ABSTRACT

Soon after the film’s release and to the surprise of the local inhabitants, fans began flooding the tiny town of Burkittsville, Maryland, where the missing students were said to have disappeared and where the students’ films and tapes were purportedly found. Indeed, some fans went camping in the Maryland woods in the hopes of running into the Blair Witch herself while others formed search parties to look for the three missing film students. The Burkittsville Sheriff’s Office was inundated with calls from people asking about the film and the town hall answering machine message was changed to say, “If this is in regard to The Blair Witch Project, it is a fiction.” Other Burkittsville residents set up a website explaining to eager fans that there is no Blair Witch.2 Despite all signs that the film was a cleverly marketed but entirely fictional horror film, however, some viewers continued to believe – or at least pretended to believe – that the footage might, just might, be “real.”