Read the previous post in the Behind The Scenes series: Top 10 Creepiest Paranormal Legends . . . #8
A man who refused to die by hanging. A woman buried alive giving her husband nightmares. A haunted prison with eerie paranormal activity. The legends are getting deeper. And spookier.
Also live is a not-so-spooky snap poll at the end of this post to dictate terms to me! Now, here comes #7.
The Bell Witch
John Bell was a North Carolina farmer who arrived at Adams, Tennessee, in 1804 and settled there along with his family. In the initial years, the family lived an untroubled and Spartan life. A few years later, however, things changed dramatically for the Bells.
The family started noticing strange things happening in their house. They began to hear peculiar scratching noises on the walls. This was followed by strange noises – of people being pinched and slapped, of objects being dropped – and animals getting skittish without any apparent reason.
Legend has it that all this was the doing of a being which later came to be known as the “Bell Witch”. People came excitedly from far and wide to witness its manifestations and antics.
This witch was supposed to be an invisible supernatural being with the voice and physical traits of a woman who conversed with people and sometimes even shook their hands. Its antics – spilling milk, pinching and slapping children, snatching the quilts from the beds, then laughing hideously at the Bells’ discomfort – were seemingly designed to annoy and scare the Bell family.
Gradually, most antics started to center around John Bell’s youngest daughter, Betsy. The witch’s activities peaked around the time Betsy got engaged to one Joshua Gardner.
The identity of the witch is as varied as the stories surrounding the surreal being. Initially, the witch was thought to be a woman named Kate Batts. Some accounts swear that the being was someone cheated by John Bell. Others identify the witch to be a male slave killed by Bell.
In subsequent years, by the end of the 19th century, there were rumors that the Bell Witch Legend was no more than just that – a legend. Studies by various paranormal investigators identified loopholes in the stories surrounding the witch and the Bells’ experiences. Still, to this day, the legend lives on as is evident in the Bell Witch Cave at Adams, Tennesse, which promotes ghost tourism.
Coming soon: the next post in the Behind The Scenes series.