“I named it ‘Blair’ because my older sister had gone to Blair High School, and it was kind of just this name that just popped into my head,” Sánchez told The Week in 2015. “It’s really crazy now because it’s such a perfect name. But like a lot of things, I had to choose a name, and that was the one that was there at the time.”
The back story is briefly touched upon before things get weird for Heather, Josh and Mike in the woods, but Myrick and Sánchez have said they wouldn’t mind fleshing out the lore in another film. As it’s pieced together by the townspeople in The Blair Witch Project and in the companion documentary, Curse of the Blair Witch: In 1785, a woman named Elly Kedward was accused of witchcraft in Blair, Md.—later Burkittsville—after she was discovered pricking the fingers of children to let their blood. She was found guilty at trial and banished to the woods, where she was tied to a tree in the dead of winter and left there. By the following winter, half the town’s children had disappeared.
In the late 1800s, a local tells Heather, a child named Robin Weaver disappeared into the woods, then reappeared three days later on her grandma’s porch, “babbling something about an old woman whose feet never touched the ground.” His fishing companion added that he once saw, up the creek, “a white misty thing” rising “right out of the water.”
A party of five men had gone out searching for Robin. They were found at what came to be known as Coffin Rock, one man’s hands bound to another’s feet and so on, each gutted and with indecipherable writing carved into his face. By the time the search party who found them went to get help and they all returned, the bodies were gone.
Then children started disappearing in 1940. An old hermit named Rustin Parr came out of the woods one day and told the townspeople, “I’m finally finished.” No one knew what he was talking about, but then police searched his cabin and found the bodies of seven kids. In court Parr said he had only done what the old lady ghost had told him to do.
Another woman tells Heather that she had heard a tale about two hunters who were out camping and then disappeared without a trace. Additionally, the not-so-“crazy” Mary Brown says she was out fishing with her father one day when she felt a presence, then saw what looked like a woman, cloaked in a shawl that she opened to reveal hair all over her body, like a horse.
The filmmakers stumble upon seven piles of rocks in the woods. Later they return to their campsite to find three piles, one for each of them.