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Alberta Book: Photographs by George Webber

As an urban explorer who holds a love for urbex photography, I am continually on the lookout for works published by professional photographers. My wife and I often find ourselves at the nearby Indigo/Chapters store as she is an avid bookworm who easily manages to read at least 3-4 novels a month. While she browses I always end up gravitating towards the photography/fine arts section to see what’s new. I then quickly glance through the local interest section which generally has few titles that peak my interest. However, on one of our recent “book dates”, I came across a photography book by George Webber simply called Alberta Book. I must admit that I’ve never heard of Mr Webber but the cover photo certainly caught my attention.

The book contains over 200 color photographs of Webber’s work compiled over 40 years of photographing and exploring the many forgotten Alberta towns that dot the Canadian prairies. An abundance of pictures depicting deteriorating signs, abandoned buildings, an…

Abandoned Homes That Became Stars: The Blair Witch House

I still fear the woods at night since having seen the original 1999 Blair Witch Project in theaters. In the final climatic scene of the movie, Heather and Mike enter a derelict "Scary as shit" home in a race to find Josh who we hear cry in agony. They are both eventually lead to the basement where they meet their demise bu an unseen force. To this day, I refer to every creepy abandoned rural home that we find as a Blair Witch house.

Scariest Movie Scenes - Blair Witch Project - The Ending

Whatever happened to the home where the movie was filmed?

The final scene was filmed in a real historic home located in Granite, Maryland. The 200 year old home was known as the Griggs House and was located on land owned by the Maryland DNR (Department of Natural Resources). The two story home sat on a stone foundation and was remodeled in the early twentieth century which included covering the exterior in stucco which we see in the movie. The Griggs House had been known for years by locals and was a frequent place to visit by young people. Although it is unknown when the house actually became vacant, pictures of the home by the Maryland Historical Trust in 1976-77, clearly show the house abandoned. Interior architectural details were removed by vandals in the 80's including window frames and mantel pieces. By 1990 the house was condemned and the DNR was discussing its demolition.

After the Blair Witch Project premiered in 1999, the home became a star. It even received its own 1999 Topps Blair Witch collector card (#61 The House-The Woods). The Griggs House served as the location for the infamous Rustin Parr's house where the serial killer murdered seven children in 1940 while under the influence of the Blair Witch. While the success of the movie created enthusiasm to save the home from destruction it also brought increased vandalism to an already dilapidated home. During a "sneak peak" of the movie, the movie directors gave away the location of the abandoned home. As a result, souvenirs were already starting to be taken from the Griggs House even before the movie was officially released. After the success of the movie, movie fans sought out the home and began to cart off pieces as souvenirs.

Efforts to save the home from destruction based on the success of the movie seemed positive. Unfortunately, the home was torn down years later in Aug of 2008 without any official announcements. Even today there is some confusion on whether or not the home had been saved.

A fan made documentary filmed in 1999 visits the various locations used in the film. Watch the whole fascinating documentary or skip to the 10:00 min mark and watch a detailed walk through of Rustin Parr's house.