I bought this book when I was in high school or College at Home Craft Days which is a local festival in my hometown. I’ve always been into the supernatural and witches in general so when I came across a whole mess of books on such I had to buy one. This was the one that grabbed my attention. I came back across this book recently and decided I wanted to read it again. Also, it’s a short easy read. It took me months to reread it since my ADHD has been out of control recently and I can’t focus.
If you haven’t heard of this legend I suggest you look it up cause it’s insane. This book was written in 1994 about the Bell family from Tennessee that was terrorized by a Witch. The author, Charles Edwin Price had written another book called Haints, Witches, and Booger: Tales from Upper East Tennessee and had been asked about the Bell Witch so many times he decided to write this one. He used old memoirs and county records to tell the story from the moment the witch first entered the home of John Bell in Robertson County, in 1817.
According to legend, from 1817-1821, the Bell family and the local area came under attack by a mostly invisible entity that was not only able to speak but could play with the physical environment, and even shapeshift very often into a rabbit. Some accounts tell of the spirit having super speed and strength. This book goes into details of things the witch did such as taking down the strongest man around or telling Bell’s daughter Betsy to never marry the boy she was in love with. She claimed Betsy would never be happy if she did. It’s kept generations of families from marrying. It also covers how people use to come just to see what the witch would do including General Andrew Jackson.
The very beginning of this book starts by starting how the witch has been referred to as Kate Batts who was a neighbor of John Bell and there was a rumor he had cheated her in a deal of land or a slave. It was said she practiced Black Magick but there is no actual proof. I have read several accounts and it seems to me that Kate was basically scapegoated for this story of someone to blame. Cause she outlived both John and his wife Lucy. I’m not really sure how this rumor came about but it’s the most popular one and is only covered at the beginning of the book.
After John Bell and his wife died the children spread out and the witch eventually went away. She did give some prediction to one of the Bell children that did actually come true and I won’t spoil those for you so go look them up. Also, the owners of the land over the years still report the strange activities just not to the same extent that the Bells experienced. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in this legend.
Amazon currently has it for about $7 with shipping and everything.