The Blair Witch Project | 1999
The surprise smash hit of 1999 was a made-for-peanuts fake documentary, supposedly edited down from amateur footage of three student filmmakers who disappeared in the 'Black Hills Forest' near Burkittsville, Maryland, while investigating local stories about the titular witch. The film’s success lies in setting up the basic premise with a series of amazingly convincing vox pop interviews about the (totally fictitious) legend.
The filmmakers stock up for the expedition at – what was – Staub's Country Inn. It’s since closed down and is now window store HarBro Protection Solutions, 19800 Darnestown Road, Beallsville, about 20 miles southeast of Burkittsville.
Between Burkittsville and Beallsville, you can find the store, outside which they’re told about the murder of the seven kids, which is Stup's Market, 5550 Mountville Road,
Adamstown (which was Adamstown Village Market at the time of filming). Just south of Burkittsville, the last meal, and the interview with the waitress, are in Mommer's Diner,
1 South Maple Avenue at Potomac Street in
Brunswick (formerly the Silver Rail Diner). A mile or two west is Knoxville, where the trio spend their first night at the Hillside Motel, 19105 Keep Tryst Road.
The opening scenes of the trip really are Burkittsville, Maryland – though don't necessarily expect a warm welcome if you visit. Many locals were not best pleased with the attention their town received – even booing the filmmakers out of town when they returned to discuss filming a sequel.
The ‘Black Hills Forest’ is Seneca Creek State Park, about 25 miles west of Burkittsville. The 200-year-old house featured in the film has been saved from demolition by the film's distributors. It's the Griggs House in Patapsco Valley State Park, western Baltimore County.