As far as we can tell, a spirit, or what they called a witch back in the day, got really pissed off at a guy named John Bell. No one is really sure why this spirit hated John Bell so much. There's lot's of speculation on the subject, but one thing is certain, she detested him. So "he-she-it" (we'll call the witch a she from here on out) decided to terrorize his whole family. At first the witch just scratched the walls and bedposts, but then she started talking. Not a lot at first and not very well, but in time she found her voice.
I think that, at first, she was kinda a cool spirit. She would gossip about people and if they were doing hatefully things like cheating on their spouses, she would go and rat about it to other people in the town. So for a while, people liked her and were too scared to screw up and do anything wrong. Soon, she started hanging out in the local churches (Baptist and Methodist) and was renowned for reciting the preacher's sermons word for word. Sometimes she would even mimic the preacher's own voice! People started coming from all around to see if this "Witch" was actually real. She seemed to enjoy taunting, scaring and entertaining these visitors. General Andrew Jackson visited the Bell farm and got more than he bargained for in his encounter with the Bell Witch. In other words, she scared the crap out of him and his men!
Out of the blue, she suddenly renounced God and became a really pissy girl. She terrorized John Bell's family and kids with a renewed vengeance. But what's so amazing is that she took a liking to his wife Lucy, and even saved her live once by giving her some herbs from the orient. She always said that she would kill John Bell and sure enough she became the first spirit to kill a person. Even the State of Tennessee has a sign talking about it, and Tennessee is the only state to recognize a spirit killing a person. She sang at his funeral and hung around for a few days then said that she would be back in 7 years. She did come back to John Bell's family and predicted WW2, and a lot of other things including a really cool fan web site to start up in 2002 (that last part was a joke).
After the second visit, she said that she would be back in 107 years, but as far as we can tell she never came back. Some people say that she did come back and now hangs out in the Bell Witch cave (which we didn't get to see, dammit, cause Adams is a vortex of all the b films rolled up into one). Anyway there is a lot more to the story so check out some of the books written about it.
Troy Taylor's book "Season of the Witch" is by far the most insightful and compelling book that we have read. If you want to learn more about the "Bell Witch Legend" this is the book to get.
Visit Troy Taylor's site and order the book.
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