Poltergeist Legend from the South
Visit the hometown of the Bell Witch, the frightening
entity that is the subject of the new movie "An American Haunting".
There are thousands of stories and legends of reported hauntings. In
America there is only one officially documented case in which a spirit
caused the death of a human-being.
The Bell Witch or Bell
Witch Haunting is a poltergeist legend from Southern United States
folklore, involving the Bell family of Adams, Tennessee.
The legend is the basis of the films An American Haunting (2006) and The Bell Witch Haunting (2004).
According to the legend, John Bell moved in with his family in a small
pub. It was very peaceful at the time until a few months later. Then,
there were strange sounds coming from the house almost like a
After a few months, the family had enough and called a priest to get rid
of what seemed like a ghost. However, it was really an evil spirit and
it would follow John where ever he goes until he dies.
After a little
while, John became sick and died. The medicine he was taking was very
strange and seemed to have no effect on him. Later examination shows
that the medicine was poisoned by purpose.
At the funeral, the spirit was there
and it was chanting and laughing full of evil. The ghost was then called
the Bell Witch. The "witch" then retreated into a cave and waited there
for its next victim.
|Bell Sr., later in life, suffered frequent facial seizures, often rendering him speechless.
He died on December 20th, 1820. A small vial containing an unidentified liquid he allegedly ingested was found near his body.
When some of the contents were force-fed to the family cat, the animal died. The vial was then disposed of in the fireplace.
Pat Fitzhugh's retelling of the Bell Witch legend concludes with a
statement to the effect that some people believe that the spirit
returned in 1935, the year when the witch claimed it would return ("one
hundred years and seven" past 1828), and took up residence on the former
Other sources say that 1935 brought nothing out of the ordinary to the Bell descendants or the surrounding community.
Practices to which the witchcraft label
has historically been applied are those which influence another person's
mind, body, or property against his or her will, or which are believed,
by the person doing the labelling, to undermine the social or religious
Some modern commentators consider the malefic nature of witchcraft to be a Christian projection.
The concept of a magic-worker influencing another person's body or
property against his or her will was clearly present in many cultures,
as there are traditions in both folk magic and religious magic that have
the purpose of countering malicious magic or identifying malicious
Many examples can be found in ancient texts, such as those from Egypt
and Babylonia, where malicious magic is believed to have the power to
influence the mind, body or possessions, malicious magic users can
become a credible cause for disease, sickness in animals, bad luck,
sudden death, impotence and other such misfortunes.
Witchcraft of a more benign and socially acceptable sort may then be
employed to turn the malevolence aside, or identify the supposed
evil-doer so that punishment may be carried out.
The folk magic used to identify or protect against malicious magic users
is often indistinguishable from that used by the witches themselves.
There has also existed in popular belief the concept of white witches
and white witchcraft, which is strictly benevolent.
Many neopagan witches strongly identify with this concept, and profess
ethical codes that prevent them from performing magic on a person
without their request.
Where belief in malicious magic practices exists, such practitioners are
typically forbidden by law as well as hated and feared by the general
populace, while beneficial magic is tolerated or even accepted wholesale
by the people – even if the orthodox establishment opposes it.
Sr. allegedly drank some poisonous liquid from a vial and when the
contents of the vial were force-fed to the family cat, the animal died.
in historical, anthropological, religious and mythological contexts, is
the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers.
Historically, it was widely believed that witchcraft involved the use of
these powers to inflict harm upon members of a community or their
An American Haunting
Based on a local Tennessee folklore legend. With over 20 books written
on the subject, and a town that still lives in fear of the return of the
unseen spirit, the story of "An American Haunting" is terrifying.
Between the years 1818-1820, the Bell Family of Red River, Tennessee was
visited by an unknown presence that haunted the family and eventually
ended up causing the death of one its members.
Starting with small
sounds around the farm, and the sighting of a a strange BLACK WOLF with
piercing yellow eyes, the sounds escalated into full brutal contact with
the certain family members, causing psychological and physical torment.
The attacks grew in strength, with the spirit slapping, pulling,
dragging, and beating the Bell's youngest daughter. The Bells searched
for rational explanations and ways to rid their house of this entity,
but to no avail as the spirit began to communicate with them through
sounds, and eventually multiple voices that sounded like the wind.
cause of its actions could always be felt, but no being could be seen,
and no explanation found- only the promise that one day it would kill
one of the family members. Fearing that the haunting was caused by a
local woman -branded a witch- who had put a curse upon the family as a
result of a land dispute, the Bells tried desperately to find ways to
get rid of the woman's curse, yet the attacks and disturbances only
It was not until a manuscript of the local schoolteacher -who
lived on the property during the disturbance- was found in 1998 that
the horrifying and shocking answer to what caused this haunting would
finally be unveiled.
Bell Witch Haunting
The Bell Witch Haunting is a 2004 film made by Willing Hearts Productions.
Filmed near the original location, the director claims to have
encountered production difficulties such as fires and expresses the
opinion that the Bell Witch might have been responsible.
"The Bell Witch Haunting" is a powerful supernatural historic thriller
based on terrifying actual events that took place in Robertson County,
Tennessee from 1817 to 1821, in which a spirit tormented John Bell and
his family, leaving him in a terrifying fight against the vengeful ghost
to save his children and his own life.
The haunting is the only known
case where a spirit actually took credit for killing someone.
visiting the Bells home, Andrew Jackson said, "I vow I would rather
fight the entire British Army single handed then face this witch again."