Westchester's Urban Legend of Buckout Road Might Be Headed to the Big Screen



During the lead-up to Halloween, you probably were reminded of our local spooky stories, gruesome murders, and urban legends. The most famous, of course, is the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The one that most teenagers repeat, though, is the urban legend of Buckout Road.

The story of Buckout Road, as my colleague Nancy L. Claus once wrote about so beautifully, is similar to the "Bloody Mary" story. You drive to Buckout Road in West Harrison. You stop at the red house. You honk your horn three times. And then…cannibal, flesh-eating albinos come out and rip you limb from limb. Don't believe me? Just try it yourself.

Or maybe it's witches. Apparently, three women who were accused of practicing witchcraft were burned at the stake on Buckout Road. Or was it murder? It's also been said that Isaac Buckhout (that's Buckhout with an “h”) shot his wife and a neighbor with a double-barreled shotgun there.

So, yes, many ghoulish stories are associated with the same stretch of West Harrison. But, by far, the most repeated one is the yarn about the albinos—perhaps because it's just so weird. (Remember: This is not to be confused with the Buckhout Street in Irvington. That street is lovely and free of cannibal albinos.)

Now, White Plains Patch is reporting that one former New Rochelle resident wants to bring the story to the big screen. John Pascucci's screenplay, based on the legend, was picked up by producers Brad Clark and Ambush Entertainment, possibly to be directed by 1990s 90210 actor/director Jason Priestley. There isn't an IMDb page yet, but Patch reports that stars attached to the project include Evan Ross (coincidentally, of the current 90210), Romeo Miller (formerly Lil' Romeo, from Jumping the Broom), and Aaron Ashmore (Smallville).

Patch reports that Pascucci's version of the tale is a take on discrimination: "[John] Buckout chops off his wife’s head, and burns down a barn full of slaves after learning that his wife had an affair with one of the slaves. Voodoo witches place a curse on Buckout and his two sons, turning them into albinos who must eat human flesh to get back their pigmentation. 'It’s the ultimate price for being a racist,' said Pascucci."

Now, I wouldn't get my hopes up that Buckout Road will be up there with Amityville in terms of well-known pop-cultural haunts. Ambush Entertainment usually makes littler releases with more indie stars. (Super, starring The Office's Rainn Wilson, and The OH in Ohio, starring Parker Posey, are probably in the top three of the company's best-known movies, and I'm guessing you haven't seen either of them.) Then again, Ambush did produce The Squid and the Whale, and sometimes little low-budget horror films become big successes—Paranormal Activity, for instance—so, who knows? Maybe people all over will be talking about our local, homegrown albinos.

Have you driven to Buckout Road and lived to tell the tale? Let me know in the comments.

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Westchester's Pop Culture

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Marisa LaScala

Marisa LaScala
Elmsford, NY

Articles Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester Magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.

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