Remember When This SUNY New Paltz Grad Went ‘Missing’ in Maryland?
In 1994, 3 college filmmakers made a trek to the Black Hills in Burkittsville, Maryland in search of information about an infamous witch haunting the area.
New Paltz Grad Goes "Missing" in Haunted Maryland Woods
One of those filmmakers was Michael C. Williams of the Bronx and a graduate of SUNY New Paltz. Williams was the sound guy working along with Heather Donahue and Joshua Leonard. The trio visited the small Maryland town interviewing community members and gathering as much information as they could about a local folklore witch.
Then, they headed into the Burkittsville woods.
Heather, Josh, and Mike were never seen again. That is until their video footage was found, turned into a documentary, and released to movie theaters across the world in July of 1999.
You may have heard of it, it's called The Blair Witch Project.
New Paltz Grad Makes it Out of The Woods Alive
Williams didn't actually go missing but the marketing behind The Blair Witch Project did a phenomenal job at pushing the fact that these 3 were missing in Berkettsville, Maryland at the hands of the Blair Witch.
A fun fact that some may not know, is that Michael Williams was really a graduate of SUNY New Paltz. For months people were stressing about the 3 missing filmmakers, but once the movie was released and the cast made media appearances everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Shortly after the horror film hit theaters, Williams made an appearance at his alma mater. According to a press release from September 8th, 1999, the actor and filmmaker was set to visit SUNY New Paltz's McKenna Theatre and answer questions about the film that went on to gross $80 million nationwide in the first 4 weeks after its release.
The independent film cost somewhere around $35,000 to make.
The Hudson Valley has a ton of ties to Hollywood. Check out a handful of movies and television shows that were filmed in Poughkeepsie throughout the years below:
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