A Quick Word From: A Guy Who Found the ‘Blair Witch’ Camera and Almost Kept It

Previously on “A Quick Word From“…

I mean look at the picture quality, though.

I mean look at the picture quality, though.

Hello, my name is Nicholas Grimaldi. I am not proud of it, but I found the Blair Witch camera and almost kept it for myself. Free camera, you know?

I was walking my dog through the woods in Burkittsville, Maryland when I stumbled across a gently used video camcorder. It wasn’t a DSLR or anything special, but still: free camera in the woods. Normally in the woods you are lucky to find a car tire or an out-of-place shopping cart. A working camcorder? That’s woods gold.

It wasn’t until I got home and watched the tape that I realized the camera belonged to three kids who were murdered by a witch.

I was terrified, of course, but I was also faced with the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make: do I turn over the evidence to the police, or do I keep the camera for myself and try to forget about the whole scary witch thing?

Cameras are expensive.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t spend a few days weighing my options. I made a pro and con chart. I looked into the market value of the camera. I tinkered with the settings on the camera to really see what it could do. At one point I convinced myself that the murdered people on the tape would have wanted me to keep the camera because they couldn’t use it anymore.

Does it make me a monster that I almost kept the camera? The thing you need to understand is that I had been meaning to buy a camera.

Does it make me a monster that I almost kept the camera? The thing you need to understand is that I had been meaning to buy a camera.

See, I was pretty excited because I had been hoping to film my dog Bandit run into my screen door. Keep in mind, this was ’99 and America’s Funniest Home Videos was fading fast after Daisy Fuentes and that other guy took over for Bob Saget, so my time was running out.

I mean, I watched it. I watched the entire Blair Witch Project video. It was spooky stuff. Those kids were so scared. Witches are apparently real. But I came so close to keeping that camera anyway. What does that say about me?

I told the police I had just found the camera. Truth is, I had the camera for about two weeks and had shot a short film with it. Does that make me a bad person? Probably, right?

This wasn’t an isolated incident. I found the Cloverfield camera too. I was trying to help rebuild NYC after an alien monster attacked it when I found that camera. I thought, surely this is God’s way of finally giving me a free camera, but then I checked the tape. Sure enough, scary movie again. I returned the camera.

When I moved to California and got into real estate I found Paranormal Activity cameras in almost every house. Hell, I found the Chronicle camera. I’m sick of returning found footage. Just once I want to keep the camera.

Each time I give the camera to the police and ask politely if there’s any way I can get it back when the whole thing is over. I’m owed so much money in rewards, but man do the police make you feel guilty when you bother them for reward money. It’s like, who’s the bad guy here: the guy returning this camera or the demon who possessed and stabbed a family?

Naturally I’m starting to think I’m cursed. I’ve found so many cameras, and each of them has had tightly-edited evidence of the paranormal on them. Nowadays, when I enter an abandoned house or a creepy field, I just expect to find increasingly expensive filming equipment.

I really don’t want to toot my own horn here, but I think I deserve a little credit for not pocketing all these cameras.

Behind every found footage movie is a kind soul who didn’t steal that camera. It’s honestly remarkable. I can’t imagine how many found footage movies we never see because the person who found it kept the Canon. Boy, do I wish I kept at least one of these cameras. I had to film my cousin’s wedding on my iPhone.