Centuries-Old Terror: The Legend of Tennessee’s Bell Witch
Legend says a family was tormented by an unruly spirit nearly two centuries ago. If you're brave enough you can visit the site and tour the Bell Witch Cave.
The Legend of the Bell Witch
According to the legend of the Bell Witch, farmer, John Bell, and his family moved from North Carolina to their Tennessee home in 1804. After 13 years of living peacefully in Tennessee, the Bell family started having strange things happen to them. In 1817 the family was said to be tortured by an unruly spirit who even went as far as to kill John Bell.
This “Bell Witch” as it became known vowed to kill John Bell, and subsequently took credit for his death three years later on December 20, 1820, when a vial was found next to his deathbed with a strange liquid inside. John Bell’s death was attributed to the Bell Witch making Tennessee the only state to recognize a person’s death to the supernatural.
For nearly two centuries, the legend of the Bell Witch has been passed down for nearly two centuries now, and those who enjoy the paranormal flock to Adams, Tennessee to visit the Bell Family property for tours. In fact, you can even take a lantern tour of the John Bell Cabin and the Bell Witch Cave. Even the cast of Ghost Adventures braved the Bell Witch Cave, and they had quite a few chilling experiences.
All a Bunch of Bell-Logna? (Get it? Bologna)
What makes the legend of the Bell Witch so fascinating is the fact that the legend surrounds a real family that lived in the area at the time of the infamous haunting. In 2021 The Tenneessean did a fantastic deep dive into the legend of the Bell Witch with Dr. Meagan Mann, an assistant professor of Chemistry at Austin Peay State University. Dr. Mann is also fascinated by the legend of the Bell Witch, and she says part of the reason is the believability of the story.
All of the things the family was experiencing could very well be plausible. That being said, she doesn't think the Bell Witch actually went as far as to poison John Bell, she believes he died of arsenic poisoning. You can read the full in-depth article, here because it's incredibly interesting.
Regardless of your beliefs, whether you think the Bell Witch really did torment this family, or if you believe there's a scientific reason behind the legend, there's no denying that the legend of the Bell Witch is a chilling tale. You can learn more about the Bell Witch, and plan your visit for a spooky tour to the Bell Witch Cave and cabin, here.
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