ADAMS, Tenn. (WKRN) – This weekend, the Bell Witch Fall Festival will share more history of Robertson County when “Smoke: A Ballad of the Night Riders” takes to the stage.
“Smoke” tells the local story of the history of the Black Patch Capital of the world and the Tobacco Wars of the early 1900s, and how it affected the Hartley family.
“Witness the struggles that affected not only them, but all the families who farmed in this region of Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee and grew dark-fired tobacco,” the event listing states. “You will see big business at its worst and the tobacco company’s role in turning farmer against farmer, brother against brother and its backlash–giving birth to the masked vigilantes: The Night Riders.”
“Smoke” is one of three parts of the annual Bell Witch Fall Festival, which takes place in Adams, Tennessee, home of the Bell Witch.
The festival began in 2002 by Community Spirit, Inc., which sought to bring quality, educational theatrical productions to Robertson County, Tennessee, and the surrounding areas.
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The kickoff for the annual festival took place last Sunday, Sept. 25, with the performance of “Red River Tales,” a collection of historical stories and folklore of the area, including the tale of the Bell Witch.
The Bell Witch is one of Tennessee’s most notorious paranormal stories. In the 19th century in the Red River area near modern-day Adams in Robertson County, the Bell family was reportedly attacked by a mysterious poltergeist who could shapeshift into different creatures and affected members of the Bell family, including father John Bell Sr., his wife, Lucy, and his children, as well as visitors to the home. The hauntings began some time in 1817, according to the legend, and continued even through 1820, when at John’s funeral.
The festival will feature six performances of the play, written by David Alford, starting Thursday, Sept 29. Tickets can be purchased here. The last performance of “Smoke” will be Oct. 8.
The festival will continue through October with two weekends full of “Spirit: The Authentic Bell With Experience” Oct. 13 – 15 and Oct. 20 – 22. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and tickets can be purchased here.