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Famous Haunted Places--The Bell Witch Cave, Adams Tennessee

Updated on March 11, 2011


The Bell Witch Cave ~ Adams, Tennessee

In 1817 in Robertson County, Tennessee the Bell Witch made international news when John Bell and his family began experiencing unexplained phenomena. At first the family was plagued by knocking, rapping and the sounds of scratching. The harassment progressed to blankets being pulled off of beds, family members being kicked, scratched, and their hair being pulled by an unseen entity. Eventually, the tormenting entity found a way to communicate; and this is when the tales of the annoying experiences were spread throughout the county and became a news item.

The spirit proclaimed herself to be a witch by the name of Kate Batts. Ms. Batts was a former neighbor of the Bell’s whom John had ruinous business dealings over the sale of slaves. It seems the longer these daily annoyances continued the stronger the witch became. People came to the Bell farm to witness the strange occurrences and were also harassed by the entity. Eventually news of the unusual happenings spread across the country. The Bell Witch was also a psychic who made predictions. Some of which were the American Civil War and both World Wars. President Jackson eventually got word of the strange occurrences on the Bell farm. He personally visited the Bell family and brought an exorcist with him! Apparently, not a very good one as the haunting got worse.

The witch began to inflect injuries on John and claimed to be responsible for an illness that caused him to take to his bed. The farmer was found irrational one morning with a strange bottle found nearby. A drop of the bottle’s contents was given to the family’s cat and it almost immediately dropped dead. John followed suit a few days later. The witch was heard screaming in triumph and was also heard at the farmer’s funeral, laughing, cursing and singing as the man was being buried. This gives new meaning to “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned!”

Residences of Robertson County believe The Bell Witch has never left. The Bell Witch Cave is located on the former Bell property and is believed to be the portal from which the witch was able to reenter the Earthly dimension. There have been many visitors to the cave over the years after John’s death. The most common occurrences have been that several felt as though they had been made to sit down and were then unable to stand up without the aid of several friends.

The new owners of the property still report hearing voices and unexplained events, including electrical equipment malfunctions, and apparition sightings by several visitors. Also, many people who have taken artifacts from the property have reported an unexplained run of bad luck. So if you decide to visit, don’t take a souvenir—not a good idea.


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