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WMG / The Blair Witch Project

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The kids were being harassed by the Blair Witch Cult
Pretty much every single thing can be attributed to something not supernatural. The little twig figures, the stones, (mostly) everything was done by the remnants of the Blair Witch-worshipping cult commune that was disbanded in the 60s, mentioned by Josh in one of the movie's deleted scenes.
  • Change that "pretty much every single thing" to a solid "every single thing". The same thought occurred to me: why else would they have deleted such a brief and otherwise harmless scene, unless they thought that it gave away too much?
    • Um, then how did the Blair Witch Cult magically cause them to come across the same river twice?
    • They are really bad at outdoor survival and navigation. After all, they threw their map in a river.
    • You CAN change the flow of a river. It's something that you can't do in a minute, but with a lot of preparation, but you can do it. You can change some markings, scary some boys, and even use magnets to mess with someone compass. Keep in mind: The Cult has more sense that supernatual forces
    • In real life, it would make more sense. Considering that this is a horror movie, the creators' intent and all of its extended material points towards the supernatural, plus the movie itself naturally explaining itself this way, and things like "rearranging a river" would be far too forced for something that isn't even hinted at, this is obviously just a personal headcanon and not the intended canon.

The kids are being stalked by one of the Gentry from Changeling: The Lost
They inadvertently walk through a rather nondescript portal to the hedge early on in the film. The rest of the movie is the Keeper who owns the realm stalking them, planning to add them to it's collection. Reality warping is perfectly within a True Fae's powers, and it explains why they come across the same river twice. Josh is the only one who survives the movie ironically, becoming a changeling when he disappears, and then luring his friends to their deaths at the hands of the True Fae.
  • I had the exact same thought. Of course, I figured they all became changelings, though the film ended before it was shown.
  • Well knowing how they were and what they were after or being chased by...they probably got ripped into becoming Darklings; the dark-woodlands of perpetual darkness and spiky-trees sure do LOOK like the Hedge, Autumn Court Changlings for the WIN!!

The kids are being chased by Slendy
  • ...holy CRAP, that makes sense.
  • This is now my personal canon.
  • But the serial killer who took the kids' lives only stopped because a woman (the Blair Witch) appeared to him, commanding him to release the eighth (would-be) victim. Slendy has never appeared as a woman.
    • But several os his known proxies are women. He could've sent a proxy to speak for him.

The Blair Witch is the Demon.
Clearly, one of these kids has very naughty ancestors. Both the witch and the demon have similar motives and like to play with their prey. It eventually decides to stop dicking around, possess Josh, and then lure his friends to their deaths for an encore.

Josh killed his two friends at the end
When the witch claimed her previous victims in the past, she did it through the child murderer because she wasn't able to do it physically. And we know that Josh, who went missing, was in the house at the end because we heard him screaming. And it's implied that his friends are killed at the end, and we never actually saw Josh's body... ever. I'm not saying 100% that Josh killed his friends. But, if it did happened, I wouldn't be shocked.
  • I would; they found Josh's bloody clothes and some entrails in bundles of sticks. It's pretty clear that he died a horrible, gruesome, and from his screaming, a painful death.
    • The bloody things in clothes/twigs were just teeth. I'm sure the witch could "convince" whoever she was possessing to pull out some of his teeth.

Rustin Parr is still alive.
And he killed them. Why else would the climax take place in his house?
  • Jossed by the supplements as far as Parr's involvement; he was executed by the town not long after the murders, which he confessed to. The finale does happen in Parr's house though, but to add an extra layer of WTF, the house supposedly burned down decades before the movie takes place - the footage is found buried in the remains. Again, all this is mentioned in the supplements.

The Blair Witch unleashed a Candarian Demon.
Makes as much sense as anything else.
  • That's just fact as far as I'm concerned.

The Blair Witch was a scapegoat.
Elly Kedward, the original "Blair Witch" who was killed during the 18th century, isn't behind the haunting. The forests around Burkittsville have been haunted or possessed since long before her death. Kedward was apparently killed after a strange new disease was already affecting children in the town, and was also apparently innocent. Along with a generally negative attitude toward the area among native tribes who lived in the region before the Blair settlement was ever founded, this would suggest that something odd was going on before Kedward's death. After she was killed, whatever lived in the forest used her story to frighten away most of the town's residents by convincing them that she haunted it. Its chief goal, and the reason why it allowed the film to be made, is to avoid human habitation that might threaten the forest's continued existence, likely because its survival is contingent on that of the woods.
  • Based on the motives behind actual witch hunts, your hypothesis is sound.

The Blair Witch Project was an elaborate Plan to kill Heather!
The movie was not about a supernatural force hunting down 3 people in the woods, but two guys - Mike and Josh - who were psychological torturing their victim before finally finishing her off inside the basement. Their strange behavior towards her and their 'supposed' stupidity (Namely Josh kicking the map away as an example), could be explained through this. Whether the witch exists or not does not matter in this case, as the real antagonists are the two guys: one being the ex-boyfriend of the victim and the other being a friend of said ex. Already in their interaction, it could be seen that the two guys do have resentment towards Heather. While it's understandable for Mike though, Josh never met her until then.It's also of note that he (supposedly) threw the map away, was clearly not versed in reading maps and also had the compass. It should also be mentioned that Heather is a deep sleeper, thus would not notice if the other two would set up the spooks to frighten and psych her out. Not to mention that at times, it feels that the two of them lead heather around, instead the other way, despite this being HER project.And finally: IF the Blair Witch or any supernatural force exists, it would be rather strange to leave the party alone that retrieves the footage and let it prepare the film. It makes much more sense that Mike and Josh faked their death and are in reality on the run.
  • This could be combined with the cult theory above to say that Josh and Mike were cultists killing Heather as a sacrifice and other cultists following the group could be responsible for any events that would have been logistically hard for them to pull off alone.
  • Expounded on in this video.
  • That wouldn't make sense, though. I mean think about it: as noted above, changing the flow of the river doesn't make sense. Plus why would they go through all of THAT nonsense when they could kill heather "normally"? Although I agree that they led heather to danger on purpose there's definitely still something supernatural going on. To me I think it's more likely that they're part of some cult.

Elly Kedward, the original 'Blair Witch', was a benign figure, but the cruelty of the townspeople drove her to torture and murder.
In the mockumentary The Curse of the Blair Witch, which was part of the movie's Viral Marketing, the legend of the Blair witch is discussed at length. One commentator mentions that Elly Kedward (who apparently came to Maryland from Ireland in 1769) was a Catholic in a predominantly Protestant area and likely would have already been being persecuted for that. Children accusing random people of witchcraft was not uncommon back in the day - it's more or less how the Salem witch trials started - and maybe the children of the town accused Elly of being a witch for some reason (maybe she wasn't fond of children, or they were simply parroting their parents' anti-Catholic rhetoric to a more extreme end). According to the mockumentary, Elly was taken out of town, blindfolded, and tied to a tree, during one of the worst winters of the century. Following this, two things could have happened: one, she died of exposure and her ghost is what's been haunting the town, able to take different forms and possess or influence people; or two, as a previous WMG suggests, there was already some kind of supernatural power lurking in the woods that turned her into a sort of Eldritch Abomination, giving her supernatural powers that she uses to torment the town that was so cruel to her. The reason she targets children is because the children of Blair (later Burkittsville) were the ones who brought about her suffering in the first place.

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