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The Bell Witch - The American Haunting.

PostPosted: October 11th, 2008, 8:07 pm
by Liv
Just finished watching "An American Haunting" loosely based on the Bell Witch. (Not to be confused with Bell South) I put this one in the netflix queue after recently learning about the urban legend. But is it Urban Legend? It's, according to the legend the only documented, case of super-natural phenomenon ever witnessed by enough people to say that it actually occurred. It's also said to not only have haunted the original Bell family but a subsequent family some 30 years later.

There's plenty of info online, but I'll give you the Cliff notes. Coincidentally, this story has some North Carolina connection: John Bell. John who moved to Tennessee (good going there Tex) where he and his family basically encountered the events of the modern Hollywood tale of "Poltergeist" (I'm guessing the movie was based on it.) So many people witnessed the supernatural phenomenon that even President Andrew Jackson decided to roll on by and investigate why John Bell's estate was apparently the doorway to something not from this world.

Several publications, including "The Saturday Evening Post" and other "news" style magazines of the time even documented the events in their version of news columns:
This witch was supposed to be some spiritual being having the voice and attributes of a woman. It was invisible to the eye, yet it would hold conversation and even shake hands with certain individuals. The feats it performed were wonderful and seemingly designed to annoy the family. It would take the sugar from the bowls, spill the milk, take the quilts from the beds, slap and pinch the children, and then laugh at the discomfiture of its victims. Wiki

Now the movie I just watched, "An American Haunting" is a movie loosely based on the story of the "Bell Witch". It explains away all the mystery by suggesting the father molested the daughter. The only thing that I don't get is the ending. Why does the "future" owner of The Bell Estate go running after the car yelling "David" when she sees Betsy Bell in her living room? Does this mean the dad is going to molest the girl?

Critics claim all the subsequent retellings of the "story" are nothing more then that: a story... passed down from a diary of William Belle in his "memoirs". Some suggest even "it" was a fabrication by a modern day journalist who attributed his "tale" to Bell, only to deflect his attempts at cashing in with America's infatuation with Ghost Stories.

Today there is even a historical marker for the Bell Witch near Adams, TN and the plantation of the Bells along with the Bell cave is curious roadside attraction. The house no longer stands, but at least one structure from the time does exist today on the land the Bell Witch supposedly did (or does) inhabit.

Is it another case of some one's practical joke. A fictional tale, or true proof of an actual haunting? I could care less as long as someone explains the darn ending of the movie.

Re: The Bell Witch - The American Haunting.

PostPosted: December 14th, 2008, 10:17 pm
by krenee
Yes- the ending of the movie suggests that the present day teenager is being molested by her father and the mother realizes this after reading the story, realizing her daughter has been having nightmares just like Betsy, and then seeing Betsy in the room. She puts all the pieces together and chases after the car. Note the look of distress on the kids face as they drive away in the car.
In reality there is no incest/molestation in the true legend of the Bell Witch. I guess no one can bring themselves to make a movie these days without some kind of sex in it.

Re: The Bell Witch - The American Haunting.

PostPosted: December 15th, 2008, 9:13 am
by Liv
Oh, now that's just sick...

Re: The Bell Witch - The American Haunting.

PostPosted: December 15th, 2008, 12:06 pm
by A Person
Why is that sick? The suggestion that Bell drugged and assaulted his daughter makes as least as much sense that an invisible evil force did. Especially since some mysterious organic solvent (chloroform or ether?) was found in the house.

Bear in mind this is a film about a ghost legend. You shouldn't expect too much rationality.

Re: The Bell Witch - The American Haunting.

PostPosted: December 15th, 2008, 12:55 pm
by Liv
Yeah... they just don't make Ghost films like they did back in the old days.... Back in my day we had "stay puff" marshmallow man, not daddy the molester.