30 January 2013
A Witchy Hoax
In 1994, three student filmmakers in search of a witch disappeared near the woods of Burkitsville, Maryland (The Blair Witch Project, 1999). The story involved missing students Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael Williams in the process of making this documentary. Their task: simply to discover the truth of the tale regarding Elly Kedward, “a woman who had been accused of witch craft and child murder and had banished her town, left for dead, and supposedly still haunted the area” (Cite museum hoax). A famous story known by the name of the “Blair Witch Project”, so captivating and believable to an audience, that a successful website and movie were made to entertain what was originally all just a hoax.
The “Blair Witch Project” developed a popular story line throughout the media, beginning with a website claiming the witch story to be true. The purpose of this deceiving website was to fulfill the story of the Blair Witch Project by “viral marketing” and result in a haunting horror film. The “Blair Witch Project” as a website became an “internet sensation” (cite abc) by online browsers. The website featured the interesting story involving the three students on a quest to locate the “Blair Witch” while filming their progress in a documentary. The website grabbed individuals’ attention into believing the events in the story were all true. The website contained specific, detailed information based on the story of the Blair witch including: interviews with so-called experts, realistic locations, old photographs, police reports, letters, and anything else relating to the case. “Viral marketing” was the method used to significantly spread the success of the fake horror story, and convince many more people to believe that this case was true. Viral marketing is defined as “a method of product promotion that relies on getting customers [in this case believers] to spread an idea, product or...