Wednesday, September 21, 2011


ADAMS, TN - One of the strangest paranormal stories you may ever come across is the odd, long account of the Bell Witch. Starting in 1817 a series of events occurred that defied explanation then and still remains unsolved today. Unsolved despite being one of the most investigated and documented cases on record. Most of the town of Adams had at one time or another heard or saw something that scared them. And, even more bizarrely, it is one of the few documented cases that seems to point a finger at a ghost as the cause of a man’s death.

John Bell
 Accounts differ on whether the first paranormal activity on the Bell farm occurred in a field where Bell and his sons were hunting, or in a nearby cave, but it is not disputed that when they returned home they were confused and frightened by what they had seen. From that day onward John Bell’s health would deteriorate even as the manifestation became stronger and stronger.

Next the family heard and saw strange animals near the house. Then they heard scratching noises that seemed to come from outside the home. The nuisance continued into the house in the form of scratching, and growling distinctly heard by all family members.

Neighbors were finally invited over to hear the strange phenomena as the family reluctantly realized they needed help. Even the most hardened skeptic left puzzled and disturbed by the noises. As the events escalated, John Bell began to have pain and numbness in his tongue and jaw. Just as it became more difficult to for John Bell to talk, whatever was making the noises found a voice. She called herself Kate, and the disembodied voice was heard by one and all to heckle and harass the family as they tried to go about their daily activities.

Kate did not end her feats with just speaking. Witnesses heard her whistle, sing, and tell bawdy jokes to the embarrassment of the conservative farming family. Eventually the spirit seem to bring “guests” in the form of other entities each having a distinctive personality and voice.

The spirit who identified herself as Kate kept up her torment of physically and mentally torturing John at any opportunity. Finally as the man lay dying she was heard to sing and laugh. After the poor man past away she even took credit for having poisoned him!

No one is sure what caused the poltergeist/ spirit activity but theories have been cast around. A skeptic theorized that no ghost was present and that one of the Bell family was secretly an accomplished ventriloquist. Another theory is that John Bell’s trouble started when he brought the land for his farm from an older woman who thereafter accused him of cheating her. Others have brought forth that the cave behind the house was believed to be a sacred place by local Native Americans.

  The Bell Witch and Andrew Jackson

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