The Burnt Swamp: A Documentary

by William Devokees


Everyone loves a good ghost story.

Everyone loves a good ghost story, and the Great Cypress Swamp in Gumboro, Delaware has many. From Bigfoot stories to the witches tree there are a lot of interesting tales that chronicle the swamp. The history is fascinating and spans over 400 years, from the first written account of the swamp to the fire that torched part of the swamp and helped coin the name “Burnt Swamp”. The swamp is one of the most northern cypress swamps in North America.  The swamp itself starts in Delaware and spans into Maryland. The documentary will not only inform but entertain and make the audience question the unknown, in the end letting the audience make a decision “Is this swamp really haunted?” as well as give insight as why the land needs to be preserved. 

The swamp is a big part of my life, as a kid I was told stories about a swamp monster roaming the area. When I reached high school, I became fascinated with the swamp, visiting it often and talking to locals about the history. 

My goal is to make a documentary that is scary yet informative. The film would start with the history of the swamp, and will move onto the ghost stories via interview style from first-hand accounts over the years. All cut scenes/ re-enactments would be  vignettes utilizing prosthetic make-up, creature suits, and miniature models.  Influences being documentaries such as Cropsey and My Amityville Horror, as well as horror films in the vein as Evil Dead, and Pumpkinhead.

Will DEVOKEES- Director/Producer

Factory Film School graduate, Two time telly award winner. Will is a Delaware film maker that has won multiple awards for his work over the years. He loves ghost stories,  history, and horror films. A sample of Will's previous work can be seen here.

Josh Lynch - Producer/Editor

Emmy nominated, Ap award winner, and Two time telly award winner.  Josh is a Delaware native that lives on the outskirts of the swamp. He currently runs his own video production company, and has over five years of Video production and marketing experience.

Adam Clifton - Producer/Composer


Adam is a local Delaware musician who has scored many short films. He co-owns Millsboro music with his father and can play just about any instrument. His atmospheric and moody soundtrack will make a great addition to this documentary.

My team and I are trying to secure $15,000 through hatch fund to complete the project. All funds would go towards creating the special effects,  casting actors for the re-enactments, paying for travel and room and board for interviews. If we recieve more than our goal, the funds would go towards making our project better by trying to get a name talent actor or actress to narrate/host the documentary, hiring more crew to tackle more of the effects heavy shoots.

Any support helps, an I appreciate you taking the time to look over the project!