Encountering the Bell Witch

Haunted Tennessee

ADAMS, Tenn. (WKRN) — If you live in Tennessee, some would say you share your home state with a centuries-old spirit known as the Bell Witch.

As legend has it, the Bell Witch dwells in Adams, wandering the farmland of the late John Bell and the nearby Karst Cave.

“I have incidents in my own home where things happen and I can’t explain it,” said William Mosley, visitor.

The Bell Witch is a shape-shifting spirit that can talk to humans.

Historians say she first appeared to the bell family in 1817, claiming to be the spirit of an old neighbor, Kate Batts, who was upset with John Bell over a land purchase.

“This story becomes the best-known folklore ghost story in America history. In Adams, we have maybe a few hundred people, we’ll have 3,500 people or so come to Adams,” said Rick Gregory, Historian.

They travel near and far all for a special play, and also to walk the cave, especially at Halloween time.

“I just hope I don’t pass out. Just really interested to see what all the hubbub’s about, and see why people always look at me strange when they hear my name!” said John Bell, visitor.

Many believe the Bell Witch fled the farm after killing John Bell in 1820, and now dwells in the cave.

“It’s been there since the beginning of time, Indians used to use the cave before man came here,” said Walter Kirby, Owner of Bell Witch Cave. “Of course, John Bell and his family bought the farm in 1804 and moved here, and about 1817 they started having experiences.”

He added, “I’ve been in the cave lots of times in the 27 years. There’s always paranormal activity going on inside the cave.”

While News 2 was not allowed inside the entirety of the cave, we hear it’s a spooky experience.

“She was very scared, she was like — ‘I don’t want to touch nothing. I didn’t want to take any rocks — they said don’t take any rocks, so I didn’t touch anything,” said Joshua Abru and Jastalina Taylor, visitors.

“Probably the most interesting would have been in the second cavern,” said Scotty Lewis. ” I heard what sounded like an old transistor radio broadcast like from when I was a child, it reminded me of Walter Cronkite. I couldn’t tell you what was being said, but you could definitely tell something was being said.”

For visitors like Lewis, believing in the Bell Witch isn’t about fearing the spirit, but acceptance that she lives among us.

“I do believe things like that probably exist, I don’t necessarily believe they’re here to harm us and haunt us and that sort of thing, but I think there are things that happen in the world that we don’t particularly understand and I’m good with that,” said Lewis.

For more bone-chilling tales from across Tennessee CLICK HERE if you dare!

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