October 19, 2017 Library Highlights Horrors of "The Blair Witch Project"

Film Creators Headline Weekend of Halloween Programs 

Press Contact: Bryonna Head (202) 707-3073
Public Contact: Nicholas Brown, (202) 707-8437
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or [email protected]

The Library of Congress today announced that the creators of “The Blair Witch Project,” a 1999 horror film known as one of the most successful independent movies ever made, will host a panel discussion during the Library’s Halloween festivities.

The panel discussion, “Creating Modern Ghost Stories: The Blair Witch Project,” will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Thomas Jefferson Building, located at 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. Three of the film’s creators — co-director Eduardo Sánchez, history fabricator Julia Myrick and co-producer Michael Monello — will examine the craft of developing a modern classic ghost story and the cultural impact of “The Blair Witch Project.” A screening of the film will follow the panel. The film is R-rated. No one under the age of 17 will be admitted to the screening without a parent or guardian. Tickets are now available at this event-ticketing site. The discussion will be livestreamed on the Library’s Facebook page at facebook.com/libraryofcongress and its YouTube channel at youtube.com/LibraryOfCongress.

The program is one of a series of events scheduled throughout the weekend.

Nearly 20 years later, “The Blair Witch Project” is still described as one of the most iconic horror films in history, one that helped change the face of independent filmmaking and the entire genre of horror. The film established a new type of documentary psychological horror genre unprecedented for its box office success, in relation to its relatively low budget. One of the key elements to the film’s success was the creation of a rich fictitious history, which has become the template for modern horror film screenplay writing.

The Library of Congress earlier this month announced “LOC Halloween: Chambers of Mystery,” an autumn pop-up exhibition that embodies seasonal traditions of fantasy and folklore and makes a variety of rarely seen collection items more accessible to the general public. The display will be on view Friday, Oct. 27, through Tuesday, Oct. 31, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. (except Sunday, Oct. 29), and Wednesday, Nov. 1, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington D.C. Tickets are available for this free exhibition, but are not required. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit this event ticketing site for more information and to secure your ticket. Entry is not guaranteed. Visitors are invited to wear costumes to “LOC Halloween: Chambers of Mystery.”

An “LOC Halloween: Chambers of Mystery” pop-up preview for media will take place on Thursday, Oct. 26. Media wishing to attend this preview or “Creating Modern Ghost Stories: The Blair Witch Project” must RSVP no later than Monday, Oct. 23. Space is limited for the panel discussion.

Halloween weekend at the Library will also include some additional family-friendly activities. Additional programming includes:

Spooky Story Time
Saturday, Oct. 28, 11 a.m., Young Readers Center, ground floor, Jefferson Building

Join the Young Readers Center in a spooky story time and stay for some spine-tingling activities!  Ages 5-10; all children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The Young Readers Center is open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Free, no tickets required.

Film: “Hocus Pocus” (Disney/Buena Vista, 1993, PG)
Saturday, Oct. 28, 4 p.m., Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor, Jefferson Building

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy star as three sister witches who are resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts, on Halloween night. Kenny Ortega directed this PG-rated fantasy comedy. The film was nominated for five Saturn Awards, including best fantasy film and best actress for Midler. “Hocus Pocus” has achieved cult status over the years due to annual record-breaking showings on the Disney Channel ABC Family's 13 Nights of Halloween.
Free, tickets are required. Visit this event-ticketing site to secure your tickets.

School and tour groups are encouraged to make advance arrangements for visiting “LOC Halloween: Chambers of Mystery.” Interested parties may contact [email protected] for more information.

Follow the fun on Twitter at @librarycongress and #LCHalloween.

“LOC Halloween: Chambers of Mystery” is made possible by gifts to the Library of Congress Fund. Those interested in supporting free programs at the Library can contact [email protected].

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

Cosplay and Costume Weapons Guidelines

Individuals wearing costumes while visiting the Library of Congress must comply with the following guidelines of the U.S. Capitol Police:

  • Weapons and replicas of weapons are generally prohibited on Capitol grounds and participants should not attempt to enter any building on the Capitol grounds other than the specific event locations while in possession of a fake or "costume weapons."
  • Costume weapons will be inspected by members of the U.S. Capitol Police prior to entry into any of the event locations.
  • For operational and security reasons, guests may not enter any of the event locations or pass through screening while wearing masks or with their faces covered in any way that would obscure identification.
  • The wearing of masks on Capitol grounds is permitted at the discretion of the United States Capitol Police and, if directed, participants must immediately remove costume masks.


PR 17-158
ISSN 0731-3527