The world is a mysterious place. The can of mystery highlights some of those mysteries. This site is a class project for Amanda Warren's English 101 class at the University of South Carolina Aiken.
Articles are uploaded once a year (on average) in the fall and/or spring.
If you have questions or tips on mysteries, please leave a comment or contact AmandaW at USCA dot EDU.
In Adams, Tennessee, in 1817, John Bell and his family had been tormented by a poltergeist, known
as the Bell Witch. She had a mean reputation for physically abusing some of the
family members, close friends, and neighbors, who dared to step foot in the
Bell’s resident. Many people who study the Bell Witch’s legend have speculated
that the poltergeist had harassed the Bell family out of jealousy or spite.
In 1804, John Bell
and his Family moved from Halifax County, North Carolina to Robertson County,
Tennessee and built a house and started a farm on 328 acres. John Bell was married to Lucy Bell and they
had nine children named Jesse, John Junior, Drewry, Benjamin, Esther, Zadok,
Elizabeth (Betsy), Richard Williams, and Joel Egbert. John and his family made
a living through farming. Soon after settling into their new home, unusual
disturbances began to surface around the family.
One day when John
was tending to the crops in the cornfield, he encountered a bizarre creature
sitting in the middle of the corn row, which had the body of a dog and the head
of a rabbit. John shot several times until it vanished. Soon after, Betsey and
Drewry began to see strange creatures near the property. At night, the children
were awaken by noises sounding like a rat gnawing on the bedpost and “beating”
sounds on the outside walls of their log house. Things got stranger as the
ghost start to become physical with the family.
One could only
imagine the sleepless night and suffering the Bell family had been through
daily with the harassment of the Bell Witch. At night bedcovers were yanked
off, pillows were thrown, they were slapped, and strange voices tormented them.
Betsey, the Bell’s youngest daughter, was physically abused the most by the
witch to the point where welts and hand prints were left on her body from being
who slept in the Bell’s house did not sleep alone.
Fitzhugh, Pat. “The
Bell Witch Haunting.” BellWitch.org.
The Bell Witch Web Site, 27 Aug. 2011. Web. 24 Oct. 2012.
Palmer, and McCarter, Kyle Pete. “ The Bell Witch of Tennessee and Mississpi: A
Folk Legend.” Journal of American
Folk-Lore 47.183 (1934):45-63. Print.
“Tales From the Dark Side.” Dance
Magazine. Macfadden Performing Arts Media, LLC, Oct 2007. Web. 24 Oct.
Roberts, Nancy. "Return of
the Bell Witch." Ghosts of the Southern Mountains and Appalachia.
Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, 1988. 12-26. Print.
"Tennessee Myths and Legends: Bell Witch." Tennessee.gov. Tennessee State Library and Archives, n.d. Web.