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Monday, May 30, 2016

Filmmaker talks about Pearl Bryan movie

Monday, February 2, 2009

Film Director Ron Whitt looks over scrapbooks belonging to Helen Hurst whose mother-in-law played with Pearl Bryan as a child. Whitt was at the Putnam County Library Saturday with a trailer of his movie, Hell's Gate, the story of the murder of Greencastle resident Pearl Bryan 113 years ago.
Independent filmmaker Ron Whitt spoke to a full room Saturday afternoon at the Putnam County Library about a woman he claims to love and who is at the center of his trilogy of films, the first one due to be released this Halloween.

The woman he speaks about is Greencastle native and 1896 murder victim Pearl Bryan.

Last Saturday was the 113th anniversary of her terrifying death, which took place near Wilder, Ky.

Whitt showed a short trailer of the first movie in, the trilogy called Hell's Gate. According to the director, this movie focuses on the factual account of Bryan, who was the daughter of a wealthy Greencastle farmer. She and her unborn baby were murdered near Newport, Ky. in 1896 by her lover and his friend.

With Whitt was Melissa Fox who plays Pearl in the trilogy.

"She inspired me so much. Not only was she a Christian and a mother, she was just in love. I felt some of what she felt in filming. I was laying in the woods in 20 degree weather, I even had my hand cut on a knife like she did," explained Fox.

"When I am wearing her dress inside Bobby Mackey's, I can feel her. She is a legend to me and she will always be a legend to me," added Fox.

Whitt wants the people in Greencastle to see her the way he sees her.

"Greencastle is essential to the film. I want people back here to see her as the person she was," said Whitt tearfully. His motivation he said "is that Pearl was a woman and a mother. No one deserves to be treated that way."

He plans to premiere the movie on Halloween in Greencastle and in Campbell County, KY where her body was discovered and her killers were hanged.

"The movie is very raw, very gritty. She died around 3 a.m. in freezing weather. It's not a horror movie although there are elements of horror in the movie," said Whitt.

The second movie Hel's Gate: Unleashed focuses on the trial of the two men hanged for Bryan's death.

Tied into the story is Bobby Mackey's Music World in Wilder, Ky. It is alleged that Bryan's head, which has never been recovered was thrown down an old well once purportedly used in satanic rituals. Bobby Mackey's sits on top of the well.

Many paranormal events are said to have happened in this building where an abandoned slaughter house stood at the time of Bryan's death. Among these is the ghost of Bryan who has appeared to numerous people.

Several documentaries, stories and even books have been written about Bobby Mackey's and the many paranormal events that have occurred.

The club's ghostly legends have been reported on TV shows like Geraldo, the Travel Channel, Sally Jessie Raphael, National Geographic, Real Ghosts, the Discovery Channel, Jerry Springer and Hard Copy.

The last movie in the trilogy, Hell's Gate: Revelation will be out Halloween 2011. Whitt wasn't telling people what was going on in this film. He simply said, "It's my resolution to her death and I hope to do justice to her."

According to Whitt, his proceeds from the film will go toward the restoration of Pearl's grave in Forest Hill Cemetery in Greencastle. The headstone from her grave was removed some time ago due to vandalism.

"No one deserves to be buried like that. I want to restore her headstone," said Whitt.

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I'm looking forward to it.

-- Posted by BG-reader on Mon, Feb 2, 2009, at 6:41 PM

This is a very interesting story.I can't wait to see the film.

-- Posted by stevied4u13 on Tue, Feb 3, 2009, at 12:01 PM

Saw the story about Bobby Mackey's business on tv awhile back - never made the connection that one of the 'ghosts' was from Greencastle. Looked Pearl Bryan up in a Google search with the last Banner Graphic article about this, and found information located with several different sources. The details of the story held my attention. I'm looking forward to the premiers of each movie.

-- Posted by Scripted Spontaneity on Tue, Feb 3, 2009, at 1:44 PM

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