Folklore Ghosts & Demons Paranormal

Legends of the Bell Witch and Blair Witch: Terror and Truth

There are some legends in the United States that will go down in history as frightening and inexplicable. The legend of the Bell Witch is one of those legends. The legend of the Blair Witch might also be included, but for other reasons. Come with us on a hair-raising journey to Tennessee and Maryland, and we will investigate the terror and identify the truth. Hold onto your head!

The Terrifying Legend of the Bell Witch

The legend of the Bell Witch is more of a haunting than a traditional witch tale. However, it’s an intriguing story nonetheless. In a small town in Tennessee, in the early 1800’s, the Bell family cheerfully moved into a quaint log cabin on acres of farmland. After thirteen years of peace, the family began experiencing frightening paranormal activity. One day, one of the Bell family members caught a glimpse of a mutant creature with the head of a rabbit and the body of a dog. Thus began their torment.

The Terror Begins

One night, a series of bangs and taps were heard on the outsides of the walls. The family scratched their heads at the unusual noises. But the knocking didn’t stop the next night. And every night, the sounds grew louder and continued for longer amounts of time. The Bell children complained to their father of rats gnawing on their bedposts at night, and the family also heard singing throughout the house on different occasions. The torment escalated when the children had their pillows and blankets ripped off of them, eventually being physically pulled from their beds in the middle of the night. At this point, John Bell, the head of the household, felt completely helpless.

The Bell Witch was a woman named Kate who claimed she wanted revenge against John Bell for stealing her land.

Andrew Jackson Investigates the Bell Witch Haunting

The rumors of the Bell Witch spread far and fast and many people grew interested in the claims. General Andrew Jackson traveled to the Bell farm to investigate the legend of the Bell Witch. On the way to the Bell house, the wheels on Jackson’s wagons stopped dead in their tracks, for no visible reason. Suddenly, Jackson and his crew heard a disembodied woman’s voice petitioning them to move on, cackling that she would see them soon. Andrew Jackson pushed onward and visited the farm for a short time. During his stay, a few of his men claimed they were stuck with needles or pinched with bruises as evidence. They heard the witch’s voice resounding through the house each day, singing hymns, quoting bible verses and sermons, and making threats to end the head of the house (John Bell’s) life.

John Bell’s Death

Many curious visitors called upon the Bells to determine if the rumors were true – each finding the terrifying story to be illogical yet factual. On different occasions, the Bell witch claimed she was a neighbor named Kate who had been wronged by John Bell. She vowed she’d kill him before it was all over. John Bell eventually got sick and took to his bed, falling into a coma. And, unfortunately, the next day he died. His family couldn’t figure out exactly what ailed their father, but came across a half-empty bottle in their cabinet. John Bell’s son tested the remains of the bottle on a cat. The cat fell ill and passed away within a few hours.

The Bell Witch Returns

Immediately following the cat’s death, the Bell witch exclaimed she had poisoned John Bell and that her deed was done. She warned she would reappear within seven years, and then again within another hundred and some years. The legend of the Bell witch includes a local cave in which the Bell Witch has supposedly been seen and heard. This creepy cave is close in location to where the old Bell farm existed in the 1800’s. People have photographed a spirit looming in the cave. And they say in 1935, the year the Bell witch claimed her return, mysterious goings-on happened in the cave.

A Modern Witch’s Perspective on the Bell Witch Legend

There’s much more to the legend of the Bell witch that I didn’t include here, so be sure to read up on the entire story if you’re interested in learning the truth. I believe this was indeed a legitimate haunting, but more or less a curse on the family. The woman who cursed the family was a powerful witch and had the ability to astral project (hence being able to be spiritually present in the Bell home) and shapeshift. She could even physically cause harm and move objects in the Bell house without her physical body being there. Crazy power! The hate and malice she felt for John Bell was potent. With so many eye-witnesses, the legend of the Bell witch must have been true. My question is, what did John Bell do to this Kate woman to provoke such a curse on his entire family?

The legend of the Blair witch is loosely based on urban legends in Burkittsville, MD

The Legend of the Blair Witch

Most of us have seen the cheesy, nauseating movie from the 90’s, The Blair Witch Project? The movie was fake, but the legend of the Blair witch is based on true paranormal occurrences. The stories are based in the small town of Burkittsville, Maryland.

A Little Girl’s Disappearance

One story took place in 1825 and involved a little girl who was pulled into the creek by a ghostly white hand and never seen again. Reportedly, someone heard the girl scream and saw a white hand reach out for her from the river below. The girl went into the cold river, was presumably drowned, and her body was never recovered. Immediately following the girl’s disappearance, the creek was mysteriously filled with oily bundles of sticks. The purpose of the sticks or if they were related? I have no clue, but creepy, nevertheless.

The Disemboweled Search Party

Then in the year of 1886, Robin Weaver went missing and later claimed to have followed a person who was floating in the air, into an abandoned house in the woods. A search party was sent out, only to later disappear at the same time Robin surprisingly pops back into his worried family’s home. To recover the missing search party, more people went out to the abandoned home, and could not find anyone there. Later someone stumbled upon their disemboweled bodies lying on Coffin Rock.

This Witch’s Perspective on the Legend of the Blair Witch

Most websites claim Coffin Rock is a fictional location made up only for the Blair Witch movie, but oddly enough Burkittsville’s residents know the way to it. No one knows who or what caused these evil goings-on. I believe these local stories were cleverly used by Hollywood to build a creepy plot behind the ill-produced Blair Witch Project movie. If you travel to Burkittsville, Maryland, you’ll meet many people who claim there’s a witch still residing somewhere in the town’s surrounding woods…possibly still wreaking havoc today. Maybe there once was a witch who lived in the area, but she most likely didn’t cause the disappearances…if those were even true!

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