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Posted on Wednesday, July 05 - 2006

" By Judyth Piazza For several years her ghost pinched, slapped, scolded and otherwise tormented a prominent Tennessee family in one of America's best-known poltergeist cases. Adams, Tennessee, in 1817, was the site of one of the most well-known hauntings in American history. The haunting..."
By Judyth Piazza

For several years her ghost pinched, slapped, scolded and otherwise tormented a prominent Tennessee family in one of America's best-known poltergeist cases. Adams, Tennessee, in 1817, was the site of one of the most well-known hauntings in American history. The haunting was so well known that it eventually caught the attention and then the involvement of a future president of the United States.

Word of the haunting soon reached Nashville. With a party of friends including Sam Houston, one of Nashville’s most famous citizens, General Andrew Jackson decided to leave his plantation The Hermitage, and travel by horse and carriage to Adams in order to investigate the accusations of a demonic entity terrorizing his good friend, John Bell and his family. The General, who had earned his tough reputation as an Indian fighter in many conflicts with Native Americans, was determined to confront the phenomenon and either expose it as a hoax or send the spirit away. Little did he know that the force would be too strong even for Old Hickory himself. Known as “The Bell Witch,” the strange and often violent poltergeist activity which provoked fear and curiosity in the small farming community has remained unexplained for nearly 200 years, and is the inspiration for many fictional ghost stories, including the recent film, The Blair Witch Project. However, the facts of The Bell Witch case share little in common with the mythology that was created for The Blair Witch, except for the fact they both attracted a great deal of public interest. What makes The Bell which more frightening is that, unlike The Blair Witch, the Bell Witch was real. One of the earliest accounts of The Bell Witch hauntings was written in 1886 by historian Albert Virgil Goodpasture in his History of Tennessee. He wrote, in part: "A remarkable occurrence, which attracted wide-spread interest, was connected with the family of John Bell, who settled near what is now Adams Station sometime around 1804....

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