Have you encountered the Bell Witch Spirit?
Many people believe that the Bell Witch Spirit is still in Adams, Tennessee, in a cave that is located on what used to be the Bell family property. During the research and making of the film, we heard several fascinating stories of people's encounters with the "Spirit". While working on this project, we had a few of our own! This page is for people to share their experiences. So, share and enjoy!
Do you have a story or encounter you would like to share? Then email it to us and we will post them on the website.
A few years ago, while conducting research for a script that would later become "The Bell Witch Haunting", I was walking near the opening of the cave on the Bell property with a fellow writer. We were walking right beside each other with no one else around. Everything was quiet, when suddenly we heard a woman angrily whisper over our shoulders, right in our ears, "What are you doing here!" We both quickly turned, no one was there!
With the exception of long, hard shooting days, the filming of the movie went fairly smooth. We wrapped photography in February 2003, but due to commitments on other projects, we did not start editing the film until the end of April. After completing the editing of the last individual scene and preparing to put the scenes together; on June 10th, while no one was in the office, a fax machine which was on standby mysteriously caught on fire and burned our office. The machine was always left on (to receive faxes) and was the only thing on in the office. We had the machine for over two years and had never had any problems with it. The machine was on standby because we had not used it in a couple of days and it automatically went into power saver. The office was totally destroyed. Fortunately, we had back-up copies of the film and were able to continue editing, although delayed for a couple months. After the fire, I proceeded to edit at home, where we began to experience several odd things, including strange feelings, strong unexplained odors, a turned off cell phone ringing and unusual problems with the new editing equipment. We had to have the computer repaired three time in three months, causing extra work and delays. Evidently, the "Spirit" did not like what we are saying about her!
While we were filming the movie, it was on the news that the Bell Witch Museum curator's house somehow caught on fire and she was found deceased at the front door, evidently trying to get out. A few months after our fire, the Red River Baptist Church portrayed in the movie mysteriously caught on fire. Three unexplained fires that we know of, in less than a year, someone has been busy!
Ric White, writer & director of the movie "The Bell Witch Haunting"
A couple of years ago, a group of people (I was in that group) went to the Bell Witch cave in Adams, TN. After touring the cave, our group was talking right outside of the opening. I then decided to walk ahead to our car. Well, while I was walking alone, I suddenly heard a woman's voice coming from behind me say in a loud whisper "Linda! Linda!". As I looked around to see who from the group was playing a trick on me, there was no one to be seen. You see, it's an open field going from the cave to the parking lot of this property. Very unexplainable and very unnerving and made me feel numb with shock!
Linda Thornton, producer of the movie "The Bell Witch Haunting"
Back in the 1980's, I went to the Bell property several times with various people. I was in an acoustic band that actually recorded a four-song EP about the Bell Witch (The Shakers, "Living In the Shadow of a Spirit", Carlyle Records 1988) and as many before and after me, had been pretty enthralled with the legend since childhood. Anyway, on one particular occasion I took a girlfriend who was visiting from out of town to see the cave on a Sunday morning. This was in 1986 when the Eden family still owned the property. No one was home when we arrived, but I had been there so often that we thought it would be alright to stroll on down to the cave entrance. It was a beautiful spring morning overlooking the Red River and since the cave was, of course, gated and locked we sat down and were chatting nearby, enjoying the view and the nice weather. As we sat chatting, we both froze in mid-conversation. After a moment or two, one of us said, "Do you hear what I hear?" We both could hear a woman's voice singing, far back in the dark recesses of the cave. The sound was so subtle and ethereal that we couldn't make out words or a melody, but we could hear the voice rise up high and then fall down to a lower register. It was an eerie sound that made us weak in the knees and it went on for a couple of minutes, I guess. Needless to say, we talked in a state of excitement about it all the way back to Nashville. We left without the Edens ever returning home (presumably from church). On another occasion I ended up having the lights turned off and the gate closed on me while I was still in the cave, but that's another odd story. In several visits to the cave, this was the only distinctly supernatural thing I ever experienced, but in talking with old Mr. Eden before he died, he told me some pretty hair-raising things that he had experienced in his 40-odd years of living on that property.
Robert L. (Hendersonville, TN)
This is what happened to me in the Bell witch Cave...
It was September 15, 2004, my wife Schmon and I were asked to go with some local ghost hunters to investigate the Bell Witch of Adams Tenn. When we got to the town of Adams, we first visited the cemetery about 1 mile from the Bell Witch cave. The decedents of the Bells were all there and I could feel a strange energy all around the area. We stayed about 30 minutes, then went to the Cave site. Before I went in, I drank some holy water and blessed myself. Schmon stayed outside. As I entered, I could feel enormous energy like hot electrical energy.
As I walked around I felt hatred and sorrow everywhere. Then I saw some orbs appear, 2 green orbs then a mist shape. I sensed the orbs were children and the mist to be female. I said that I was there in peace and meant no harm. As I walked further, the orbs changed to 2 children, a boy and a girl; the mist became what appeared to be a woman very translucent. ”STAY WAY”, I was told, but I walked on. I then saw other spirits forming; they were Indians, the whole place was under a native burial ground and the Indians did not seem to be bothered by me as I am Cherokee. As I walked through the cave the woman spirit got more angry. “GO AWAY NOW!”, she said. I said, “I am here in peace and I am going on”. As I continued through, I was pushed and my hat was knocked off , but I pushed through to the main cave...
I was met there by a film crew doing a TV show. The director asked me to tell the Spirit to give me a sign that she was there. I said, “Woman of the cave give a sign that you are here”. Their cameras were turned off. After some pleading the cameras were restored and we left the cave. YES there is a dominant female force in Bell Witch Cave.
About three summers ago my son, his wife and another couple rented two canoes and were going down the river near the Bell Witch Cave. The waterfall near the cave was rushing down the mountainside and beautiful. The guys decided to bank their canoe and climb the side of the embankment to get to the top of the waterfall. At the time neither one of the guys knew they were in the vicinity of the Bell Witch Cave. When my son reached the top of the embankment he recognized the area for we had been to the caves before on a tour. He told his friend where they were and they walked over to the locked, heavily bared gate and stood there peering inside. As they turned to leave there was such a blood curdling scream come out of the cave that my son and his friend took off down the side of the mountain in a flash cutting their arms and legs on branches on the way down. These young men are both about 250 lbs and at the time about 26 years old, so they are not just kids with highly creative imaginations. I got a call about 10:00 that night and he was still upset about what he had heard. He told me the story and even though it had happened about 5 hours earlier he was still upset about it. I don’t know if there is anything recorded that might be set up in the cave to scare unwanted trespassers away or not, but if not, that had to be the scream of The Bell Witch…a demon from hell.
I was just looking over your site, and I have a compelling tale to tell. We were going to Rock Castle in Hendersonville, TN to have an intervew with “The Bell Witch Haunting” movie director and producer. Around the same time we were heading to Rock Castle from Nashville, suddenly we started have problems with our Jeep and all of our gauges stopped working. Our original agenda included a two day tour of Adams, TN...to take pictures and speak with local historians...that, of course did not happen. Before we left Hendersonville, we stopped at a garage to have our Jeep looked at...while we were sitting there, Jenn (my wife) and I made a decision... Our decision was NOT to go to Adams, TN...
The guy at the garage told us we had a computer problem, that was the reason the gauges were messing up...(the speedometer and the RPM gauges ceased to work on the interstate all the way to Rock Castle). We had the interview then... We decided to stay at a hotel in Franklin, TN, if the Jeep would make it... Funny thing happened...the more distance we drove away from Adams the more our instruments decided to work...by the time we arrived in Franklin, it was as if nothing had happened...and to this day, our Jeep is running FINE! I kid you not............
Jason McCurry (Haunted Lives Paranormal Society)
We bought the movie back in October. Excellent job!!!! However, since then we have noticed some rather unusual things happening that didn't happen before our purchase. We deliver the "Tennessean" paper every night. We get home fairly late. One night recently, we came home and in our bonus room the light, the fan, and the heater were all on. All of which should have been off. When we went to turn off the heater we saw that it was in the off position. A few weeks prior to this incident my husband experienced something in our bedroom. He was awakened by the feeling of someone standing at the end of our bed watching him. He could not move or talk. It didn't last very long but it seemed like it lasted for about 10 minutes.
After purchasing the movie in October, we wanted to visit Adams. We took the video camera to hopefully see something. We had 2 fully charged batteries plus a cigarette lighter adapter. We left the museum and drove down the road where the cave is located to video tape. First the batteries were completed drained. Next the automatic focus would not focus whatsoever. We finally got the battery (adapter) to work . We drove home. We checked the batteries both now said they were fully charged. Also, the focus worked normally too. We watched the video we filmed, it was very blurry. We had zoomed in on the replica of the house and the barn that says welcome to the Bell Witch Cave, but it didn't show the barn. However, we did film it while we were there. It was like it just skipped over that part. Thank You. You did a great job on making the film.
Ricky and Melissa (White House, TN)
My name is Eddie, and I have lived in Cheatham Co., TN all my life, as well as, my dad and all of his family, they would tell me stories about the Bell Witch and I never believed them. When I was 9 or 10 my neighbor went to the Bell Witch cave and on the way there she was taking pictures. When she got there she was standing next to the cave opening and her friend took a picture and in that picture there was a cloud of smoke and the face of women could clearly be seen. And she took another picture next to a grave site and yet another cloud of smoke, but this time an outline of a cat or dog was seen. Each picture she took near or around the surrounding area had the smoke. All the pictures she took before she arrived on the property were clear and no blemishes in the pictures. So ever since then I have believed in the Bell Witch. My aunt use to live 10 min from there and she said many people had seen strange things. So I am a true believer.
In 1998, I decided that I would like to visit Adams one night. I had been reading and writing reports on the Bell Witch for many years. Well, I took three friends with me, we saw the sign and turned down the gravel road that leads to the home of the people that run hayrides and such. At this point, we were out of the car and a lady came out and said that it was closed. We all got back in the car and drove back down the road. After parking the car, we began to walk across a field. In the distance we could hear the infamous hounds. I was leading the group across the full moon lit field. I was compelled to stop in my tracks, the field before me (that mind you was lit up by the moon) turned pitch black right before me. I was the only one who saw this. I advised my friends that we could go no further and we left soon thereafter!!!
One weekend, me and my family from Texas went to Adams, TN. We stopped by the old school to see what was there. My daughter and myself went into the ladies’ restroom. I heard a lady’s voice call my name, it was a soft whisper. Immediately, I turned and asked my daughter if she heard it and she said no. My sisters were walking toward the steps going upstairs, they both started saying they felt like someone was poking them.
The Bell Witch may have left the Tennessee Bell’s alone after Elizabeth Powell died in 1890, but she (the witch) has remained at large in Mississippi. I have not heard if you have interviewed any of the residents near Long Branch Cemetery in Yaloboosha County, Mississippi, but you should. There is especially one residence you should visit. It is known as the Pritchett Place, just up the hill from Long Branch Cemetery.
The witch has been seen (yes, seen!) at this residence and in the surrounding community since the 1940s (that I am personally aware of), and is still seen there today although the home has been abandoned, because of the witches presence! My grandmother (Beulah Crenshaw O’Bryant Hughes) and mother (Janie Katherine Hughes Turner Latham) lived there briefly one time. My Gram and my mother’s cousin both saw her (the witch). My mother was there, recalls it vividly, and still lives in the area.
My great aunt Mattie Cora Hughes was married to Zadock Bell and lived at the Hughes Plantation, “Hatton”, just below Long Branch Cemetery. The large white plantation home, over 200 years old, is still there and has been restored to its original appearance. The sprawling 1700 acres of rolling green hills, pastures, meadows and ponds were acquired by my great, great grandfather during the Chickasaw Pact of the 1750s. Long Branch Cemetery is the Hughes’ family cemetery. Because of the close ties with the Bells, many Bells are also interred there, including Elizabeth “Betsy” Bell.
J Hughes Turner
My son and I were at Belcourt theater today to see “The Bell Witch haunting” with Greenbrier Middle School. As I watched the movie, I remembered all the things my mother told me about her being in Adams growing up as a child, things that really happened. My mother, Betty Jackson Young, lived on a farm that was not far from the Bell’s place. This was somewhere along the time of the 1950's, I guess. She told me once of a man, who was plowing his field that joined the Bell’s property, his tractor turned over on level land and he was crushed.
She told me of the disappearance of Mrs. Campbell in the 60's (I think) who was never found. We are friends with Mark Campbell (her son) he was only 17 when his mother came up missing. My mother can tell many strange things that happened back then. It is also thought to be, that Miss Seeley, who was killed in the fire was one of the last Bell family members. I remember talking to her not more than three months before she was killed, she always told stories of the Bell family that would make your skin crawl. The movie was great and I will buy it when it hits the shelves.
Carolyn Young Howerton