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  • John Bell and his family lived in a rural Tennesse  town in a large but simple home surrounded by  

  • farmland. They tended to the land and livedquiet country life. Little did they know their  

  • house would become a hub for supernatural events  that would lead to unimaginable occurrences,  

  • horror, and even….death. Get ready for one of the  most frightening Southern tales out there, often  

  • referred to asAmerica's greatest ghost story.”  This is the taleof the Bell Witch Haunting.

  • The year is 1817. John Bell and his family  are living in a farmhouse on around 320  

  • acres of land in Red River, now known as  Adams, Tennessee. A large family resides  

  • in the house - the couple has either six  or nine children, depending on the source.  

  • John and his wife Lucy gave birth to JesseBenjamin, Drewry, John Junior, Esther,  

  • Zadock, Elizabeth - known as Betsy, Richard  and Joel. However, in 1817 the oldest few  

  • had already moved out of the house, and one  - Benjamin - had tragically died as a baby.

  • The Bells have already been raising their family  in the house and taking care of their farm for  

  • thirteen years since 1804, with no particular  issues. But all that was about to change.

  • One day, John Bell takes a walk out  into his fields, carrying his trusty  

  • rifle with him. He spots something odd out  of the corner of his eye. Looking over,  

  • Bell sees a large animal sitting in a corn  row, which looked almost like a big dog,  

  • with the only difference being...it  had the head of a rabbit.

  • Taken aback and sufficiently disturbed  by the sight, Bell fires his guns at  

  • the animal several times, which runs  away. He returns to the house distrubed,  

  • but still believing he must have made some sort  of mistake; that his eyes had deceived him.

  • So John puts this strange occurrence out of his  mind and sits down to dinner. Little did he know,  

  • the bizarre incidents are only the beginning.

  • That same night, the entire Bell family  starts hearing noises all around the house.  

  • Alternating between what sounds like  scratching and someone beating on the wall  

  • outside, the sounds continue throughout the  night. A few times, the Bell parents and  

  • the older sons run outside to try and see if  they can catch the person behind the sounds,  

  • but to no avail. Every time they  run out, there is no one there.

  • Over the next few evenings, the intensity  and frequency of the sounds increase,  

  • with the beatings getting so loud the children  

  • are unable to sleep. But then one  evening…..the sounds move inside.

  • The younger Bell children wake up one night  to tell their parents that it sounds like rats  

  • are gnawing at their bedposts. As you might have  guessed....there are no rats anywhere to be found.

  • As if the sound of invisible rodents  weren't enough to keep someone awake,  

  • an invisible force starts yanking bed covers  off the children and tossing their pillows  

  • aside. It seems whatever this malevolent  force is, it's only getting stronger.

  • Soon, a female voice can be  heard throughout the house,  

  • soft and unintelligible at firstFaint whispers come through the walls,  

  • and with every day that passes, the  voice becomes louder and clearer.

  • The voice echoing throughout the  house sings hymns, quotes scripture,  

  • and even starts having conversations. Eventuallyshe starts referring to the people in the house  

  • by name. And it becomes clear she has  marked one family member….for death.

  • One day, the entity announces its intentionsshe hates John Bell and wants to kill him. Why?  

  • No clear reason is given except one: “Mr. Bell  is a bad man”, the entity is quoted as saying.

  • Frightened and lost, John Bell doesn't know  what to do. He considers his options. He's  

  • still reluctant to ask any authorities, religious  or otherwise for help. After all, John is an elder  

  • of the Red River Baptist Church, and living right  in the middle of the Bible Belt. Announcing to the  

  • church, and the town at large, that evil forces  are in your home trying to kill you, is a dicey  

  • proposition in a country that was still killing  people for being witches just a century before.

  • So John decides to go to his best  friend, James Johnson. At first,  

  • Johnson is understandably skeptical. He  requests to spend a night at the Bell  

  • house with his wife so he can see what's  happening for himself. As night descends,  

  • the same supernatural activity that has  terrified and exhausted the Bell family  

  • starts again. Johnson has his bed covers  yanked, and is even slapped in the face.

  • He calls on the spirit to ask what it wantsThere's no answer, but the activity ceases.

  • The next morning, Johnson tells John Bell that  whatever is in his house is anevil spirit,  

  • the kind the Bible talks about”. He convinces John  to share these strange events with a local trusted  

  • preacher, and the community at large. John does  so, and word of the haunting spreads far and wide.

  • Unfortunately, the more attention is brought  to the evil force inside the Bell home,  

  • the stronger it seems to grow. Neighbors  and even those just passing through come  

  • by to try and figure out what  the spirit is, call on it,  

  • or make it disappear, and each interaction  yields a different response from the entity.

  • One phantom response goes, “I am  a Spirit; I once was very happy,  

  • but I have been disturbed and made unhappy. I am  the Spirit of a person who was buried in the woods  

  • nearby and the grave was distrubedmy bones disinterred and scattered,  

  • and one of my teeth was lost under this  house. I am here looking for that tooth.”

  • Some locals checked the Bell farm  and confirmed that there were burial  

  • mounds present on the grounds, Native  American burial mounds to be specific.

  • Another time, the spirit said it was “a Spirit  from everywhere, Heaven, Hell, the earth;  

  • am in the air, the houses, any place at any  time; have been created millions of years.”

  • However, the explanation neighbors stuck  to the most, and the one that gave the  

  • spirit its name, was the spirit's  confession that it was Kate Batts.

  • Batts was a neighbor of John Bell's, and  already viewed with suspicion throughout the  

  • town for behaving instrangeways. Though  given that this was a woman in the 1820s,  

  • the strange ways might have been things  likereading”, orwanting to vote”.

  • Batts' brother-in-law, Benjamin,  

  • had a business deal with John Bell  go south at some point in the past,  

  • a dispute over the sale of a slave. So….no one  involved in this story was a great human being.

  • Over the years, local people twisted facts and  

  • said the dispute was between  Kate and John Bell instead.

  • Kate, of course, vehemently denies  any accusation that she is involved  

  • in witchcraft or responsible for this  spirit in any way. Thankfully for her,  

  • the local community had become juuuuust  progressive enough to not execute her  

  • over an accusation of witchery. Though many of  them still stuck to calling the ghostKate”.

  • However, the idea that a witch is  involved sticks throughout history.  

  • Hence, the Bell Witch Haunting.

  • Besides killing John Bell, the  entity haunting the Bell home  

  • has another big objective in mind. She  seems to focus a lot of her aggression  

  • and violence on another member of the  household: the youngest daughter, Betsy.

  • Betsy would get scratched, slapped and hit  by the ghost constantly. Strangely enough,  

  • the ghost had a specific problem with  Betsy: she did not want Betsy to marry  

  • her childhood sweetheart and current fianceJoshua Gardner. Killing a family member is one  

  • thing for a ghost to threaten; but being against  a specific marriage match is incredibly strange.

  • The repeated threats from the witch against the  marriage lead Betsy to the brink of madness.  

  • She eventually meets up with Joshua outside  the house and tearfully tells him she cannot  

  • marry him. As a witness to the violence and  rage the entity in her house was capable of,  

  • Betsy cannot risk her own or her family's safety.

  • In the midst of all this, a future US  President - then general - became so  

  • intrigued by tales of the haunting that he  decided to venture down to Red River himself.  

  • Three of the Bell sons had fought under himand he had caught wind of this strange story.

  • So in 1819, Andrew Jackson comes  marching down to the Bell house  

  • with an entourage of military  men, horses, and a large wagon.

  • The first strange occurrence happens before  Jackson and his men even reach the house.  

  • The wagon comes to a halt, and despite the fact  that it isn't broken or stuck, it will not start  

  • moving again. Jackson and his men try repeatedly  to push the wagon forward, but it will not budge.

  • Suddenly, a disembodied female  voice speaks up: “all right,  

  • General, let the wagon move  on. I will see you tonight”.

  • Jackson and his men continue on to the house and  set up tents in the yard to sleep there overnight.  

  • His men are a little perplexed, but hardly  rattled by the events so far. In fact,  

  • one of his men even proudly taunts  the spirit, proclaiming himself to  

  • be a “witch tamer”. He pulls out a pistol  with a silver bullet and tells the rest of  

  • the soldiers that the witch won't bother himbecause she's too scared of what's in his gun.

  • Anyone who's seen a horror movie can  probably guess what happens next.

  • Thewitch tamerstarts screaming as his body  jerks spastically in several different directions,  

  • until eventually, he is literally kicked  out of the camp by an unseen entity.

  • The rest of the soldiers are terrified and  beg Jackson to leave, which they hurriedly do,  

  • and they are spotted in Springfield  very early the next morning.

  • Unfortunately, it seems terrifying  a future President isn't enough to  

  • satisfy the Bell Witch. She has  one more horrific act left to do.

  • John Bell, now approaching his 70s,  

  • starts to experience erratic  and uncontrolled body movements,  

  • facial twitching, and trouble swallowingSome say his symptoms would be classified  

  • as seizures today. Perhaps, unknown to the rest  of the family, he was ailing and fading fast.

  • However, throughout this whole time, the  unseen voice continues to threaten John's life,  

  • vowing to kill him time and time again.

  • And on December 20, 1820, John  Bell takes his last breath.  

  • The family wakes up to find him dead in his bed.

  • Since John was 70 years old and  experiencing odd symptoms for  

  • the last few months of his life at  least, many attribute his death to  

  • natural causes or illness. But there's  one strange detail that counters this.

  • According to family members, they find a vial  of a strange black liquid in a cupboard right  

  • after John's death. No one has any idea  who brought the liquid into the house  

  • or could even recognize it. After testing it  on a cat they realize the liquidis poison.

  • John Bell's funeral was one of the largest  ever held in Robertson County. People came  

  • from miles away, some who had known  him personally or by reputation,  

  • others curious about the haunting  that apparently killed a man.

  • Three priests eulogize John while the funeral  attendees stand silent and respectful. As the  

  • mourners prepare to leave the funeral, a voice  suddenly breaks the silence. It's the witch,  

  • laughing and singing, her long-stated goal  of killing John Bell finally accomplished.

  • After John's death, the witch disappears,  

  • but not before telling the family  that she will be back in seven years.

  • Shockingly enough, in seven years, the  Bell children still living in the house  

  • tell the community that the witch is  indeed back, as the same knocking,  

  • sounds, and shaking have started up again.

  • It seems the witches' aims this time are less  malevolent. She has long conversations with  

  • John Junior, makes some noise around the houseand disappears again. This time, she tells the  

  • family that she will be back in 1935. Nowe don't know why her timing is so erratic.

  • According to some sources, she never returnedOther family members, descendants of the Bells,  

  • say that the witch, in fact, never  truly left. She still haunts the Bell  

  • family and the property they lived on, causing  disturbances and wreaking havoc to this day.

  • Tourists flock to Adams, Tennessee to see the  Bell Witch Cave, made famous by the tales of  

  • the haunting. Though the cave wasn't a focus  of supernatural activity in the original myth,  

  • it's the only part of the Bell property  that still looks much like it would have  

  • in the early 1800s, as the original  house has long since been torn down.  

  • Therefore, visitors go to the undisturbed  cave and report supernatural phenomena.

  • Many historians doubt a lot of the lore  surrounding the Bell Witch Haunting. They  

  • insist that many accounts, including that  of Andrew Jackson's visit, are not only  

  • unverified but likely false. A lot of the legends  surrounding the entity come from a book called  

  • Authenticated History of the Bell Witch”,  published in 1894 by Martin Van Buren Ingram.

  • Ingram's book was written 73  years after the hauntings stopped,  

  • meaning Ingram himself wasn't even born when the  events of the Bell Witch Haunting took place.  

  • He supposedly based his work on Richard Bell's  diary. However, Richard, who was a boy when the  

  • events took place, didn't even note down the  events of the time until thirty years later.

  • US historians insist that Jackson's whereabouts  between 1814 and 1820 were very well documented,  

  • and nowhere is a visit to Robertson County  catalogued. Furthermore, they can't find  

  • any specific court records or mentions of John  Bell's death, either by natural causes or poison.

  • Thus, many historians are extremely skeptical  of the events of the Bell Witch Haunting,  

  • or that the events even took place. Howeverthe story has spread all over the US,  

  • and it has been told and retold by generations  of Southerners since the early 19th century.  

  • Many people, especially those from the  local area, still believe in the legend,  

  • and some even believe the Bell  Witch may still be with them today

  • What do you think of the Bell Witch HauntingDid it really happen or was it in the Bell  

  • family's minds? Let us know in the commentsAnd since you hopefully don't have a witch  

  • to deal with in your house, spend your time  watching one of our other videos right here!

John Bell and his family lived in a rural Tennesse  town in a large but simple home surrounded by  

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The Scariest Ghost Haunting in USA - the Haunting of the Bell Witch

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    Summer posted on 2021/06/19
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