A replica of the John Bell family homestead, located at the site of the "Bell Witch Cave" tour in Adams, Tennessee. Photo courtesy of listener Liz Shadbolt.
“There are spirits millions of years old, John, that never have been connected with a body, but were created spirits.”– The "Bell Witch" speaking to John Bell Jr., as told by Richard Williams Bell in his memoir, Our Family Trouble
LOCATION: The "Bell Witch Cave," now a tourist attraction near the town of Adams, in Robertson County, Tennessee. At the time the Bell and Johnston families lived there in the early 19th century, it was known as the Red River Community.
Folklore can simply be described as beliefs, customs or legends handed down and preserved among a people. Some believe they are merely made up tales designed to entertain, while others believe folklore may be based on truths that have been gilded over the years by the oral tradition, yet their truth survives as valuable instruction or even a warning. Whether the legend of the Bell Witch was based on a real poltergeist event with the details being accurately preserved, or somewhat true but padded for effect, or wholly a lie spun to cover more humanly misdeeds, we'll likely never know. But before you dismiss the Bell Witch story outright, first think about your own family's stories or even how your own true tales you've told will be perceived through the lenses of bias and time. Will you be remembered as a faithful narrator or a liar? The purported entity called "Kate" may have left her legend behind for later generations to make that judgment but there are many who live in the area today that claim something may still be lingering. So before you bravely disrespect the legend of whatever it may have been, remember there is nowhere you can hide from a force that will gleefully visit misfortune upon you to make its point.
- The Bell Witch Fall Festival 2017 in Adams, TN, all through October
- The Official Home of the Historic Bell Witch Cave - website
- PDF: The Bell Family Genealogy, by author and historian Patrick A. Fitzhugh
- PDF: Haunting Stories of Abuse: Revealing Ghosts Through Critical Performance Ethnography by Ariel Gratch
- Scan of the Green-Mountain freeman newspaper, published February 7, 1856
- A real poltergeist caught on the Deerpark School's security cameras in Cork, Ireland?
- Port Royal State Historic Park in Tennessee
- Summary of 1811-1812 New Madrid Earthquakes Sequence
- War of 1812
- Battle of New Orleans
- Psychic: "I know the real Bell Witch story" from USA Today
- Cursed: The Bell Witch series on the A&E Channel
- The Bell Witch Cave on Atlas Obscura
- The Bell Witch Cave from Prarieghosts.com
- The Bell Witch on Thought Co. website
- The Bell Witch on Last Gasps Paranormal's website
- The Bell Witch: An All-American Haunting from The Lineup website
- The Bell Witch story from the Moonlit Road website
- Did infamous Bell Witch of Tennessee haunt Alabama in 1912?
- The ‘Bell Witch’ Poltergeist, article by Joe Nickell from the Skeptical Inquirer, Volume 38.1
- Demystifying the Bell Witch, from Brian Dunning's Skeptoid Podcast #118
- Ghosts, Supernaturalism and the Wesley Poltergeist on the Ministry Matters website
- The Ghost at Epworth from the Wesleyan Arminian
- Article on John Wesley from the Historic UK website
- Commentary on Mark 5:9, "Our name is Legion, for we are many"
- List of Grimoires from the Internet Sacred Text Archive
- "Vanished! A Video Séance" on Vimeo
- Chapter on "Witchcraft in North Carolina" from the book, Studies in Philology
- PDF: "The History of Robertson County" Reprinted from GOODSPEED’S HISTORY OF TENNESSEE, Originally Published in 1886
- "The Harpe Brothers" – America's first known serial killers
- "Gef" the talking mongoose spirit, aka "The Dalby Spook"
- "Gef – The Talking Mongoose" by Les Hewitt on Historic Mysteries
- Gef: The Eighth Wonder of the World
- The motion picture, "An American Haunting is definitely not based on a true story."
- The Isle of Man: a tax haven or not a tax haven?
- The Bell Witch on Wikipedia
- US President Andrew Jackson
- SONG: Johnny Horton sings his hit, Battle of New Orleans
- Adams, Tennessee
- Dr. Alexander Cannon
- Trailer for Robert Zemeckis' animated version of Beowulf
- "Clever Hans" the horse that could count?
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Episode 86: The Bell Witch Part 2. Produced by Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess; Audio Editing by Sarah Vorhees; Ryan McCullough Sound Design; Research Assistance by Tess Pfeifle and the astonishing League of Astonishing Researchers, a.k.a. The Astonishing Research Corps, or "A.R.C." for short. Copyright 2017 Astonishing Legends Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.