Directed by Karl Pfeiffer, ‘The Unbinding’ revolves around the Catskills Crone, an effigy found by two hikers while hiking in the Catskill Mountains, New York. After taking the effigy to his home, one of the hikers allegedly started to encounter paranormal activities, which led him to Greg and Dana Newkirk, two paranormal investigators. The film revolves around Greg and Dana’s experiences with the small statue while exploring the apparent paranormal connections of the same. What they encountered then was nothing short of spine-chilling, making the viewers intrigued about the allegedly paranormal entity. Naturally, one might be curious to learn whether the film is a true story and The Crone really exists. Well, let us share the answers!
Is The Unbinding a True Story? Is Catskills Crone a Real Effigy?
Yes, ‘The Unbinding’ is a true story. The documentary film chronicles Greg and Dana Newkirk’s experiences with the Catskills Crone after receiving the effigy found by the two hikers at the Catskill Mountains. The world learned about the effigy after one of the two hikers shared the other’s experiences after taking the same home through a Reddit forum, “r/Paranormal.” “Last weekend my friend and I went hiking in the Catskills and found this really creepy statue while fucking around in some caves. It has nails in its eyes and a noose around its neck. Looks like it might be old,” the anonymous hiker shared.
After the anonymous user’s hiker friend took The Crone home, he allegedly started noticing paranormal activities unraveling in his place. “A couple days later my friend calls me and tells me that he thinks the statue is haunted because it keeps moving from its spot and he keeps smelling weird stuff. Says he can’t sleep at night because banging keeps waking him up. Now last night someone knocked on his door but no one was there when he opened it and he’s super weirded out. He thinks he has a ghost cause of the statue. […] He said the pond water smell was stronger than ever and when he went out into his hallway he saw all of these muddy footprints everywhere. not like shoe prints but barefoot,” the hiker added.
The hikers then got rid of the statue, which eventually ended up at the paranormal museum of Greg and Dana. “As I say in the documentary, nine times out of ten, people send us stuff […] but most things people send us never do anything strange for us. But with this one, it was almost immediately, ‘Oh, there’s something unsettling and weird about this,’” Greg told Bloody Disgusting about coming across The Crone. “The Crone was one of those objects that really did the absolute opposite of what we expected it to do. It was very active right out of the gate,” Dana added.
Upon confirming that The Crone wasn’t just another random material they received, Greg and Dana formed an action plan to figure out what to do with the same based on evidence. “When there were things that looked like wet footprints showing up on the back of the couch, or we were hearing strange noises, or Dana has this horrifying encounter with something that looks like it’s slinking out the closet at night—that’s hard to ignore,” Greg said in the same Bloody Disgusting interview. “It was pretty relentless. We caught things on a trail cam; we captured movement; it was very relentless right out of the gate,” Dana added.
Dana then concluded that The Crone was connected to witchcraft. “So, the nails and the noose being very magickly symbolic for someone sending an intention and the intention […]. And the nails being meant to blind someone, or stop them from seeing something, and the noose was possibly to silence someone, or worst-case scenario even to kill someone. It was pretty obvious that there was a lot of ritual architecture around this object,” she added in the same interview. Using her expertise as a “witch,” Dana began “cleansing” the object to make her space safe.
Greg and Dana then did an Estes Method session with The Crone. The Estes Method is a paranormal practice through which an investigator tries to listen to a paranormal space or entity using noise-canceling headphones with a blindfold to limit visual stimulation or triggers. “[…] the way that Dana was rattling off immediate answers to people was shocking,” Greg told Bloody Disgusting about the session led by his partner.
Currently, The Crone is safely kept in The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and Occult, curated by Greg and Dana. Even while making ‘The Unbinding,’ the paranormal investigators experienced strange occurrences, allegedly connected to the effigy. “Around the time that we were doing all of that, we were experiencing strange things. Like, for example, when we were doing recreations in the film, there was indoor rain. […] Little drops of water dropping down the backs of our necks,” Greg told ComicBook.
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