Frequently Asked Questions

Are the students Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael Williams OK? Yes. Although they used their real names, the three are actors. They are alive and well and probably signing autographs right now.
Is the movie real? The movie is a real fictional movie, NOT a documentary.
Did people really get murdered or disappear? There are no reports on missing people fitting the actors' descriptions. No film students or search party members have been murdered in or around Burkittsville.
Does Burkittsville have a history of mysterious murders? No.
Was there a settlement called Blair in Burkittsville? No.
But what about the Sci Fi Channel Documentary? It wasn't a documentary. It was a work of promotional fiction. Check out the credits at the end.
Where is Black Rock Road? Black Rock Road isn't in or near Burkittsville. There is one in Montgomery County. You won't find it on any real map of Burkittsville.
Is ANY of the folklore mentioned on www.blairwitch.com true? After extensive research, and the admission by the filmmakers themselves, we have to answer NO! Burkittsville is rich with its own folklore, but the Blair Witch and all the "mysterious murders" are the product of some very creative writers. No book, no settlement, no Rustin Parr, no Mysterious Cycle of killings at 40 to 60 year intervals.
Is ANY part of the movie, Sci-Fi Channel special, or www.blairwitch.com site true? No. The filmakers confirm this.
Is Burkittsville making money from its newfound publicity? The town of Burkittsville does not have a public restroom, restaurants, or even a payphone. Besides a few individual entrepreneurs, the town is not profiting in any significant way. The historic walking tour is free, it's a self-serve tour with a very interesting pamphlet. There are many websites claiming to have "Official" Burkittsville merchandise. Buyer beware! We are not selling "Blair Witch" knapsacks, hats, etc., that you may see on the net.
Why are you trying to cover up the truth?!! The truth, in this case, isn't "out there," it's right here. If any of this were true we would have noticed. We live here.

The following is a FACT SHEET provided to us by the Frederick County Sheriff's Department, compiled by Sgt. Thomas Winebrenner:

1) Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael Williams did NOT attend Montgomery College and arrive in Burkittsville - because they are actors, the three people you see in the movie are alive and well.

2) There is no "Tappy East Creek" or "Coffin Rock" in or near the town of Burkittsville, and it is unknown if there is such a place, again folks, it's part of the script!

3) The Black Hills Forest can only mean the Black Hills State Park located in Montgomery County MD between Clarksburg and Germantown. There is NO Black Hills Forest in Frederick County, and the Montogmery County area is over 25 miles from the town of Burkittsville. (Note: between Burkittsville and the park are a number of small towns, county roads and major highways--in other words, no, they could not have walked from Burkittsville to the Black Hills State Park and been in the woods the whole time--Sorry, had to cover the conspiracy theories)

4) There is no APB issued for Josh's car, as it was never reported missing to the Maryland State Police or the Frederick County Sheriff's Office. Besides, we don't call them APB's, we call them "Lookouts".

5) The car is not found a day later on Black Rock Road, because again, as with the Black Hills Forest, Black Rock Road is "MILES" from where the story is supposed to take place. There is a Black Rock Road in Montgomery County MD, but we have already been over that ground in #3, so let's concentrate on the Black Rock Road that is located in Frederick County. Yes, there is a Black Rock Road in Frederick County, north of a town called Wolfsville, MD. Once again though, the walking idea will not work because of the following:

Burkittsville is located in the southwest corner of Frederick County MD, near the Washington County, MD line and the West Virginia State line. Black Rock Road is located in the Northwest corner of Frederick County, near the Washington County MD line and the Pennsylvania State Line. Frederick County is the largest land mass county in MD, with over 650 square miles. The distance between Wolfsville and Burkittsville is at least 15 miles, and again the trio would have had to pass through numerous towns, farms and Interstate 70 to get to Black Rock Road, or vice versa.

To conclude, their vehicle was never found on Black Rock Road in Frederick County MD

6) I was working for the Frederick County Sheriff's Office in 1994, and I can confirm that there was NO large scale search launched for three missing college students in 1994. The non-existent search did not yield a trace of any missing people because there were no missing people.

7) If you must, check with the University of MD - Anthropology Department, and you will discover that they were not performing a dig in Burkittsville in 1995, nor did they find any missing tapes, video, etc.

8)As stated elsewhere in this website, there is no "Burkittsville Sheriff". First of all, Burkittsville is a very small community, made up of approximately 200 residents. Their "Sheriff" is the Sheriff of Frederick County, and consequently they receive police services from both the Frederick County Sheriff's Office and the Maryland State Police. Why both? Because Burkittsville is made up of county roadways with State Route 17 running right through the square of town, thus both agencies have concurrent jurisdiction over the area. BUT...to continue with the Sheriff thing...The Sheriff of Burkittsville is the Sheriff of Frederick County. His name is Sheriff James W. Hagy. Sheriff Hagy is serving in his second term. His first term started in 1994. Preceding him was Sheriff Carl Harbaugh 1990-1994, and before him, Sheriff Robert "Bob" Snyder 1982-1990. Sorry, no Sheriff Cravens here. Cravens is a fictional character who was made up to be part of the plot.

9)As stated before, there is no truth to this film's plot, therefore, the families were never shown footage. Please, leave the Angie Donahues of America alone, you will not find one who lost her daughter Heather to a witch!

10)A quote from the mythology section of the Blair Witch website: "the footage is to be released to the families when the legal limit of its classification runs out, October 16, 1997" Wow, sounds pretty important, doesn't it, yet it means nothing! Again, this is part of the plot of this fictional movie. Legal limit of it's classification? What is that? Trust me, it is not a law enforcement term. But for you conspiracy theorists look at it this way, at best or worst the Sheriff's Office has a missing persons investigation where the persons are presumed deceased. The film shows us that something was "after" them or that they were afraid of something, so we can assume that these college students were harmed in some way, possibly murdered. What do you think the "statute of limitations" is on murder? Answer - there is none, you can be prosecuted for murder 50 years later if it takes that long for the murderer to be identified or captured! Police agencies around the country have numerous unsolved murders or disappearances...ever watched "America's Most Wanted", or "Unsolved Mysteries"??? Do you think that they are giving away their evidence to the families of the victims? Come on folks, think logically. Would the Frederick County Sheriff's Office, a nationally accredited police agency, release valuable evidence to the family of the victims within 2 years of it being found, only so that it could be made into a major motion picture? The answer is common sense, no!

11) The "Blair Witch Project" website has changed over the last few months, regarding the material that you can look at. Approximately 2-3 months ago, you could look at pictures of supposed deputies who were either interviewed or were involved in the search. I work for the Sheriff's Office and none of the people pictured have ever worked for our agency. In fact, they were not even wearing our uniform!

12) Look closely at the "MISSING" poster, the one with the three pictures of the students. At the bottom it says to contact the Frederick County Sheriff's Office if you have information. Look at the phone number: "555-XXXX" How long has Hollywood been using 555 as telephone numbers because that prefix is unused? Decades. And just to be sure, our agencies real number is 694-XXXX.

13) Finally, I'm sure you have all seen these major news events before, in fact, sadly, I just watched the mother of the young girl recently murdered in Yosemite National Park on "Good Morning America".(07/28/99) Ask yourself, "why haven't the parents of these students been on all the news shows?" Why? Because they don't exist!

Well, I hope that this helps clear up the confusion. I think you should take the time to commend the directors for their excellent creativity, and the extreme measures that they went to. They really did make this whole thing "look" real. In fact, if you are not a resident of Frederick County, you would have no way of knowing that it wasn't a real story. However, if you take a little time to investigate (like you are doing now!) and use your common sense, you'll realize that this is just a great scary movie!

Enjoy the show, and if you're coming to Burkittsville, please stop by during the day and see this lovely, quiet town. PLEASE do not come witch hunting at midnight in the graveyard. Also, please leave Burkittsville the way you found it, and do not remove anyone's property for the sake of memorabilia.

The following is an UPDATE from our favorite Sheriff's Deputy. Please note that the websites listed are not links, you'll have to print them out or copy them down. There just isn't enough time to encode and test these links and get them to you quickly at the same time -- sorry, Schmaltz.

What? You're not convinced yet? You need more facts? You still think it really happened? OK, but remember you asked for it. Here are some additional items that have been pointed out to us by the tons of e-mails that we are getting:

- Myth: 1. a traditional story of unknown authorship, serving usually to explain some phenomenon of nature, the origin of man, or the customs, religious rites, etc. of a people (Legend) 2. such stories collectively; mythology 3. any fictitious story 4. any imaginary person or thing (Websters New World Dictionary.)

WHY THE DEFINITION? KEEP READING: On the web site www.blairwitch.com there are several different sites to go into. One of these sites is named "mythology." When you go in that site it gives you the background and the "legend" of the "Blair Witch" and a "calendar of events of everything leading up to the disappearance and search of the students." It wasn't it called "background information" or "facts of the case," it was simply called mythology. That is pretty self-explanatory if you just take the time to pay attention to what you are reading!! (Thanks to Susan G. of Florida State University!) Eh-hum, please refer back to #3 in the definition at this time. Thank You!

-Also, in the missing poster the boy is wearing a Geneseo University hat; this is only a few miles from an alert reader's house. She points out that the hats change every year, and this hat is from1997!! Not before the "students" supposedly disappeared. (Thanks go to Wendie T.)

If you check out Mike's age on the missing poster, it says 24. His "autobiography" at www.blairwitch.com states that he was born in 1973. If my math is correct: 1973 + 24 is 1997. Weren't the people missing in 1994? He would've & should've been 21, not 24. (Thanks, Xx80sGrl@...)

Here are a list of Internet sites that may help you feel more confident in the fictitious nature of this hype:

Where you can find that the actors are alive and well:

www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/Movies/9907/15/blairwitch and www.hollywood.com/sites/blairwitch/interviews.html

Where the directors talk about how they made it look so real:

www.creativescreenwriting.com/interviews/myricksanchez6,27,99.html

Real Urban Legends?

www.snopes.com

Go to "What's New" and search down the list to Blair Witch from June '99

Well, there you go, more facts than you can shake a wooden stick figure at! It pains me to do this, because most of this is covered in the "Frequently Asked Questions" area above, but since this is what the e-mails have been asking, here we go again:

-There has never been a witch legend in the Burkittsville area, particularly any Blair Witch legends.

-There has never been an investigation in Burkittsville or Frederick County for three missing college students

.

-There was never any evidence recovered from underneath a cabin in the woods, the tapes and films you have seen or heard about are props.

-There never was an Elly Kedward who resided in this area. There never was a Rustin Parr in this area who slaughtered children and was put to death.

-Could this have happened somewhere else? Yes, it could have, but it did NOT happen in Burkittsville or Frederick County, MD.

- Very little, and I mean very little, of the movie was actually shot in or around Burkittsville. There is the "Welcome To.." sign, the graveyard scene where Heather is talking about the suspicious deaths of children, and two shots of them driving on the road, that's it!

Everything else was filmed somewhere else, and the woods scenes were shot in Seneca State Park and Patapsco State Park in Montgomery County, MD 20+ miles from Burkittsville, MD.

- While we're thinking about the many children in the graveyard thing: it is unfortunate, but if you go to any older graveyard, you are going to see alot of children's graves. No, it's not the Witch, it's called disease and injury. Again, please use your common sense. They did not have our medical technology in the olden days, so more children died.

-Everything that you see from the movie, website, and Sci-Fi (Remember it means Science Fiction) Channel show are all works of FICTION.

Everything that you see is props and actors/actress playing their part in the storyline. Why would you see a real life documentary on the Sci-Fi Channel without disclaimers? Don't you think that 20/20 or 48 hours would have had this suspicious investigation on their show? With the way the media has been in the last 10 years, you would have been "pounded" with this story if it had a shred of truth!

-Still Skeptical? Visit any legitimate news or history website, specifically NOT one connected to the Blair Witch, and search for any of this timeline stuff, I wish you Good Luck.

-Go to our local papers website and search the archives for any mass search from 1994-1995. Again, Good Luck!

www.fredericknewspost.com

-Please do not send me questions about the movie plot, or "why" something happened in the movie. The Sheriff's Office not associated with the making of this film and as a Sheriff's Deputy, neither was I. I can only speculate as to "why" just like you. Go to the filmmakers website at:

www.haxan.com

Make sure you check out the FAQs section (it is under the E-mail on the first page)

-Remember, I have not seen any promotion or preview or anything else connected with this movie that stated, "This is a true story" or "Based on a True Story." They never said that it was true, they never said that is was made up. They presented a product and left it up to you and your imagination. Refreshing, don't you think? They played upon the most terrifying thing that we all have dealt with since childhood: things that go "bump" in the night. Did you have trouble sleeping after you saw the film? If you did, then you got what you paid for, it shouldn't matter that the story was just fictional. Thank God it wasn't REAL!!

Sgt. Thomas Winebrenner, Frederick County Sheriff's Office

Take Care,

Sgt. Tom Winebrenner

"For the life of me, I cannot remember, what made us think that we were wise and we'd never compromise"
The Verve Pipe - "The Freshman" 1996

Hello, folks! Sgt. Tom has returned to his regular duties, but the "witches"; and "wizards" are still collecting conspiracy busters from alert readers. Here's the latest batch:

From a reader in Germany:
Here is one more for your faq:
In the book -The Blair Witch Project-A Dossier- you will see the side of a newspaper called -The Washington Press- There is an article about Rustin Parr (Child Killer Hanged) from * November 22, * 1941. and some other (real) articles about the WW2. But most of these articles are dated between on * May 10 to May 13.

And kmfdm@... writes:
On the "soundtrack" they have at least two songs that I know of that should NOT be there -- Haunted by Type O Negatve, and She's Unreal by Meat Beat Manifesto ---- BOTH of those songs were released in 1996!

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