Black Mountain billboard reads 'Raped while dying,' to be featured in movie


BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. -- A set of billboards in Black Mountain had neighbors unsettled as crews put them up last week.

A viewer sent News 13 a message saying one of the signs reads "Raped while dying."

"Well, it looked like it was a personal vendetta, is how it struck me," said Guy Cothran, who saw the signs going up.

Cothran says he figured the signs must have been meant for someone in particular, since they had a strong message and were set up in a rural part of the county.

"I could read the first board, and it was a little disconcerting, to say the least," Cothran said.

Cothran couldn't tell, with the other two billboards covered up, that the three actually complete a message: "Raped while dying. No arrest made. What now, chief?"

They're props for a new movie shot in Western North Carolina called "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." The cast includes Woody Harrelson, Frances McDormand, Peter Dinklage and Sam Rockwell, according to IMDB.

Related story |Movie filming in Sylva with Frances McDormand, Peter Dinklage seeks extras

"I think that's why they have them covered up, because it is kind of scary," Yvonne Reese, who lives next to the billboards, said.

In the movie's plotline, the signs are meant to put pressure on a local police chief to investigate a sexual assault.

Reese says movie production crews checked out her property and her family's to find other settings to shoot. The billboards are situated on a Black Mountain cattle rancher's property.

Plans include shooting part of the movie at the North Fork Reservoir.

Reese says this is the third movie to feature the area of Black Mountain where she was born and raised. The valley has been in her family for generations, and she works to keep it in the family.

"I'm proud of it. I love this area. I've lived in California, I've lived in Florida and South Carolina. There's no place like North Fork," she said.

Now the curiosity has more folks curious to check out the movie when it hits theaters.

"I will, definitely," Reese said.

"Especially if it's local. We try to support anything local and after seeing the billboards there, I'm definitely going to go," Cothran said.

Reese says she was told shooting will begin at the billboards next week, and will last several days.

Related links about "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

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Sylva, NC to Transform Itself for Big-Budget Movie

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