ByScott Wardell, writer at
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Scott Wardell

(Warning: This post contains potential spoilers for the upcoming Blair Witch movie. Enter the woods with extreme caution — you may not like what you find.)

Seventeen years have passed since The Blair Witch Project and this year we will venture into the Black Hills Forest once again with Adam Wingard's Blair Witch. James Donahue believes that his sister Heather is still alive after seeing her likeness appear on footage recovered after her disappearance in October 1994. He and a group of students journey back into the woods to look for the cabin where James believes he will find his sister.

Given that Heather has been missing for 17 years, it seems nearly impossible that she could still be alive. However, a theory from one keen Redditor suggests that the bizarre series of events that lead to Heather and her team's disappearance in The Blair Witch Project are the result of time manipulation.

The theory ultimately boils down to reveal that upon entering the woods, time ceases to function as it does in the outside world.

Time Within The Woods Vs. Time Outside

A warning to those visiting the Black Hills Forest
A warning to those visiting the Black Hills Forest

A short description from an early cut of The Blair Witch Project featured the following quote:

“Others claim there are parts of the Black Hills area that are lost in time...and once entered, there is no way out.”

This means that within the realm of the Black Hills Forest, time can be manipulated so that the witch can trap and disorient her victims. This explains why Heather, Josh and Mike can't ever seem to find their way back to the car, continually walking in circles even when using a compass.

Evidence of this time manipulation is observed by the search team as well, who uncover Heather's backpack (containing the footage that James watches at the beginning of Blair Witch), buried underneath the foundation of a cabin that stood for 100 years:

The recovered duffel bag containing film, tapes and Heather's journal
The recovered duffel bag containing film, tapes and Heather's journal

The evidence of this time manipulation even crosses over into the Blair Witch video game trilogy, the first of which was released in 2000 titled Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr.

See Also:

Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr

(Note: While the Blair Witch video game trilogy may not be considered part of the official Blair Witch storyline, for the purposes of this argument, we are going to consider it canon.)

Set during the year 1941, Volume 1 follows the paranormal investigation of Elspeth "Doc" Holliday as she explores the town of Burkittsville and the nearby Black Hills Forest. According to recent news reports, a recluse named Rustin Parr abducted and murdered seven children in the cellar of his cabin — save one. Parr spared Kyle Brody, forcing him to stand facing the corner of the cellar while he brutally murdered the other children. Sound familiar?

In a cutscene during Holliday's investigation of the cellar, we see Heather — camera in hand — run down the stairs and scream. She then falls to the floor dead. How is it possible that we see Heather in the year 1941? Here we see another instance of this time manipulation occurrence, this time within the cabin itself:

Heather's death in Blair Witch Volume 1:Rustin Parr
Heather's death in Blair Witch Volume 1:Rustin Parr

Now that we've established this time theory and it's role in the events of The Blair Witch Project, it's time to look at how this same theory can be applied to the upcoming Blair Witch movie, and more importantly, how this theory connects the two films.

Connecting The Blair Witch Project To Blair Witch

In a blink-and-you-might-miss-it moment from the trailer for Blair Witch Project, we see a shot that is strikingly similar to the final sequence of The Blair Witch Project where we see Mike facing the corner of the cabin's cellar:

Blair Witch (2016) / The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Blair Witch (2016) / The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Here's where the time theory really comes into play: What if the sequence we saw in the trailer for Blair Witch is actually the same sequence from the final moments of The Blair Witch Project? If time can indeed be manipulated in the woods, then it's reasonable to think that the events in the cabin could overlap, despite being almost two decades apart (according to the outside world). Watch the trailer for yourself and see if you can spot the scene:

Two Stories, One Ending

We'll have to wait until September to see if James does indeed find his sister, but will he and his crew suffer the same fate as Heather, Mike and Josh? The time travel theory has been tossed around in The Blair Witch Project message boards for years and it would be awesomely terrifying to see it come full circle and unite the upcoming Blair Witch, with the events of its predecessor, making the movie not actually a sequel, but a parallel story.

Blair Witch hits theaters on September 16, 2016.

Props to Reddit user SocksForPigs and the other sharp Redditors who fleshed out this theory in the comments.

Do you think this theory will come into play in Blair Witch?

[Source: Reddit via SocksForPigs, The Blair Witch website,]


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