Is Amish Witches: Holmes County real? All the details

Amish Witches

Halloween season is coming up, ushering in a time for tasty delights and horror film marathons. Lifetime’s Amish Witches: The True Story of Holmes County is a spooky season favorite, perhaps because many believe it offers insight into a highly secretive community. 

The show’s synopsis says that the production of a reality show about an ‘isolated sect of Amish’ halts due to the death of an Amish witch. It continues:

“Following her unconsecrated funeral, a small group of young Amish women solicit the TV crew’s help in attempting to document the inexplicable events plaguing them. But as everyone soon discovers, the powerful malevolent force haunting them has deadly intentions.”

Despite the film’s title, Amish Witches is not a true story

The film’s title and the preview clip that states the film is ‘based on real events’ may mislead you into believing that Amish Witches is a true story. Shannon Evangelista wrote the fictional movie, and Dandi Dewey created the screenplay. 

The documentary filming style adds an illusion of realism to the made-up story. Documentary filmmakers follow subjects in a similar manner to the fictional crew in Amish Witches. Fans see the horror unfold through the camera lens, making it seem like they are viewing real-life recordings. 

This cinematic technique is known as found footage – the film is presented as if it were discovered film recordings. Examples of found-footage horror movies include Hell House LLC, Lake Mungo, The Blair Witch Project, and Paranormal Activity

In Paranormal Activity, the house owners use a video camera to record strange occurrences in their home. The portrayal of a film through a camera lens adds a sense of realism, despite the film being entirely fictional. 

Undoubtedly, horror films imbued with some cinematic realism are more terrifying. All the more reason why you should watch Amish Witches this Halloween season. 

There’s no concrete evidence that Amish witches exist or ever existed

The Amish are a secretive community that shuns outside intrusion into their lives. Many don’t want to be recorded or photographed; it’s against their beliefs to pose for photos. According to Bustle, an article by PBS reads:

“In a communal society that values humility, posing for photos is a sign of pride that calls attention to oneself and rubs against Amish beliefs about the importance of deferring and yielding to others.”

Despite knowing little about the Amish, we can confirm that witchcraft isn’t an aspect of their beliefs. Hollywood created the links connecting Amish beliefs to witchcraft. An article on Amish 365 states:

“The vast majority of Amish are committed Christians, not Wiccan, and if they are Wiccan, then they aren’t Amish. The two can’t co-exist. It would be like saying a dolphin lives in the desert. It can’t.”

The article claims that Amish traditions like folk medicine may have contributed to the false connections with sorcery. The ‘Chesterville Witch’ legend is also cited as proof of Amish witchcraft. 

It claims that in the early 1900s, a woman accused of witchcraft by the local Amish church elders was found dead in a field. She was buried in a secluded section of the Chesterville cemetery. 

Members of the Amish town reportedly planted an oak tree over her grave to trap her spirit and prevent her from seeking revenge. It’s claimed that if someone cuts the tree down or the tree dies, the Chesterville Witch will break free and wreak havoc. 

Reportedly, people have seen the ghost of the Chesterville Witch at the gravesite. It’s unclear if there’s truth to this story.