The Bell Witch

Destiny Short

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In Adams, Tennessee (formerly known as Red River), lived the Bell family on their farm. One day in 1817, John Bell, the head of the house, was inspecting his corn field when he came across a peculiar and unnatural animal that had the body of a dog and the head of a rabbit. He shot at the animal several times and it disappeared. Later on that night, he and his family heard what was described as “beating” noises on the outside of their log home. The noises continued with increased frequency and force with each night after that. In the following weeks, the children of the Bell family began to wake up frightened in the night, complaining of rats gnawing at their bedposts. Shortly after that, they began to have their blankets and pillows ripped from them in the night by an invisible entity. The family then started hearing faint whispering voices, which sounded like a feeble old woman singing hymns. Encounters with the entity became more intense, and the youngest daughter, Betsy, began to be violently attacked by the entity. The voices that they had been hearing strengthened, and when Betsy became romantically involved with a man named Joshua Gardener and wanted to marry him, the voices repeatedly insisted that she should not. Anywhere the couple went, the entity followed and taunted them. This led to Betsy breaking off her engagement with Joshua.

The entity relentlessly vowed to kill John Bell. One night in December, John breathed his last breath. His family found a vial of a strange and toxic-looking liquid in a cupboard. When they found the liquid, the entity claimed that it had given him a large dose of it in the night. After the entity terrorized everyone at John’s funeral, it disappeared. It is said that it visited his widow, Lucy, 7 years later and stayed for 3 weeks. This “visit” revolved mostly around John Bell Jr. The spirit discussed enlightened topics with John Jr. while it was there. When the spirit left, it vowed to return to the most direct Bell descendant 107 years later, but has never mentioned of coming around again.