The Blair Witch Project is a 1999 American horror film; the narrative is presented as a documentary pieced together from amateur footage, filmed in real time. The film was produced by the Haxan Films production company. The film relates the story of three young student filmmakers (Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael C. Williams) who hike into the Black Hills near Burkittsville, Maryland to film a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch, and subsequently go missing. The viewer is told that the three were never found, although their video and sound equipment (along with most of the footage they shot) was discovered a year later. This "recovered footage" is presented as the film the viewer is watching.
A studio production film based on the theme of The Blair Witch Project was released on October 27, 2000 entitled Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. Another sequel was planned for the following year, but did not materialize. On September 2, 2009, it was announced that co-directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick were pitching the sequel.
In 1994, film students Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams and Joshua Leonard set out to produce a documentary about the fabled Blair Witch. They travel to Burkittsville, Maryland, formerly Blair, and interview locals about the legend of the Blair Witch. The locals tell them of a hermit, Rustin Parr, who kidnapped seven children and brought them to his house in the forests, where he tortured them to death. Parr brought the children into his home's basement two at a time. He felt that their eyes were staring into his soul when he was being watched, so he would kill one child while the other faced a corner, forced to listen to their companion's screams. He would then kill the corner child. Parr eventually turned himself in to the police, later pleading insanity, saying that the spirit of a witch hung from a tree in the 18th century had been terrorizing him for some time and convinced him to kill the seven children by promising to leave him alone if he did. The trio interviews Mary Brown, an eccentric older woman who tells them that she had an encounter with the Blair Witch as a young girl.
The second day, the students begin to explore the woods in north Burkittsville to look for evidence of the Blair Witch. Along the way, a fisherman warns them that the woods are haunted. The students hike to Coffin Rock, where five men were found ritualistically murdered in the 19th century, and then camp for the night. The next day they move deeper into the woods, despite being uncertain of their exact location on the map. They eventually locate what appears to be an old cemetery with seven small cairn. They set up camp nearby and then return to the cemetery after dark. One of the students accidentally disturbs a cairn, and Heather hastily repairs it. Later, they hear strange cracking sounds in the darkness; they cannot locate the source and assume it was animals or locals following them.
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