Blair Witch

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is the second film in the Blair Witch series and was directed by Joe Berlinger. Initially intended to be a psychological thriller and an analysis of mass hysteria such as that associated with the original film, Artisan Entertainment drastically re-cut and re-purposed Berlinger's original film as a more conventional horror film, altering the soundtrack as well as making editing changes and adding additional footage.

The film was released in theaters in North America on October 27, 2000 to largely negative reviews from critics and audiences; it was, however, a financial success, grossing $47 million worldwide against its $15 million budget. The film would be the last in the series until Blair Witch was released in 2016 by Lionsgate, the company that bought out Artisan Entertainment.


Since the release of The Blair Witch Project, the town of Burkittsville attracted tourists and fans of the movie. In November 1999, Burkittsville resident Jeff Patterson, who seeks to profit off the film's popularity, has set up a group tour of locations featured in the film. His tour group consists of graduate students Stephen Parker and his pregnant girlfriend Tristen Ryler, who are researching the hysteria and mystery surrounding the film; Erica Geerson, a Wiccan; and Kim Diamond, a goth. They camp for the night at the ruins of Rustin Parr's house, where Jeff has placed surveillance cameras to capture supernatural occurrences. They encounter a rival tour group who claim Parr's house as theirs to camp. Jeff and Stephen convince them to camp at Coffin Rock instead after lying to them that they had earlier saw something interesting at that site. That night, the group drinks and smoke heavily before blacking out.

The next day, they awaken to find Stephen and Tristen's research documents completely shredded and Jeff's cameras and equipment are destroyed. Only Jeff's tapes are left intact. Due to their excessive binging, they have no memories of the previous night. Tristen suddenly suffers a miscarriage, and the group rush her to a hospital. After Tristen is discharged, the group head to Jeff's home, a former factory in the woods, to review Jeff's tapes to uncover what had happened last night. To their shock, the tapes shows Erica dancing around a tree while nude. Erica is left distraught and claims that she has no memory of this. Kim tries to console Erica, who then shows her body covered in rash-like symbols. Erica claims that they have been marked for death by a witch.

Kim later goes into town to pick up coffee and alcohol. She gets into a dispute with the store cashier, Peggy, who refuses to service Kim based off her appearance. When driving back to Jeff's home, Kim swerves to avoid a group of ghostly children in the road and crashes the van into a tree. She looks around and see that the children are gone. After returning to Jeff's home, Kim discover a bloody nail file stuck among the bottles of beer she purchased.

The next morning, Jeff finds the van's front end entirely caved in. Kim insists that the damage was minor. The group find Erica suddenly missing and attempt to search throughout the factory in which Kim only finds Erica's clothing and talisman lying in her room surrounded by lit candles. They also find to their horror their bodies are covered in rash-like symbols similar to Erica's.

Jeff later receives a phone call from Sheriff Ronald Cravens, who informs him and the others that the police has found the other tour group ritualistically murdered and disemboweled at Coffin Rock in a direct recreation of the 1886 massacre from The Blair Witch Project. Furthermore, Cravens has found a camera belonging to Jeff at the crime scene and thus placing him and the others as suspects. The sheriff warns the group not to leave Burkittsville until further notice.

The turn of events drives Jeff to believe Erica is the cause for everything. Kim goes through a phone book to call Tristen's doctor in which she unexpectedly finds dossiers (including birth certificates and family photos) on Kim and others except Jeff. She confronts Jeff and shows him the dossiers, accusing him for stalking them. But Jeff denies knowing about the files. Jeff later find Erica dead inside a closet.

The group tries to make sense of the situation until Tristen strangely ask for Jeff's tapes to be played in reverse. As they did so, they are horrified to see the footage showing the group in a frenzied orgy led by Tristen and going on to murder the other tour group at Coffin Rock. They confront Tristen and Jeff takes a camera and demands a video confession of Tristen. Tristen head to the second floor and ties a rope around her neck, and taunts the others. Stephen impulsively pushes her off a balcony, hanging her.

Jeff, Kim, and Stephen are arrested for the murders of the tourists, Erica and Tristen. They claim to the police that Tristen was possessed by the Blair Witch and was responsible for the deaths. But the police do not believe them as they show them various camera footages that contradicts their accounts: Kim had killed Peggy with her own nail file. Jeff killed Erica and hid her body after having cleaned up her murder. The footage Jeff filmed during Tristen's confrontation only shows her pleading for her life while being called as a witch and ends with Stephen deliberately pushing her to her death. The three are left in confused dismay.


  • Jeffrey Donovan as Jeffrey "Jeff" Patterson
  • Erica Leerhsen as Erica Geerson
  • Stephen Barker Turner as Stephen Ryan Parker
  • Kim Director as Kim Diamond
  • Tristine Skyler as Tristen Ryler
  • Lanny Flaherty as Sheriff Ronald Cravens
  • Lauren Hulsey as Eileen Treacle
  • Raynor Scheine as Rustin Parr
  • Kennen Sisco as Peggy, the store cashier
  • Kevin Murray as Doctor
  • Keira Naughton as Nurse
  • Real People:
    • Roger Ebert
    • Jay Leno
    • Conan O'Brien
    • Andy Richter
    • Kurt Loder
    • Chuck Scarborough
  • From Previous Film:
    • Heather Donahue
    • Michael C. Williams
    • Joshua Leonard
  • Bruce D. Reed as as Burkittsville Resident #1
  • Lynda Millard as Burkittsville Resident #2
  • Deb Burgoyne as Burkittsville Resident #3
  • Andrea Cox as Burkittsville Resident #4
  • Joe Burlinger as Burkittsville Tourist #1
  • Sara Phillips as Burkittsville Tourist #2
  • Pete Burris as MBI Man #1
  • Ed Sala as MBI Man #2
  • Robert M. Kelly as MBI Man #3
  • Briton Green as Stoner #1
  • Erik Jensen as Stoner #2
  • Peggy K. Chang as Foreigner #1
  • Tony Tsang as Foreigner #2
  • Anja Baron as Foreigner #3
  • Tyler Zeisloft as Teenager #1
  • Richard Kirkwood as Teenager #2
  • Justin Fair as Teenager #3
  • Brilane Bowman as Ham Lady
  • Dina Napoli as Reporter, Fox 45
  • Jacqui Allen as Reporter
  • Sloane Brown as Reporter, WJZ 13
  • Karen Tsen Lee as (Voice)
  • Uncredited:
    • Heidi Burger as Print Reporter
    • Brian Dragonuk as Angry Citizen at Courthouse
    • Armen Garo as Doctor
    • Nasi Glekas as Security Guard
    • Cathy Haase as First Nurse
    • Oscar Haynes as Videographer
    • Rick Kain as On Camera News Reporter
    • Julie Mabry as Hiker in Woods
    • Martin Pfefferkorn as Mental Patient
    • Chad Ridgely as Photographer
    • Ryan Slattery as (uncredited)

Other Characters:

  • Stephen & Tristen's unborn Baby

Tour Guides[]

Home Media[]

"The Secret of Esrever"[]

Both the DVD and VHS releases came with a featurette detailing "The Secret of Esrever" ("Esrever" is the word reverse spelled backwards), a number of near-subliminal messages in the form of hidden words and images that were placed throughout the film. The featurette encouraged viewers to watch certain scenes in reverse and/or frame-by-frame in order to decode the "secret", and, through scrambled letters flashed throughout the program, offered five clues to where they could be found: "door", "water", "mirror", "rug" and "grave".[1]

When all of the clues were identified, the hidden words, when put in the correct order, spelled out "seek me no further", plus an extra hidden word, "or". Viewers could then go to the (currently defunct) official Blair Witch website and type the words into a special search box: typing "seek me no further" would play an extra scene from the film, and typing "seek me no further or" would enable them to add their name to a list of people who had also decoded the message.[1] In the film itself, there are hidden words which form the message are found next to Erica in which Tristen speaks this in this sentence in reverse: "the children will again walk free." Combining with the "Esrever" message fully spells out "Seek me no further or the children will again walk free."

Alternate versions[]

While director Joe Berlinger has commented on the possibility of a Director's Cut more in line with his original intentions being unlikely due to the negative commercial and critical response, 2 fanedits exist online for Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, both of which attempt to bring the film more in line with Berlinger's original vision


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dutta, Debopriyaa (13 Nov 2021). "Blair Witch 2's Innovative "The Secret of Esrever" Bonus Feature Explained". Screen Rant.