Blair Witch Essay, Research Paper
The Blair Witch?
There is much controversy surrounding the legend of the Blair Witch. This is all brought on by the latest movie and book called The Blair Witch Project. Is this interesting movie and book real? Is the legend real? That is what we all are wondering. Through careful reading of the book and careful examination of the movie a conclusion is ready to be made.
The movie is a documentary. Three student filmmakers in search of the truth of the Blair Witch make it. These three students head into the Black Hills of Maryland in search of the sites of supposed occurrences and in search of the Blair witch herself. The story goes that they went into the woods and were never seen again. That is until a year later when their amateur film footage was discovered.
Heather Donahue headed them up. She was a senior trying to write a thesis paper. She was majoring in journalism and she wanted something spectacular. Her idea was to go into the woods for a few days and then come out with some incredible footage. She got incredible footage but she didn’t come out. She was interested in the Blair Witch because of stories that her Grandfather had told her.
Joshua Leonard assisted her. He was also a filmmaker who had graduated from Montgomery Community College. Michael Williams was also assisting the two of them. He was the youngest in the group. Joshua brought him in because he had access to filming equipment. He joined the trip because he figured “he could learn something from Josh and the experience” (pg. 87)
The three of them set out to Burkittsville, the present day site of the former town of Blair. Blair was abandoned in November of nineteen hundred and seventy six. They began by interviewing many people in the town to find out what the town’s consensus on the legend was. They were actually sent to a few people who they were told could give them information on some occurrences. These people however turned up to be kind of crazy so what they said were not taken too seriously.
The legend of the Blair Witch as they found it goes about as follows. In February of 1785 several children accused Elly Kedward of luring them into her home to draw blood from them. Elly is found guilty of witchcraft and, banished from the village of Blair during a particularly harsh winter, and presumed dead. By midwinter of 1786 all of Kedward’s accusers, along with half of the town’s children disappear. Fearing a curse, the townspeople flee Blair and vow never to Utter Elly Kedward’s name again. Then in 1809 The Blair Witch Cult is published. This book which is commonly considered fiction, (pg. 101) tells the tale of an entire town cursed by an outcast witch. In 1824 the town of Burkittsville is founded on the Blair site.
In August of 1825 Eleven witnesses testify to seeing a “pale woman’s hand reach up and pull a ten-year-old girl into Tappy East Creek. Her body is never recovered. For thirteen days after the drowning, the creek is clogged with oily bundles of sticks. Then in March of 1886 eight-year-old Robin Weaver is reported missing and search parties are sent out. Although Weaver returns, one of the search parties does not. Their bodies are found weeks later at coffin rock, tied together at the arms and legs and completely disemboweled. Then starting in November of 1940 through May of 1941 seven children disappear from the area surrounding Burkittsville. In May of 1941 an old hermit named Rustin Parr walks into a local market and tells the people there that he is “finally finished.” (pg. 198) After the police hike for four hours to his secluded house in the woods they find the bodies of the seven missing children in the cellar. Each child has been ritualistically murdered and disemboweled. Parr admitted to the killings, telling authorities a voice in his head, the voice of an old woman, commanded him to do it. He is quickly convicted and hanged.
The next mention of the Blair witch anywhere is in 1994 when the three students go looking for the Blair Witch. This is where the movie picks up. In the movie there are strange things that can’t be explained. The three students find some things that would creep anybody out. They walk into an area of pine trees where all the needles have fallen. Hangings from the trees are little stick figures. They were all over the place. There were many different sizes. Not like one or two, but a hundred or so. Then every night when they are sleeping they hear noises like children moaning and something that sounds like rocks being thrown into a gully. One night they are awakened by what seems to be children beating on the outside of their tent. When they finally get out of it there is nobody around but they are so terrified that they run into the woods away from the campsite.
The climax almost is when Joshua disappears. This is when things become weird. Michael and heather are now on their own. They search for Joshua to no avail. Then as the movie winds down the come upon a house in the middle of the night. A house that was in the middle of the woods. They are led to this house following the cries of Joshua echoing through out the woods. When they enter the house the search all over. Then they go into the basement and shrieking is heard, the camera is dropped and then feed is cut, the movie is over.
The movie is faked. That is a fact. The people in it are very skilled actors. But did three students really go looking for the witch? Was there really a Rusitn Parr? Was there really ever an Elly Kedward? Through a thorough search of the Internet and libraries no evidence can be found to prove or dispute the legend. If there would have been this may have been a research paper instead of a book report.