The Blair Witch
The Blair Witch Project, a movie released in 1999, followed the experiences of a group of college students that traveled into the backwoods of Maryland to search for the supernatural Blair Witch. The Blair Witch is the topic of an urban legend, or myth, common in rural Maryland. It is simply a horror story to tell small children. The Blair Witch Project follows these College students in a documentary style format as they search for the infamous Blair Witch. When night falls upon these college students, strange things begin to happen, the footage gets shaky, and flashes of light and complete darkness ensue. According to this documentary, the college students are never seen again and the film that the viewers watched was "found" in the forest.
Pretty scary, right? The way that this footage was filmed made it feel so real to the viewer. These college students found the Blair Witch and were never seen again. The Blair Witch Project created a nationwide fear for this supernatural being in Maryland. Except, here's the catch: before 1999, no one, not even those in rural Maryland, had ever heard of the Blair Witch. These college students that created the documentary also created the entire urban legend. About the time previews started airing for this new film, the students created dozens of websites explaining the legend of the Blair Witch. (http://www.blairwitch.com/mythology.html). People who viewed the movie believed that the idea of the Blair Witch originated over a century ago, when in reality, it was an urban legend from only months before. These students ingeniously used the media, pop culture, and most of all, the Internet, to spawn an entirely new urban legend that is still believed by some today.
This extraordinary claim of a 100-year-old urban legend was believed by the masses even though all the evidence about it popped up on the internet only months before the release. It is not even a story passed down from father to son over the generations; it is simply a story that appeared on the internet. This hardly counts as extraordinary evidence to back up extraordinary claims. People should have asked themselves "have I ever heard of the Blair Witch before this movie" and the truth would have been always, no.
Oh, and the college students that were never seen again? They were seen at the Oscars that year and no one thought anything strange of it.