As the air chills in preparation for the Halloween season, Blue Ridge Community College’s Theatre Department is bringing the frights by hosting a full series of short films about local myths and legends titled “Haunted Hendo.”
Premiering virtually on Thursday, Oct. 28, “Haunted Hendo” is the end result of a massive collaboration between Blue Ridge’s Theatre Department and its community.
Theatre Department faculty Jennifer Treadway explained that “Haunted Hendo” is composed of 10 short films highlighting mountain mysteries and local lore.
“A few of the stories are creepy and spooky, because we’re releasing this right before Halloween,” Treadway said. “But others are more fun, lighthearted tellings of local lore, and we’ve even got a full-on documentary for one of them.”
Some of the highlighted stories include the unexplained phenomena in the Henderson County Historic Courthouse, reported ghost sightings in The Poe House, the Cherokee legend of a siren in the French Broad River, and even a spotlight on Western North Carolina’s very own Bigfoot-like cryptid, the Boojum.
Each short film, being the creation of different groups of students, carries a completely different film style from the last. A good example of this is telling the Boojum legends through musical songs.
The documentary Treadway mentioned will feature White Rock Hospital, a location that served as a tuberculosis clinic around WWI and has earned a reputation for strange happenings since then. Students interviewed the current owners as well as those who’ve had unusual experiences at the site in order to create this film.
The event’s production team consisted of more than 50 current and former theatre and film students, community members, and theatre and film professionals. One such person is Hendersonville native Z. Joseph Guice, an award-winning actor, filmmaker and industry professional.
Treadway stated, “We’ve actually contracted to work with him. He’s been working in the film industry in New York for years, and has come back to Hendersonville to work with our students and mentor them on this project.”
She stressed how “Haunted Hendo” offers something for everyone, whether it be ghost stories, history, documentaries, comedy or musicals.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, her students switched to offering a virtual theatre production in lieu of an in-person one. Even though “Haunted Hendo” isn’t the same experience as a large, in-person event, she said her students have loved doing something different, and have fully embraced each of their spooky projects.
To prepare the public for the event, Blue Ridge students are gradually releasing teaser videos on the Theatre Department’s Facebook page.
You don’t have to scream your head off worried about admission costs, as “Haunted Hendo” is free to attend virtually; however, the Theatre Department will have a donation link available. While the donations aren’t required, they are very much appreciated.
The event premieres at 7 p.m. on Oct. 28. Viewers can tune at www.blueridge.edu/blue-ridge-cc-theatre-yt.
To learn more about “Haunted Hendo” and keep up with new videos, check out the Theatre Department’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BRCCDrama.
Prepared by BRCC.