Our Halloween Post: “America’s Greatest Ghost Story,” Or Eisha’s Gonna Kill Jules for Posting This ImageWednesday, October 31st, 2007
Jules: Happy Halloween! I am starting this post, to which Eisha plans to add some comments. And let me tell you that when she sees this image, she just might kill me. It’s taking a great deal of courage for me to post it to begin with.
That’s an image from the Bell Witch legend, a story, according to that link, which is “America’s Greatest Ghost Story.” Or so says Dr. Nandor Fodor, a researcher and psychologist. Or, if you grew up in middle Tennessee, it’s the “One Story That Will Scare the Holy Utter Crap Out of You for the Rest of Your Life,” or so say bloggers Jules and Eisha. The image you see there (in the public domain) is an artist’s sketch of Betsy Bell. Perhaps the most widely-used “Bell Witch” photo in existence, it was created in 1893. (The printing plates were made by Sanders Engraving Company out of St. Louis, MO and were used for M.V. Ingram’s 1894 book, An Authenticated History of the Bell Witch).
And as for the book cover image below and what it has to do with the Bell Witch, well, I’ll get to that in a moment.
If you saw the movie “American Haunting” last year, you may know the basic story of the Bell Witch. Author and historian Pat Fitzhugh will tell you everything you need to know about the legend at this site (and, specifically, on this page). Here’s the basic summary, as found on this informative Wikipedia page: “The Bell Witch is a ghost story from American Southern Folklore. The legend of the Bell Witch, also called the Bell Witch Haunting, revolves around strange events allegedly experienced by the Bell family of Adams, Tennessee, in 1817–1821.” And this might help (from this site), which will tell you a bit more:
“The spirit identified itself as the ‘witch’ of Kate Batts, a neighbors of the Bell’s, with whom John had experienced bad business dealings over some purchased slaves. ‘Kate’ as the local people began calling her, made daily appearances in the Bell home, wreaking havoc on everyone there. People all over the area of soon learned of the witch and she made appearances, in sounds and voices, all over Robertson County.
The ghost became so famous that even General Andrew Jackson decided to visit. He too experienced the antics of the witch and his carriage wheels refused to turn until the witch decided to let them.” Read the rest of this entry �