In 1994, 3 college filmmakers made a trek to the Black Hills in Burkittsville, Maryland in search of information about an infamous witch haunting the area.

New Paltz Grad Goes "Missing" in Haunted Maryland Woods

One of those filmmakers was Michael C. Williams of the Bronx and a graduate of SUNY New Paltz. Williams was the sound guy working along with Heather Donahue and Joshua Leonard. The trio visited the small Maryland town interviewing community members and gathering as much information as they could about a local folklore witch.

Then, they headed into the Burkittsville woods.

Heather, Josh, and Mike were never seen again. That is until their video footage was found, turned into a documentary, and released to movie theaters across the world in July of 1999.

You may have heard of it, it's called The Blair Witch Project.

New Paltz Grad Makes it Out of The Woods Alive

Williams didn't actually go missing but the marketing behind The Blair Witch Project did a phenomenal job at pushing the fact that these 3 were missing in Berkettsville, Maryland at the hands of the Blair Witch.

A fun fact that some may not know, is that Michael Williams was really a graduate of SUNY New Paltz. For months people were stressing about the 3 missing filmmakers, but once the movie was released and the cast made media appearances everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Wikipedia, Michael Williams in 2019
Wikipedia, Michael Williams in 2019

Shortly after the horror film hit theaters, Williams made an appearance at his alma mater. According to a press release from September 8th, 1999, the actor and filmmaker was set to visit SUNY New Paltz's McKenna Theatre and answer questions about the film that went on to gross $80 million nationwide in the first 4 weeks after its release.

The independent film cost somewhere around $35,000 to make.

The Hudson Valley has a ton of ties to Hollywood. Check out a handful of movies and television shows that were filmed in Poughkeepsie throughout the years below:

20 Must See TV Shows and Movies Made in Poughkeepsie, New York

Take a BTS Look at Poker Face Episode 7 Filmed in Beacon and Chester, NY

Did you catch episode 7 of Poker Face on Peacock? 2 Hudson Valley arcades got the Hollywood treatment. 

25 Hudson Valley Locations Featured in Movies

The Hudson Valley, or the new Hollywood? The Hudson Valley has been featured in many movies over the years, and it's not stopping. From recent hits like A Quiet Place (2018) to modern- classic films like The Departed (2006), The Hudson Valley has been a low-key hot spot for locations. Due to tax incentives, beautiful locations, and the growth of independent filmmaking, the Hudson Valley will continue to thrive as a valuable destination for filmmakers.

So, we compiled a list of 25 Hudson Valley locations featured in film. This list includes blockbuster hits and independent films too. We hope you enjoy reading through, and learn more about The Hudson Valley and film!