the United States, providing free information not only about bigfoot, but also about cryptozoology, paleontology, and primatology so that people can learn, for free, about science and natural history.
The West Virginia Bigfoot Museum is proud to state that they don’t expect to convince everyone of the existence of Bigfoot, but it does hope to provide an informative and family friendly experience for Bigfoot enthusiasts and skeptics alike!
Les O’dell is a Bigfoot researcher in West Virginia and has been a major contributor to our museum. Les has been researching cryptids across the state for years and has documented numerous sightings as well as casting several Bigfoot tracks. Les is one of the cofounders of West Virginia Cryptids And Strange Encounters (WVCASE) and is one of our primary museum consultants.
“Daniel Boone” Smith
Daniel “Daniel Boone” Smith has spent decades researching Bigfoot and has one of the largest and most extensive Bigfoot cast collections we have ever seen. His collection includes some of our most diverse casts including not only Bigfoot prints, but also handprints, and alleged Bigfoot hair.
Landon Pettit is a local graphic and web designer who has been helping us with digital scanning and 3D printing. Using these methods we are able to create exact copies of our Bigfoot cast collection, which are one-of-a-kind and very fragile. We believe we could be the first in the world to 3D scan and print Bigfoot track casts like this!