Anyone who knows me knows that I am a super fan of two horror movies: The original IT and The Blair Witch Project. Just this year when I was visiting Baltimore for a Hunt A Killer event, I made the drive with Will Rogers of The Haunted Sponge (as well as fellow HaK employee) and his wife Allie out to Burkittsville, Maryland to explore the town I knew so well but had never actually seen. Like the extreme nerds that we are, we even recreated some of the cemetery shots from the film.
Only problem was, we didn’t have enough time to drive the 45 minutes out to Seneca Creek State Park, where the hiking and camping scenes were filmed--the most important spots of all. We’re talking Coffin Rock, the remains of the Rustin Parr house, and the grove where all the stickmen were hung. We were glum about this, but promised we would go back sometime and maybe, if we were feeling brave, spend the night in a tent in the heart of the Blair Witch woods.
I just became privy to an annual event that has been happening for the last six years called the Blair Witch Experience. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a tour of all the filming locations from the 1999 movie. And get this, aside from the $30 fee to camp, the tour is absolutely free. It will take place on October 13th and 14th of this coming fall.
This non-profit experience includes visits to:
- Burkittsville Cemetery
- Knights Inn Motel
- Silver Rail Diner
- Adamstown Market
- Staub’s Country Inn
- Coffin Rock & surrounding area
- Stickman Forest
If you’ve ever seen Books of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, you might think that exploring the Blair Witch woods may not be that great of an idea. In the film, a set of fans head out to a camping trip similar to the one that fan Matt Blazi has been conducting in real life the last six years. Turns out, the curse is real, and the campers experience the weirdness of the Blair Witch first hand. The movie got terrible reviews, but I still consider it a classic.
Here’s what Blazi wrote about the event for last year’s experience:
Come out and visit all the locations for the filming of the Blair Witch Project. Starting in Burkittsville retrace the steps of Heather, Mike and Josh as the Haxan Films crew lead them through the woods in what would become one of the greatest and most influential independent horror films of our time.
Starting in Burkittsville at 9am we will visit all the main locations seen in the film. Additional acitivies and give aways will be on tap so please be prepared for a day of fun. We will be hiking in the woods so please dress accordingly.
Saturday night we will camp in Patapsco State Park and around the campfire we will screen The Blair Witch Project as well as some additional goodies.
Sunday concludes the tour with a visit to the Rustin Parr house ruins.
No cost to attend but the campsite is around $30/night along with any food you bring.
2019 will mark the 20-year anniversary of a film that presented itself as real found footage, and much of America bought into this marketing ploy, myself and my family certainly included. As an 11-year-old horror fan, it was a profound time, a time of questions like ow can it be legal to show this in theaters?! The website, which still exists today, helped anchor the film into the real, with missing posters, news reports, and folklore, all created by genius writer/director team Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez.
So, would you brave an all night trip to the woods of the Blair Witch? I know I would. I’ve watched the movie so many times at this point, I feel like I don’t even need a map. If you got that joke, you are a true fan, and you should come out and meet me and Will in Burkittsville during Halloween season. If we end up dead by the Blair Witch, what a way to go.