The Bell Witch

Probably the most famous ghost in American history is the Bell Witch, a poltergeist who basically trolled the heck out of the Bell family of Adams, Tennessee, from 1817 to 1821. A spirit claiming to be “Old Kate Batts’s witch” drove John Bell, Sr. and his kids to the brink of insanity with typical poltergeist behavior, like constant knocking and scratching sounds and physical assaults like hair-pulling, pinching, and sticking the various Bells with pins.

Less usual, however, is that all this phenomena began when John saw a weird animal that looked like a black dog with a rabbit’s head out in his field. That is fairly weird, even by poltergeist standards.

While Kate liked to harass the Bells’ youngest daughter Betsy (especially disapproving of the boy she chose to marry) and father John (who received an almost endless stream of death threats from the witch), she showed a lot of affection for Bell’s wife, Lucy, giving her fruit and singing her hymns.

Look, let’s not say Lucy definitely had a book called “So You Hate Your Family and Want to Summon a Ghost or Witch or Both” under her bed, but the signs are all there.

If you’re the kind of person who wants to climb underground and possibly be harassed by a ghost, great news: the Bell Witch Cave, where Kate’s ghost is said to reside since leaving the Bells behind in 1821, is a popular tourist spot.

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