My girlfriend almost watched The Poughkeepsie Tapes the other night. Almost. For those who are unfamiliar, The Poughkeepsie Tapes is a movie that came out in 2007 that follows the crimes of Poughkeepsie serial killer Edward Carver. The documentary follows investigators after New York murder investigators uncover hundreds of tapes showing decades of the serial killer's work. The movie shows interviews with investigators, residents, family members, surviving and victims, along with showing clips from the infamous tapes themselves.

Now, my girlfriend is not from Poughkeepsie, and she loves true crime documentaries. When she stumbled upon The Poughkeepsie Tapes, she hit me up asking if I had ever heard of it or seen it. I told her that watching it was like a right of passage in middle school/high school living in the 2000s and 2010s. I haven't seen the film since 7th or 8th grade, but I remember how badly that film messed me up.

She said to me that she couldn't believe something like this happened in my hometown. Well, it didn't.

Why Do People Think The Poughkeepsie Tapes Are Real?

Even if you've heard of The Poughkeepsie Tapes, you would not be remiss to assume that this is a true crime story. It's not actually a documentary, it is a horror mockumentary. Marketing for the movie tried very hard to make it seem like this was based on real events. The Poughkeepsie Tapes marketing team made it seem like the events were real; however, it was just following the "found-footage" craze, inspired by the The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity, and others from around that time. Director John Erick Dowdle's marketing of The Poughkeepsie Tapes leaned into this narrative, which further circulated the myth that the Poughkeepsie Tapes seen in the movie are real.

@horrornightsin The Poughkeepsie Tapes In an abandoned house in Poughkeepsie, New York murder investigators uncover hundreds of tapes showing decades of a serial killer's work. #horrorcommunity #horrortok #horrorfans #horrortiktoks #horrormovie #horrormovies #thepoughkeepisetapes ♬ Spooky, Quiet, Scary Atmosphere Piano - Bucyrus Audio

The legend surrounding The Poughkeepsie Tapes true story then resurfaced over a decade after the movie's 2007 release thanks to social media. In November 2020, Michael Goi's Megan Is Missing went viral on TikTok and, along with it, so did The Poughkeepsie Tapes. Both found footage horror movies offer disturbing depictions of kidnapping, assault on women and children, as well as murder.

@hunterfburns Are your door locked right now? #thepoughkeepisetapes #theshape #thezodiac ♬ original sound - Hunterfburns

Edward Carver is an Amalgamation of Many Notorious Serial Killers

The Poughkeepsie Tapes was not based on a real-life event. Instead, it was influenced entirely by past serial killers and their crimes, rather than a Poughkeepsie Tapes killer, as well as the exploitative contents of snuff films. Snuff films commonly depict obscene content, normally acts of real homicide.

 

There was; however, a Poughkeepsie serial killer in the 90s. Kendall Francois was a serial killer from Poughkeepsie, New York, convicted of killing eight women, from 1996 to 1998. The movie uses some influences from his story, combined with other famed killers including Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy, to create the horrific monster who is Edward Carver.

What other misconceptions about Poughkeepsie are there? What do out-of-towners think of us? So that you don't need to go digging yourself, I compiled much of the information from my search. First, I'll start with examples from Encyclopedia Britannica. Next, we will take a dive into Trip Advisor. Last, but certainly not least, and this one is not for the faint of heart, we are going to go over Urban Dictionary. Shall we begin?

What is Poughkeepsie Known For According to Outsiders

First, I'll start with examples from Encyclopedia Britannica. Next, we will take a dive into Trip Advisor. Last, but certainly not least, and this one is not for the faint of heart, we are going to go over Urban Dictionary. Shall we begin?

Gallery Credit: Conor Walsh

More From 94.3 Lite FM