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The Strange Case of the Blair Witch Three

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R: OK, today we are looking at a peculiar and memorable disappearance – the Blair Witch Three.

S: You mean the ones with the videotape?

R: Yeah.

S: That’s – that’s pretty easy to fake. I mean, you never see the witch, so it might be anything.

R: Let’s just get to the facts, shall we?

S: OK.

R: The story begins in Burkittsville, Maryland on October 20th 1994. Film students Heather Donahue, aged 22, Joshua Leonard, aged 23, and Michael Williams, aged 24, went to the small town to take part in a film-making project. They were creating a video about the supposed ‘Blair Witch’. We’ll go more into the legend later, but at the moment we will be discussing the disappearances. On October 21st, after spending the night in a motel, the three students went into the wood, right into the Black Hills area. They were not seen after this date. Four days later, on October 25th, local police discovered Joshua’s car parked on Black Rock Road. There was evidence inside that said that the three had traveled there intentionally and had left it there, but no sign of the three students was ever found. Aside from one important piece of evidence; one that baffles law enforcement and conspiracy theorists alike.

S: The camera.

R: Yeah, the camera.

S: You don’t think it could be real, could you?

R: Well, law enforcement say it’s probably faked, while theorists say that it’s real.

S: What about their families?

R: Heather’s family – seem to think it may be genuine. But I’ll get there later.

S: And did the search turn up anything?

R: Not a peek. Nothing was found of the students. Now, onto the camera footage. (clears throat) The camera was found around a year later, creating two sides of the argument in an already bizarre case. The footage, which we are not allowed to display, as our lawyers persuaded us not to, features Joshua going missing at first, before the two remaining hikers go to a house. Michael goes further down into the house, where he is shown facing a corner, before Heather screams and the footage ends.

S: That’s –

R: That’s freaky.

S: That – that would be easy to fake, but the footage itself, which is on YouTube, seems to show genuine terror. There’s a part where the tent shakes and all three look petrified.

R: Now, let’s go into detail concerning the history of Burkittsville.

S: I still feel unsettled.

R: Well, it’s a very creepy case.

S: I – I need a drink, dude.

R: The story begins in Blair, over two hundred years ago. In 1785, many children accused local woman Elly Kedward of luring them into her home and drawing blood from them. She was found guilty of witchcraft and banished from the village. It is presumed she died in the woods. However, within eighteen months, all of Kedward’s accusers had vanished. The townspeople left the area and vowed never to speak her name.

S: The – first part I agree might have happened.

R: There’s evidence from court documents saying that a woman – of that name was sentenced.

S: But the kids disappearing? I think that could have been added on later. To add juiciness. ‘See? Witchcraft is real, guys! Stop whatever you lot are doing and come to Blair! Three cents a family!’

R: Dude!

S: What? People back then were crazy. They’d – only just come out of the dark ages.

R: The Industrial Revolution was already going on by that time – you think that they’d be that stupid?

S: Although I suppose, because they’d moved on slightly, it explains why she wasn’t burnt.

R: They hanged witches. They burnt them in Scotland and France and Germany, but witches from England and the Colonies were hung.

S: Anything else?

R: A book about the case was written in 1809, mainly dictated by survivors and from court documents. In 1824, people built the town of Burkittsville, where Blair had stood. But in August the following year, a ten-year-old girl, Eileen Treacle, was pulled into Tappy East Creek, in front of eleven witnesses. She was pulled in by a pale woman’s hand. Her body was never recovered, but nearly two weeks after she drowned, the creek was clogged by bundles of oily sticks.

S: Sixty years later, in 1886, an eight-year-old named Robin Weaver was reported missing. Unlike previous victims, he returned home, but one of the search parties failed to. Their bodies were found at Coffin Rock, tied together at the arms and legs and disembowelled.

R: In November 1940, a girl named Emily Hollands vanished from Burkittsville. Over seven months, six more children vanished from the town. On May 25th 1941, a hermit named Rustin Parr walked into a market in the town and said that he was ‘finished’. Police found his house in the woods – reportedly the same house that the students would visit – and found the bodies in the cellar. Parr claimed he did this for a ghost who occupied the woods. He was hung.

S: Mary Brown was interviewed by Heather Donahue and her interview is seen in the film. Mary Brown, now deceased, said she saw the Blair Witch one day near Tappy Creek. The witch resembled a ‘half-human, half-animal beast’.

R: This – this is crazy. There is evidence that a hermit –

S: Parr definitely had bodies in his cellar. There is plenty of evidence that a man named Rustin Parr killed children. Same with the other two instances. But Mary – she was an old, mad woman.

R: The last people to see the students were two fishermen who directed the three to Coffin Rock. They are not considered suspects.

S: The other theories?

R: One is that the three vanished voluntarily. However, the fact that they had no problems at home might rule out this instance.

S: They could have faked the footage –

R: Yes.

S: But if they did, where did they go? Why didn’t they come home in the twenty-five years since that day? Their Social Security numbers weren’t used, there were no sightings. It’s strange.

R: Also, there were suspicions that an accident occurred. However, if it was one person, rather than three, this could be more believable. Possible serial killers have been put forward, namely those who killed couples, but it is unlikely.

S: Also, if it was a lone female, I’d buy that. A guy and a girl, probably. But two guys and a girl, serial killers w-wouldn’t go for that. They’d be too scared of confronting two men, even if they had a shotgun. And had been a sharpshooter.

R: In conclusion, while law enforcement believes that they may have suffered an accident or ran away – indeed, the Charley Project and Maryland State Police website have them listed as ‘Lost/Injured Missing’ – others believe that this is not necessarily the case.

S: Whether accident, murder or runaways, three families are still searching for any answers. Goodnight everybody.