Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Bell Witch Cave as experienced by Ann from Alabama

Response from Reader named Ann from Alabama received on 16 January 2010

In me you had probably the most adamant unbeliever in the "supernatural". I say had because my trip to the Bell Witch Cave in 2009 changed my mind and life. I had always believed people saw things, but figured there was a rational natural force at work and we had just never figured it out yet. On the tour I remarked to a friend that the owners of the property were making a nice living off the old Bell Witch story, and that given how isolated the area was even today, it was easy to understand how people hundreds of years ago would imagine ghosts and "haints" in the woods after darkness fell.

I passed on the part of the tour where the group went into the cave. I had hurt my leg a week or so before and the walk down to the cave had taxed me. I was afraid I would injure my leg again if I went in on the wet slippery rocks. I sat outside on the steps and honestly was very bored with the whole thing by this time. Knowing full well my friend would not receive a text on his cell while he was in the cave, I still texted to him... "Bring me the head of the Bell Witch." I sent that text at 3:55 P.M. I continued snapping pictures of the area, and nothing unusual seemed to be going on.

After returning home and downloading the pictures I found out just what had gone on. I found my ghost pictures, starting at 3:57 P.M. Just two minutes after my smartass text. The first was a heavy mist inside the mouth of the cave with the head of a woman clearly visible. I started contacting everyone asking them to download their pictures if they hadn't already. It's almost impossible to describe the photos we took that day. All told the group took over a 100 pictures at the area and inside the cave, and many of them have the most unusual things in them, starting after I sent my text. I have the most pictures, my punishment I guess for making light of the ghosts.

It's made me realize that there is something after death, but for me it's not comforting. I don't like the idea that I, or my energy will still hang around, having knowledge that I'm dead, seeing live people and maybe even my loved ones, but no longer able to be a part of their life, and unable to talk to them. I wasn't religious before this, and I still don't believe in heaven/hell etc. But there IS something after death, and now I'm REALLY not looking forward to it. As for the pictures, you can argue that my camera had some weird malfunction that caused the mists, raining fire, faces, full body apparitions, orbs, and many more things, but we were dealing with at least 6 or more cameras capturing similar things. Even my husband had his own camera with him and captured weird mists and faces. People seeing the photos ask us how in the world we didn't see that stuff when taking the pictures. I DON'T know why. But I do know if I had seen it, I would have been back up that hill so fast, injured leg or not, that I would have been a blur on someone else’s photo.

Here is what some people have heard about the Tennessee Bell Witch

In response to my blog called “Rumors, Facts, Truth, &  Lies about the Tennessee Bell Witch part 1," this is what some readers have said in reply:

Response from Reader named Nicky from Greece:

There have been so many books written about the Bell Witch that I'm not even going to bother naming them. But, for their sources, they all draw upon the earliest book, Authenticated History of the Bell Witch from 1894, by Martin Van Buren Ingram, owner of a regional newspaper. This was the first book published about the Bell Witch, and it was published 75 years after the hauntings. That's a long time. Long enough that the author wasn't even born when the hauntings took place. So what was his source?

Martin Ingram's book is based entirely upon the handwritten diary of Richard Bell. Richard Bell, one of John Bell's sons, was born in 1811, so he was about six years old when the hauntings began. According to Ingram, Richard waited until 1846, more than 30 years, before he actually wrote down the events in his diary. He recorded his 30 year old memories of being a six year old child. Ingram goes on to say that in 1857 Richard gave the diary to his son, Allen Bell, who subsequently (and quite inexplicably) gave it to Ingram, with instructions to keep it private until after the deaths of the immediate family. That happened around 1880, when Ingram began writing his book. Conveniently, every person with firsthand knowledge of the Bell Witch hauntings was already dead when Ingram started his book; in fact, every person with secondhand knowledge was even dead.

Martin Ingram never said anything about what became of this alleged diary. There is no record of anyone else having seen it, and logically, Ingram should have promoted the diary's existence in his newspaper to publicize his book. He did not. I am certainly not convinced that the diary ever existed at all. Why would Richard Bell wait 30 years to write down such an incredible story? Why would Allen Bell give away such a unique heirloom to Ingram? Those are big questions, and Ingram had every reason to falsify the diary's existence.

Ingram's book also falsified at least one other source. His book claims that in 1849, the Saturday Evening Post ran a story about the Bell Witch, blaming the crazy daughter Elizabeth for everything, and then retracted the story shortly thereafter once she threatened to sue. People have looked for such an article and none was ever found. I called the Saturday Evening Post, and was told that their microfilmed archives for that period no longer exist. Researcher Jack Cook went through other microfilms of the Post for several years on either side of 1849 and confirmed that no such article was ever published. Even people looking for it in 1894, following the publication of Ingram's book, failed to find such an article; which casts doubt on Ingram's own ability to have found it. Without exception, all of Ingram's sources for his book were conveniently untraceable.

Historians have found only one printed reference to the Bell Witch that predates the publication of Ingram's book, and it's a brief one-paragraph blurb in the 1886 first edition of Goodspeed's History of Tennessee in its chapter on Robertson County, which reads as follows:

“A remarkable occurrence, which attracted wide-spread interest, was connected with the family of John Bell, who settled near what is now Adams Station about 1804. So great was the excitement that people came from hundreds of miles around to witness the manifestations of what was popularly known as the "Bell Witch." This witch was supposed to be some spiritual being having the voice and attributes of a woman. It was invisible to the eye, yet it would hold conversation and even shake hands with certain individuals. The freaks if performed were wonderful and seemingly designed to annoy the family. It would take the sugar from the bowls, spill the milk, take the quilts from the beds, slap and pinch the children, and then laugh at the discomfiture of its victims. At first it was supposed to be a good spirit, but its subsequent acts, together with the curses with which it supplemented its remarks, proved the contrary.”

Notice the two most significant events are missing: The witch's murder of John Bell, and Andrew Jackson's involvement. No newspapers described either event. No court records or recorded minutes from churches described either event. The story of John Bell's murder at the hands of the Bell Witch was never described in any published account, nor placed into the pop culture version of events by the frightened family's reports. It seems almost incredible ...unless Ingram made it up.

Ingram almost certainly made up the entire Andrew Jackson incident. Andrew Jackson's whereabouts between 1814 and 1820 are well documented, and there is no known record of his having visited Robertson County during those years. In all of his own writings and in all of his many biographies, there is not a single mention of his alleged Bell Witch adventure. The 1824 Presidential election was notoriously malicious, and it seems hard to believe that his opponent would have overlooked the opportunity to drag him through the mud for having lost a fight to a witch. All known documentation shows Jackson elsewhere during the period in question, and all published material about his encounter with the Bell Witch relies on Martin Ingram's book as its sole source.

So what evidence of the Bell Witch are we left with? Vague stories that there was a witch in the area. All the significant facts of the story have been falsified, the others come from a source of dubious credibility. Since no reliable documentation of any actual events exists, there is nothing worth looking into. Ingram also wrote that the Bell Witch promised to return in 1935, and since nothing happened in that year either, I chalk up the Bell Witch as nothing more than one of many unsubstantiated folk legends, vastly embellished and popularized by an opportunistic author of historical fiction.

Response from Reader named David from Illinois:

Nicky from Greece is not the author of the tale they told. In fact, if Nicky laid claim to it, that would be blatant plagiarism!!! The original author can be found here:

Demystifying the Bell Witch: According to David, this is the original of the article shared by Nicky from Greece. Thanks to both of you for sharing.

Response from Reader named Casey from Tennessee:

I’ve heard the bell witch has four different entities within herself: Cypocraphy, Black Dog, Jerusalem, and Mathmatix.

Thanks, Casey, for sharing. I’ve heard that myself. I wonder how much truth there is to that rumor?

Response from Reader named Taryn, Sally from Tennessee:

Yes, I have heard about her and I think that she is very true. I mean if she died, then it is very possible for her to haunt her neighbor or really even anyone...

Response from Reader named Peter from Indiana:

I heard that John was a child rapist and it snapped his daughter Betsy to the point of no return.

Response from Reader named Sandra Ellison from Memphis, Tennessee:

I am doing a research paper for my comp class in college and yes I have heard of the Bell witch before.  What I am currently looking for is the reason for the witch. There are SO many documentations that I do believe it did happen.

Response from Reader named Joe from Marietta, GA:

I grew up in Guthrie, KY about 8 miles north of Adams, TN. My maternal grandmother was from Adams so I had many relatives in that area. I grew up with the stories which were related to me by my grandmother's brothers and sisters (my grandmother died before I was born). I have read all of the different accounts, made multiple trips to the area to learn what I could and as part of a cave exploration group lead the survey team that mapped the cave on the premises. My god-father, Clarence Covington, was related to the Bell family and is buried in the Bell family cemetery in Adams.  My great grandfather was the sheriff in Adams during the 1870s and knew some of the people mentioned in the book. He passed on stories to his children who related to me much of what they had heard from their parents. Based on what I have heard I believe that something occurred in the area. I stop short of trying to say exactly the nature of what took place.  I would love to engage in some discussion on the topic.

Response from Reader named Alinda from Kentucky:

Just watched the movie the American Haunting last night. Other than that wondered how true the story was.

Response from Reader named Fatima from Prince William County,Va 

Kate Batts loved John Bell and thought she was engaged to him.

Response from Reader named Lulu from the United States:

That she had turned into a spirit at a young age.

Response from Reader named Shawnna from Cannon County, TN:

I have heard a lot about the bell witch ... it is REAL SCARY.

Response from Reader named Shatika from Tennessee:

I have heard that the bell witch was haunting John Bell because he scammed her on a business deal. She also wanted to cease the marriage of Betsy and Joshua Gardner. That was supposedly the reason upon her return and also to haunt that time. Some say she is the witch of either Cate or Kate. She ended up killing John Bell and ruining the marriage of Betsy and Joshua Gardner and also scarring the lives of many others. She was called the BELL WITCH because she haunted the Bell family!!!

Response from Reader named Elizabeth from Latham, Ohio:

She indicated that she had never heard of the Tennessee Bell Witch.

Response from Reader named Danielle from the USA:

No, I never heard of this Tennessee Bell Witch.

Response from Reader named Maggie from Tennessee:

She kills children. 

Response from Reader named Dolores from Tennessee:

That she tormented a family named Bell for years. I have toured the cave with my family.

So, what have the rest of you heard about the Tennessee Bell Witch? Please share in the comment section below.

Rumors, Facts, Truth, & Lies about the Tennessee Bell Witch part 1

Have you ever heard of the Tennessee Bell Witch? What have you heard? In the comment section below, please tell what you have heard about the Tennessee Bell Witch.

DJ Lyons aka Debbie Dunn: For those of you who are not familiar with the Tennessee Bell Witch, the family of John and Lucy Bell was haunted by a poltergeist from 1817 to 1821. Once the family revealed to relatives and friends the details of the haunting, no less than four people and sometimes as many as 50 people would crowd into the Bell house to witness the nightly haunting. Andrew Jackson himself was reported to have had a run-in with the poltergeist that many people either called Kate (with a K) or the Bell Witch.

Unfortunately, many people pointed the finger of blame at an innocent neighbor by the name of Cate (with a C) Williams Batts. They either accused her of being the poltergeist who was doing the haunting, even though she was a living woman at the time, or they accused her of somehow engineering the hauntings.

Where did the term "Bell Witch" come from? At first they called this entity a spirit. They did not seem to know the term poltergeist; however, that is truly what this entity was - a noisy ghost. When the level of mischievousness increased, they took to calling the entity who was haunting the BELL family a WITCH or BELL WITCH.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Professional Storyteller performs kid-friendly tale: Burger King

On October 16, 2010, professional storyteller Debbie Dunn performed ghost stories around the campfire at Yeomen’s in the Fork on the outskirts of Franklin, Tennessee. Watch the 3-minute video on YouTube.

This is how the owners describe this antiquities bookstore: “Yeoman’s in the Fork is a rare book and document gallery located in historic Leiper’s Fork, TN. Yeoman’s has a wide variety of rare books, documents, maps, and ephemera. Yeoman’s in the Fork shares the collector’s passion, along with helping educate those new to collecting rare books and documents.”

Prior to intermission, Debbie told a few kid-friendly ghost and spooky stories appropriate for the whole family. After intermission, Debbie performed “The Bell Witch Unveiled” based on her book entitled “The Bell Witch Unveiled At Last! The True Story Of A Poltergeist” written under her pen name of DJ Lyons. She signed autographs during intermission and after the final performance.

Please enjoy a fun audience-participation tale called “Burger King.” It was taught to her by Chris Lindgren, a Canadian storyteller. Chris learned the story from a 12-year-old boy. He’s the one who wrote it.

YouTube video: Burger King
Description: Watch master storyteller Debbie Dunn reenact this kid-friendly story “Burger King” from our Ghost Stories & The Bell Witch Unveiled event.

For more information about this bookstore, please visit Yeoman’s in the Fork at

Yeoman’s in the Fork, 4216 Old Hillsboro Rd, Franklin, TN 37064

For other stories performed by Debbie Dunn, please click on the following links:
* Jack and the King’s Girl by Richard Chase
* Rainbow Crow by Nancy Van Laan
* Jack and the Bull re-told by Debbie Dunn
* Mouse Mother by Opalanga Pugh
* Parable of the Eagle told by Storyteller Debbie Dunn
* Ned and Nan Kick Their CAN’Ts Away re-told by Debbie Dunn
* Part 1 of 2 – Grandmother Frog’s Magic Bully Buster Song
* Part 2 of 2 – Grandmother Frog’s Magic Bully Buster Song
* Video – The Wild Boar
* Video – Six Blind Men and the Elephant re-told by Debbie Dunn

Sneak Preview of “The Bell Witch Unveiled”:
Bell Witch Movie with Talk Bubbles that Pop by DJ Lyons

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Best Review – Top 8 Bell Witch Links By DJ Lyons Aka Debbie Dunn

DJ Lyons (pen name for Debbie Dunn) is the author of “The Bell Witch Unveiled At Last! The True Story Of A Poltergeist.” As a professional storyteller, she also performs a 50-minute one-woman show called “The Bell Witch Unveiled.” Here are links to two videos describing the book, her Bell Witch website, and the best price on purchasing a copy of the Bell Witch book for your very own.

In short, the family of John and Lucy Bell from Adams, Tennessee, were haunted by a poltergeist from 1817 to 1821. This is one of the most widely-documented ghost stories in the state of Tennessee. Sadly, they gave the wrong person the blame. My book and one-woman show attempts to clear the name of Cate Batts and reveals the true secrets about the haunting.

Click BELL WITCH to visit these top eight Bell Witch articles at

Click TOP TEN REVIEWER should you wish to post a top ten reviewer site of your very own. This site was created by James Colin from and She Told

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Video & Slideshow - The Wild Boar

A tall man and a short man are walking through the forest. A wild boar comes along and charges those two men. The tall man finds safety by climbing a tree. Since the short man cannot reach the lowest branch, how will he manage to save his life?

The main point of this story is you should not judge others since we do not know what is really going on in the background of each person's life.

Six Bloom's Taxonomy questions are included at the end of the video and slideshow.

Click WILD BOAR to watch the video and slideshow.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Video Tutorial: How to empty Mastectomy Drain Bottles after Breast Cancer Surgery

After having a double mastectomy & 10 lymph nodes removed, 3 drain bottles (Jackson/Pratt) got hooked up to my 3 incision areas to drain off blood and pus. Once sent home from the hospital, I had to empty these drains every few hours. Here’s how it works.

Click BREAST CANCER to watch the video on Associated

Monday, August 9, 2010

Info 101: Anna Margaret raising money for Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children

Introduction: Fourteen-year-old Disney recording star Anna Margaret is joining with Supriya Jindal, the wife of the Louisiana governor, to try to help bring healing to the devastation caused by the recent 2010 Oil Spill. Anna Margaret will headline at a Back to School all ages Dance Party and Concert on Saturday, August 20, 2010. This concert will help raise money for the Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children started by the governor’s wife. Anna Margaret will also donate a portion of the proceeds from her upcoming single “Heal Us All” to this charity.

Tickets are currently on sale for this concert as of Friday, August 6th, at the Rapides Parish Coliseum ticket office and at Jerry Lee and Company Alexandria, Louisiana. Advanced tickets are just $5.00. Tickets will be $10.00 the day of the show. For more information, please visit

Anna Margaret will be singing some of her hit songs such as “New Boyfriend,” “Something About The Sunshine,” “GirlThing,” and debuting the performance of “Heal Us All.”

Click ANNA MARGARET to read the entire interview on

Photo Credits: Fourteen-year-old Disney recording star Anna Margaret Photo courtesy of Amy Collins, copyright 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How to go through an Echocardiogram for Breast Cancer

The two main purposes of an Echocardiogram are to test how well the heart is functioning and your ejection fraction. Should you receive chemo due to a breast cancer diagnosis, this is what you can expect before, during, and after this ECHO test.

Click ECHO to read the entire article on Associated