Thursday, October 01, 2015

The Real Sickness Infecting American Society Happened Online Last Night--BEFORE the Umpqua Community College Shootings Today

Author's note: This blog post is not a pleasant post. WARNING: 18 and up only for language and disturbing imagery contained in some of the comments regarding violence and the alleged Roseberg shooter's online activities before the tragic events took place this morning. I have posted the comments as they were written, but have cleaned up the log for easier reading and removed any identifying marks from the posts--BUT ONLY IN THIS BLOG. The direct link to the conversation transcript is in this blog if you want to read it, and everything including user names and IP addresses  is intact on that webpage. 

Today, in Roseberg, Oregon, the 485th school shooting of this year took place. 

Although I could fill page after page about how the right to bear arms was never intended to protect weapons that have no practical use besides killing other human beings, that's not what I want to talk about today. I don't know the shooter's name yet, or how many of his victims died or survived. All that I do know at this moment, when the anger and revulsion is raw, is that this mass shooting just like all the others draws attention to a real epidemic in our country--a sickness, infecting our young adults, that no doctor has yet to either identify, diagnose, or treat. 

It's 4:52 here in Ohio, and almost 1 pm in Roseberg. I am writing this as the information begins to trickle out of Oregon, and I'm not going to backtrack and update as information comes in or is confirmed to me via the media. I want to write this now, without knowing the guy's name or have heard anything about some stupid-ass "manifesto" that I'm sure someone will find on his Facebook page or whatever. I want to write this while my anger and thought processes are fresh, and unimpeded by media speculation or the inevitable dreck that follows a tragedy of this magnitude, because what I have to say is hard, and harsh, and merciless. I don't want that diffused by political crap. 

At 10:38 PST the police were called to the Umpqua Community College, where a shooting rampage was ongoing. The shooter, as yet unidentified, made his way through two buildings, leaving the dead, dying, and wounded behind him. Right now, there are only a few things confirmed about the shooter--a male, 20 years of age, who engaged in a gunfight with police and was neutralized--police-speak for what was later confirmed to mean dead. 

But there's more to learn about this unnamed shooter--facts that are, unfortunately, only too easy to find. In particular, I'm talking about the online conversations the shooter conducted last night and this morning, his last post coming about ten minutes before the rampage at Umpqua began.

We have a stupid belief in the inherent good of people around us. We will paint pictures of this shooter, this mass murderer, as some poor, unhappy soul with a mental illness, who was forced into this situation by a cruel world where bullies taunted and prodded him into making this final, unplanned, desperate act. 


Political correctness needs to be thrown aside NOW, not only for the lunatic who pulled the trigger but for the scores of people online who knew LAST NIGHT this guy was going to shoot up a school, the hordes of people who knew LAST NIGHT that a massacre was going to take place, the unprincipled mass of people who witnessed LAST NIGHT a murderer's intention and never bothered to report him to the police. Because those same people waited, and this morning while the shooting was going on were CHEERING HIM ON in the same damn thread. Don't believe me? 


The alleged shooter's first comment lays it all out:

 Some of you guys are alright. Don't go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest.  happening thread will be posted tomorrow morning. so long space robots

How could anyone read that post and NOT contact authorities? You can see all over the transcript the ability for anyone reading the post to report the content to the website admins if nothing else, which would at least have led to a report to the authorities, right? Evidently this doesn't happen because the conversation continues.

     response 1:  Is beta uprising finally going down? You might want to chillax and not alert police.
response 2:  It's either you kill me or my parents do, I'll be waiting lad
response 3: I live in the northwest but I'm 28 and not even in community college.  response response 4: Seattle or Portland OP? I will be watching the news.
alleged shooter: Will post again in am, 10 min countdown. Won't say more to much to prepare.

So the shooter announces he'll start a 'happening' thread about ten minutes before he starts the killing. This is not only  chilling, but disturbingly familiar with the recent on-air murders of Alison Parker and Adam Ward in Virginia.

“I filmed the shooting, see Facebook,” former reporter Bryce Williams tweeted along with chilling footage of him killing Alison Parker and Adam Ward from Roanoke affiliate WDBJ.
The conversation continues online, and although you'd think that SOMEONE would have spoken up to challenge the alleged shooter's intentions, the exact opposite occurred as people began to cheer him on.
  •  I suggest you enter a classroom and tell people that you will take them as hostages. Make everyone get in one corner and then open fire.
  • Make sure that there is no way that someone can disarm you as it it possible. I suggest you carry a knife on your belt as last resort if someone is holding your gun.
  • alleged shooter -- Thanks. Keep me in your prayers
  • You might want to target a girls school which is safer because there are no beta males throwing themselves for their rescue. 
  •  Do not use a shotgun. I would suggest a powerful assault rifle and a pistol or 2x pistols. Possibly the type of pistols who have 15+ ammo
And if that's not enough to make your jaw drop, read on:
  • If this happens I'll smile OP, do it for that      
  • do it op the chads deserve it, also shout r9k memes while pumping lead to normies
  • will this thread be on the news? but srsly dont do it if ur srs
  • Replying to get seen in the newz   This is the only time I'll ever be in the news I'm so insignificant
  • Fuck you you are gonna make us white people look bad dont do this shitfucker
  • Bumping for news

Yes, you're reading that correctly. Not only were people advising this murderer how to best accomplish his plan, but they were so bizarrely excited at the thought that this thread would be picked up by the media that they wanted to contribute to the conversation just so they, too, could be on the news! 

        alleged shooter-I am the hacker known as 4channel.    

  •  If you are suicidal and hate people then do it. If not then stay away from what will ruin your  life.  
  • beta uprising 
  • beta uprising now  
  • /r9k/ needs a new martyr to stand alongside our hallowed Elliot

I am assuming "our hallowed Elliott" refers to Encino/Isla Vista school shooter Elliott Rodgers, who killed six and injured fourteen last year in California. 

Well said! Do it OP! Im somewhat a normie and i wouldnt be sad if i got killed by your hand.
If this kid's life is ruined due to shitposting he might aswell go through with it.
one of these days this will be real
this one could be itc 
Can i join in the beta uprising? I'm in Michigan!
You're only shooting college age students, correct? I have grandparents that live up there.
In this very clearly hypothetical situation you actually shoot people in your high school or college, try to aim for shitty people at least. Spare the kind fools, humdrum druggies, and churchies and go for he whom really terrorises the populous: Chads and Stacies who have scorned many and yourself.
You'll do the world a favour by purging part of the population that only exists to consume resources and act for themselves 
Fucking this. Chads and Staceys are priority.
alleged shooter--The true beta uprising is refusing to be girls' last options in conversation. Refusing to be a leveraging point against Stacey's boyfriend. "Oh, anon is there for me when you aren't, Chad." She'll never really get with us. PAH! Refusing Chads' tactics to perturb our own security as people. Refusing normies from affecting our self esteem. Fuck all that.
Stop letting ourselves be used when we can get away with it. We should put our value in ourselves and get pissed. We are the best thing we got. Fuck the "ideals". Stopping being na├»ve and autistic about things is our best bet. 
I bet you're too pussy to do it
But what really disturbed me the most? Happened today, after the shootings.

  • LOL
  • SHITTT!!!! He did it!
  • Links now
  • L M A O
  • hi journalists
  • top kek
  • he actually did it, what a madman, he shot her in the chest
  • wew 4chan does it again lads wew
  • Oh fuck, he did it, it's a false flag, they framed him, trust nothing!
  • OP fucking did it. Absolute madman.
  • toasting in the happening thread OP DELIVERED, REST IN PEPPERONI SWEET SPACE COWBOY
  • OP delivered I guess 
  •  ayy lmao my man
  • That score, ouch. Not even double digits on current reports. 
  • society failed him it's not his fault don't blame him he was the hero we deserved 
  • Oh shit he actually did it.
Now, let's take a look at the REAL problem all of this online activity exposes.

The 'beta uprising' is where all the kids who feel like secondhand citizens rise up against the Chads and Staceys/Ashleys--the popular kids who represent everything the betas feel like they are deprived of. The alleged shooter is just 20 years old--an age that 70 years ago was considered an adult, but in our instant gratification-entitled society a 20 year-old is still just a kid. Although online activities are monitored by governmental agencies, their priority seems to be more about protecting the money of Hollywood corporations and tracking down torrent users, not patrolling those still-murky areas of the underside of the internet--where this conversation thread took place. Although I have deleted user names and IP addresses from this blog post, on the transcript link I've posted those online identities are visible--and most likely hidden behind multiple virtual reality screens to protect the actual posters.

However, I have very little doubt that law enforcement agencies can break through those anonymous proxy servers. I know for a fact that hackers can and do. So why then is it so easy to bust someone for torrenting a movie and so hard to prevent a massacre like this one?

The sad truth is that the murky underside of the internet is pockmarked with online threads like the one I've quoted here,  with hundreds, thousands of disaffected people threatening to shoot up elementary schools, malls, movie theaters, universities. And those selfsame people are the ones who, as evidenced here, encourage those who feel the same way to go for it--to go ahead and just shoot those people you don't like/who are mean to  you/who have what you want/who seem to have it all.

But that's not what this murderer did. He didn't shoot up a sorority party or the debutante ball. He went into the science building and shot people JUST LIKE HIM--the smart kids, the unpopular kids. The betas. And what makes that even more pathetic is the fact that betas, not alphas, rule the world. Wasn't the Chads and Staceys who created the internet empires, or the new technology that we all spend billions of dollars on annually. Chad and Stacey work for the betas that, way back in high school they made fun of.

So what in the hell, then, is so horrific that it requires going into a building and shooting up as many people as you can find? And this was a community college on top of that. We aren't talking about rich kids here. We're talking about young parents struggling to make it, retirees looking for a new direction, kids who needed extra help academically or who couldn't afford a traditional four year college.

We're talking about betas.

All this shooter accomplished, aside from his own death, was the end of the dreams of many, many people who were most likely just like him--fighting for the same recognition, the same validation as he.

What a waste. What a brutal, disgusting, fucking waste.

I posted this link and online thread for a reason--and I want to make that reason absolutely fucking crystal clear. EVERY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL who participated in that online conversation with the alleged Umpqua mass murderer last night or this morning before the shooting took place IS an accomplice to that mass murder. EVERY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL who posted in support of this murderer's planned actions SHOULD BE PROSECUTED AS AN ACCESSORY TO MURDER TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW.

That, to me, is undeniable.

But more importantly--and more frighteningly--for every individual who posted in that thread, there are hundreds of people who feel the exact same way as they did--and as the shooter did. Every single one of THOSE people--posters and viewers of the thread who didn't get involved--are potential dangers to our society. Who's to know how many of them will be encouraged, somehow, by what went down today? How many of those individuals are also potential mass shooters?

And how do we find them?

I am not an advocate of any sort of federal curtailment upon the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of press, speech, congregation, etc. I'm a writer; I just cannot approve of that in any way. But, I've got to consider it a matter of pressing urgency for law enforcement to identify potential shooters at some point BEFORE they find a way to get their hands on a gun. And if that means busting a few kids who bitch online that they got a bad grade and are going to shoot their teacher in addition to identifying shooters like this guy--well, so be it. If nothing else, that'll teach these kids that making online--or any kind--of threats will result in criminal charges. Hopefully, it'll make those shady online sites more liable for the goings-on under their realms of responsibility, and if those sections of the internet are patrolled to extinction, I seriously doubt more than 5% of the general population will ever even know about it. Or care.

In the end, it's a matter of immense importance for us to find, identify, apprehend, and remove people who are a threat to the safety and lives of people who are sitting in classrooms across this country, studying so that they can become a productive member of our society. Obviously, since our politicians are so reliant upon the NRA and other lobbyists who try to convince the intelligent segment of the US that the sale and ownership of semi-automatic and automatic weapons has some use OTHER than killing other people--and I've yet to meet a deer that needed an Uzi to bring it down--the government is too cowardly and ineffective to make any progress to affect the epidemic of guns that are killing our children. But those guns are being wielded by people without scruple, conscience, or morality. If these people are sick enough to hop online and brag about killing a bunch of strangers at school the next day, then they've got to be taken off our streets BEFORE some idiot in a pawn shop sells them a goddamn gun.

Yes, I'm furious. I am outraged. I am positively fucking pissed off.

But it's not about the guns. It's about our government not doing what WE PAY THEM TO DO.  So let's just put this out there.




Because if you lock these idiots up before they start shooting, then no one's life gets ruined by tragedy. And who knows? Maybe I'll be able to sit in my house, writing on my novels...instead of worrying about my three beautiful little granddaughters and handsome little grandsons and KNOWING that to a kid with a troubled mind, any one of them would qualify as a Chad or a Stacey.


And if you need a blueprint to the identities of some of the sick fucks who empowered the disaster in Roseberg today, then grab those IP addresses off the transcript I posted and GO GET THEM.

Prayers, tonight, for Roseberg. And for all of you, my readers. I hope and pray that none of us ever have to live through a day like the one all those families in Oregon are experiencing right now. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Saturday Songs of the South 3: I Just Love Beating Their Asses-- Geoff Rockwell and the Georgia Dawgs

Not all songs of the South on autumnal Saturdays are representative of some great catharsis or emotional realization. Sometimes, these songs are just good, old-fashioned, straightforward expressions of love, loyalty, and a little bit of ass-stomping fun. Such is the song of Georgia alumni and Paul Finebaum fan and Twitter feed fanatic Geoff Rockwell, who—like me—can trace his super fandom back to a single game.

Geoff, who graduated from the University of Georgia in 1986 was an undergrad in Athens for three years. That meant he missed the glory days when Herschel Walker ran all over the competition and into the Heisman book of legends. But the game that destined him to live and die a Dawg fan pre-dated his time at UGA. That game took place on November 19, 1982 between the University of Georgia and Auburn University at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Herschel Walker was a junior, and that game is a legendary  SEC contest.

“I was planning to go to school at Georgia and my wife and I had gone to see the game,” Geoff remembered. “Larry Munson was the guy who did the radio call for Georgia then. I wasn’t a student yet, but I was soon after. Herschel Walker was in the game.”

Unless you’re a longtime SEC football fan, you might not realize that Georgia and Auburn have an incredibly storied historic rivalry. In fact, it is the oldest rivalry still played between schools in the Deep South. The first game was played in 1892, and the series record illustrates the absolute contention between the universities.

The record is 55 Auburn wins, 55 Georgia wins, and 8 ties.

Hard to get more even than that.

In the 1982 season, Georgia was vying for its third consecutive SEC championship, and as the football schedule neared its end the Auburn team was one of the last teams with a chance to ruin their so-far undefeated season.

“I do not hate Auburn University,” Geoff qualified. “I have been to Auburn many times. I work with Auburn people; know a lot of Auburn people—good people. So I don’t hate Auburn.”

Geoff paused and the grin on his face was easily heard over the phone line and four states. “I just love beating their ass. It’s just a big rivalry for me. Most Georgia people have Florida as their big rival. My big thrill is beating Auburn University. It’s kind of like a border war between our states.”

The game was close and hotly contested, but in the fourth quarter the Dawgs led 19-14 after a touchdown drive featuring 8 runs by Herschel Walker. With 2:39 left in the game, however, Auburn had returned the favor with a drive of its own. The Tigers were on the Georgia eleven-yard line, with a soon-to-be superstar of its own—young running back Bo Jackson—and four fresh downs.

“Larry Munson was one of those legendary play callers, like John Ward at Tennessee,” Geoff said, thereby earning many brownie points with me since John Ward yelling “GIVE-HIM-SIX!” is the ringtone on my phone. “He said, ‘Hunker down, you Dawgs!’ That’s what we had to do—hunker down for those four plays to win the game. That’s what made that play call so legendary.”

On first down, Jackson was brought down for a loss of two yards. On second down, the Auburn quarterback Randy Campbell was sacked. On third down and twenty-six, Campbell completed a nine-yard-pass, giving the Tigers one last chance—a fourth and fifteen. Campbell dropped back to pass, but his throw was slapped away in the end zone with :49 left on the clock. Georgia’s victory was capped by Munson yelling, “Look at the sugar falling from the sky!”—a prophecy fulfilled when Georgia went to the Sugar Bowl to play Penn State for a shot at the national championship.

“We won in the last few second of the game. That’s what made the play call from Larry Munson so great,” Geoff said. “One of those moments, you know. Beat them at Auburn. Herschel Walker was a junior. Won the Heisman and left for the USFL. He was one of the first college players to leave early for the pros left and they made a big deal out of that.”

Although Georgia didn’t win the 1982 national championship, it was the third straight year they went undefeated in conference play. Herschel Walker finished the game with 177 yards rushing, which made him the first junior to surpass 5,000 career rushing yards and basically made him a lock for the Heisman Trophy. That mid-November victory in Jordan-Hare is still remember as the seminal game in the long life of the Auburn-Georgia rivalry.

“We didn’t do so hot with Bo Jackson after that,” Geoff added. “He ran over us pretty good for a year or two.”

That one game thirty-three years ago cemented Geoff’s devotion to Georgia football, a devotion that remains unchanged to this day. “1980 was the last time we won a national championship, I hear it all the time. We have a good coach, we win ball games—but haven’t won it all since then.”

He paused for a minute, reflecting perhaps on his currently undefeated Georgia Bulldogs and the test they will face this weekend against an always tough Alabama Crimson Tide. “I don’t hate Auburn,” he repeated for the third time. “But man, I sure do love beating their asses.”

That makes total sense to me. Every good song has to have rhythm, and what better rhythm can there be than hearing eleven guys from your school knock your rivals on their backsides? The only accompaniment that might be better is the subtle sifting of sugar, as it falls from the clouds scudding over Jordan-Hare on a grey, windy November day. 

Author's note: For more about the 11/19/1982 meeting between Georgia and Auburn, check out Looking Ahead While Looking Back, Georgia Auburn 1982, the full game on YouTube, or the highlights with Larry Munson's play calls. You won't regret it--it's a fabulous piece of SEC football history!

If you have a Saturday Song of your own, drop me a line at kaantira(at) I'd love to hear it, and who knows--I may use it in a future post! See you next week with a new song to sing!

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Bell Witch--The REAL Legend, Part Two--TheExplosion of a Phenomenon--The Birth of "Kate", The Bells and How They Coped

In my last post, we talked about some general information surrounding the Bell Witch haunting--the area, the Bell family, the community, and how the paranormal events began. Now we're going to extend that a little further, and take a look at how the Bells began to cope with the notoriety once they revealed their secret first to their community, and then the world. 

But first, let's talk about Kate.

By the time Rev. Johnson encouraged the Bells to share their family secret and to invite others to witness the phenomena, the entity had already begun to torment them. As Richard Bell said in his journal, written some forty years later:

Mr. Johnson listened attentively to all of the sounds and capers, and that which appeared like someone sucking air through the teeth, and smacking of lips, indicated to him that some intelligent agency gave force to the movements, and he determined to try speaking to it, which he did, inquiring, "In the name of the Lord, what or who are you? What do you want and why are you here?" This appeared to silence the noise for considerable time, but it finally commenced again with increased vigor, pulling the cover from the beds in spite of all resistance, repeating other demonstrations, going from one room to another, [it was]becoming fearful.The persecutions of Elizabeth were increased to an extent that excited serious apprehensions. Her cheeks were frequently crimsoned as by a hard blow from an open hand, and her hair pulled until she would scream with pain. Mr. Johnson said the phenomena was beyond his comprehension; it was evidently preternatural or supernatural, of an intelligent character. He arrived at this conclusion from the fact that it ceased action when spoken to, and certainly understood language...{Our Family Trouble, Bell}

From the beginning, therefore, it was obvious that whatever this spirit was, the potential for communication was there. This is significant for a couple of reasons. First off, spiritualism as we know it didn't become widespread or popular for another twenty plus years. Kids weren't sneaking off to have seances, and the concept of spirit communication was neither commonplace or familiar. There weren't mediums who claimed to speak with the dead--that didn't become the norm until after the Fox sisters grew famous for spirit communication starting around 1848, and wasn't popular in the US until the Civil War resulted in so many deaths. The pioneers in northern Tennessee were much closer to the Salem witch trials than they were to the Ghost Adventures or  TAPS paranormal investigation groups of today. But second off, and I think this is more important to this particular story, what followed this initial assessment of Rev. Johnson and the Bells was evidently a period where the entity learned to speak. 

If you think about it, that's almost more creepy than the paranormal stories we hear today. Because the Bells, with the assistance of Rev. Johnson and their neighbors, began to encourage the entity to communicate, in a remarkably short time that spirit had figured out how to channel its energy into the creation of speech. Richard Bell continues:

By this time, the mystery had gained wide notoriety, and people came from every direction, the house being crowded every night with visitors...and neighbors persevered in their efforts to induce the witch to talk, calling on it to rap on the wall, smack its mouth, etc., and in this way the phenomena was gradually developed, proving to be an intelligent character. When asked a question in a way that it could be answered by numbers, for instance, "how many persons present? how many horses in the barn? or how many miles to a certain place?" the answers would come in raps, like a man knocking on the wall, the bureau, or the bed post with his fist, or by so many scratches on the wall like the noise of a nail or claws, and the answers were invariably correct.

Using knocks to answer questions is a technique still used by paranormal investigators today. But back then, there were no paranormal investigators. As we've already seen, the Spiritualist movement and medium-conducted seances were still several decades in the future. But even two hundred years later, there is still a cause and effect that we can identify.

As more people came and interacted with the entity more frequently, it gained more power. There's a fairly standard theory within the paranormal research community that spirits have to draw energy from somewhere in order to affect the real world--people, appliances, even the warmth of the air. That's the accepted explanation of why batteries so frequently drain at haunted locations.

But then, and most probably as the result of the increased energy from which the spirit could feed, the spirit began to talk. The first words of the entity are not recorded, but before long it was able to answer the question Who are you and what do you want?" At first, the voice which  had begun as a whisper but had now strengthened until everyone in the house could hear it easily, said,"I am a spirit; I was once very happy but have been disturbed." {Bell} But before long, the spirit had a second, more inflammatory response. When another local minister, Reverend James Gunn engaged it in a conversation and demanded to know its origins, the spirit replied:

I cannot trifle with a preacher or tell you a lie, and if you must know the truth I am nothing more nor less than old Kate Batts' witch, and am determined to haunt and torment old Jack Bell as long as he lives.

Here is where the real difference between the early 19th century and the modern day comes into play. Kate Batts was a neighbor of the Bells, and unfortunately was one of those types of people of whom nothing bad can be said but that no one really likes despite that. Married to a disabled man, Mrs. Batts had taken over the management of their farm and was extremely good at it. The Batts were well-to-do as a result of her skill, and that's the kind of success that would definitely put the backs up of the men in the area. This era was closer to the Salem witch trials than it was to today, and for the superstituous, the stupid, and the supremely sexist members of the community, hearing that 'old Kate Batts' had a witch made a lot of sense. How else to explain how a woman was able to thrive in a man's world? No doubt if the Batts were genteelly starving in their cabin, the whole populace would have appreciated Mrs. Batts for being a helpless female saddled with a worthless husband and a passel of no-good kids.

At any rate, after this pronouncement by the spirit, it became commonly referred to as Kate. And so, from this point on, so will I.

By this point, word of the witch was spreading like wildfire through the scattered communities of the region. Kate began to develop a distinct personality. One of the strangest foibles Kate had was a strong knowledge of and apparent devotion to Christianity. She enjoyed getting into scriptural debate with the ministers of the neighborhood, and could easily quote chapter and verse to back up her arguments. She also loved singing hymns, which she did to soothe Mrs. Bell when she was ill, and also at Sunday services which she attended along with the family. If the minister delivered a sermon she approved of, Kate could be heard thumping invisible hands on the wall and shouting, "Amen!"--no doubt to the serious disturbance of the entire congregation.

But Kate soon developed into one of those church ladies--the self-proclaimed moral arbiter of the community who relished tattling on wrongdoers.Ingram explains:

Kate the witch never slept, was never idle or confined to any place, but was here and there and everywhere, like the mist of night or the morning sunbeams, was everything and nothing, invisible yet present, spreading all over the neighborhood, prying into everybody's business and domestic affairs; caught on to every ludicrous thing that happened, and all of the sordid, avaricious meanness that transpired; diving t he inmost (sic) secrets of the human heart and, withal, was a great blab-mouth (sic); getting neighbors by the ears, taunting people with their sins and shortcomings, and laughing at their folly in trying to discover the identity of the mystery...

All I can really say about that is--damn. That must have really sucked. Ingram continued:

The avaricious were careful not to covet or lay hands on that which belonged to their neighbors, lest Kate might tell on them. No man allowed his right hand to do anything that the left might be ashamed of--

Yes, I laughed at that too. If Kate were here, she'd be telling on me for having a dirty mind.

--No citizen thought of locking his smokehouse or crib door, nor of staying up through the night to guard his hen roost or watermelon patch...No incident out of the regular routine of everyday transactions occurred that the witch did not know all about the affair, and would tell the circumstance to someone in less than an hour.  

Richard Bell corroborates this with specifics:

A man, whose name I will call John, put in, remarking that he did not believe there was any sin in stealing something to eat when one was reduced to hunger and could not obtain food for his labor. Instantly, the Witch perniciously inquired of John "if he ate that sheepskin." This settled John. He was dumb as an oyster, and as soon as the subject was changed he left the company and was conspicuously absent after that. The result was the revival of an old scandal, so long past that it had been forgotten, in which John was accused of stealing a sheep-skin.

This warlock was indeed a great tattler and made mischief in the community. Some people very much feared the garrulity of its loquacious meddling, and were extremely cautious, and it was this class whom the invisible delighted in torturing most.

 So at first, Kate was almost a kind of...well, a catalyst for good in the community. People were afraid to misbehave because it was quickly apparent that there was NO chance they'd get away with anything. As a result, I'd be willing to bet a lot of pettiness and even violence was averted, especially since if a person didn't really care that everyone knew his 'sins' Kate was likely to start beating the crap out of him just to make a point.

Which she did on several occasions. More on that later in this post.

At any rate, words of Kate and the goings-on at the Bell farm spread like wildfire. People started to travel hundreds of miles to try and see this phenomenon for themselves. That's no small feat. Think about it. Even now, if you want to visit the Bell farm, you have to drive to the middle of nowhere. There are no hotels in Adams, no campgrounds, no bed and breakfasts--nowadays, you'd have to stay in Nashville, Springfield, or Clarksville, which are all 15-50 miles away. Back then, of course, even a trip from Clarksville would have been a full day's journey. People just started showing up at the Bell's front doorstep, wanting to see the witch.

If that happened today, the homeowner would probably call the cops. But back then, the world was different. When these total strangers barged in on the Bell's privacy,  the Bells housed them, stabled and fed their horses, and fed the people too. He never charged anyone a dime. Apparently those "guests" rarely went away disappointed. Kate never had much of a problem showing off to the crowds.

But those strangers weren't familiar with Kate's ability to ferret things out about people that they might not want known. Richard Bell tells one story that speaks strongly about the consequences of poor behavior.

A stranger showed up at the Bell farm one night who introduced himself as Detective Williams. He told John Sr. that he'd come a long way to investigate the haunting, and because he had experience in spotting sleight of hand or other tricks thought he'd be able to expose the truth of the "witch" if they gave him the chance to try.

Father bid the gentleman a hearty welcome, telling him that he was just the man that was wanted. "Make my house your home, and make free with everything here as if your own, as long as you think proper to stay," said Father, and Mr. Williams politely accepted the invitation and hung up his hat.

For that night, and the following day, however, Kate was unusually quiet. Mr. Williams, on the other hand, was not. His favorite topic was himself, and all the amazing adventures he'd had exposing frauds and criminals. By the second night, Mr. Williams was talking even more freely, and he began to insult his hosts.

He said to a coterie of gentlemen who were discussing the witch that he was convinced that the whole thing was a family affair, an invention gotten up for a sensation to draw people and make money, and the actors were afraid to make any demonstrations while he was present, knowing his profession and business, and that he would most assuredly expose the trick. One of the gentlemen told Father what Williams had said, and it made him very indignant. He felt outraged that such a charge should be made without the evidence, by a man professing to be a gentleman, to whom he had extended every courtesy and hospitality...and in a rage he threatened to order Williams from the place immediately.

Just at this juncture, Kate spoke, "No you don't, old Jack; let him stay. I will attend to the gentleman and satisfy him that he is not so smart as he thinks."

That night, the house was packed with people. Everyone sat around the fire, waiting for the witch to speak, but she didn't say a word and there wasn't a single bit of spiritual activity anywhere in the house. Mr. Williams began to boast again that the witch wouldn't appear again as long as he stayed. Mrs. Bell brought out several straw mattresses for her guests to sleep on. So the lights were blown out, and everyone settled down to go to sleep.

But as soon as the house was quiet, Kate decided the time had come to teach the arrogant detective the lesson he so richly deserved.

Mr. Williams found himself pinioned, as it were, to the floor by some irresistible force from which he was utterly powerless to extricate himself, stout as he was, and the witch started scratching and pounding him with vengeance. He yelled out to the top of his voice calling for help and mercy. Kate held up long enough to inquire of the detective which one of the family he though had him, and then let (sic) in again, giving him an unmerciful beating while the man pleaded for (his) life. All of this occurred in less than two minutes, and before a candle could be lighted--and as soon as the light appeared, the pounding ceased but Kate did a good deal of talking--more than Mr. Williams cared to hear. The detective was badly used up and the worst scared man that ever came to our house. He sat up on a chair the balance of the night, with a burning candle by his side, subjected to the witch's tantalizing sarcasm, ridicule, and derision, questioning him as to which of the family was carrying on the devilment, how he liked the result of his investigations, how long he intended to stay, etc. As soon as day dawned, Mr. Williams ordered his horse, and could not be prevailed upon to remain until after breakfast.

And that, my friends, is why I tell you that there was absolutely no need for any Hollywood production company to add to the Bell Witch story. If a movie was ever made just about what really happened, it would be the scariest darn movie imaginable. Aside from the physical abuse Richard Bell describes, stop to consider the emotional and psychological trauma Kate inflicted on that admittedly scummy dude who imposed upon the Bells and then was slimy enough to insinuate that they were not only faking the whole thing for profit--which, considering the fact that they were housing and feeding him for free was a remarkably stupid thing to say--but also that these money-grubbing schemers were too chicken to try their fake ghost tricks while he was in the house! She beat him, yes, but two minutes of invisible ass-kicking couldn't possibly have been as traumatic as the whole, long night he spent, shaking in a circle of dim candlelight, while a disembodied voice verbally destroyed him in front of the family he'd so grossly insulted as well as the captive audience he'd spent all evening bragging about himself to.

The diabolical cleverness of all this is amplified even more by the fact that this was a plan. Remember, Kate let him stew for a day and two nights--probably affording the family the first night of good sleep they'd had in months--without doing anything to betray there was a real entity in the house. And then, when John Bell was going to throw the ingrate out, she told him not to and that she'd take care of him herself.

So when you put all this together--the spirit's ability to learn to speak, its seeming omniscience involving the community, its familiarity with Christianity, its frequent tattletelling on people, knowing if not the thoughts then the general faults of anyone in its sphere, and finally the skill with which it planned and executed punishments upon those who tried to abuse or cheat the Bell family--you come up with something so bone-chilling that it cannot be ignored. This wasn't some residual haunt, endlessly replaying an event from its life on some perpetual loop. Kate was a sentient, maturing, and intelligent being, with likes and dislikes just like us. But Kate was also a supernatural  being, possessed of some inexplicable power that even with all our technology we are completely incapable of explaining.

And any being, alive or otherwise, who could set up and execute the plan with which Kate ensnared and then punished Williams for is, in a word, dangerous. As the Bells and their neighbors were to discover, Kate was both single-minded and complex--and she always devised a way through which she would achieve her ultimate goal.

Tragically, Kate almost always got her way.

Author's note: When I quote directly from a source, I try to turn off my inner editor and leave the peculiarities of the nineteenth century grammar and spelling intact. Believe me, while I can write very long sentences, my editorial eye cringes at sentences with 200 words and 60 semicolons. It hurts. But, if I directly quote a source, I think it's important to leave the wording and even the terrifying punctuation exactly as the original writer first put it down.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Bell Witch--The REAL Legend Part One: How The Most Infamous Haunting in History Began And What Makes It Unique

All right, let's start off with a little information and a few ground rules. 

I grew up on the outskirts of Clarksville, Tennessee, about 15 miles away from the mega-metropolis of Adams. Adams is TINY. It basically consists of an old-school convenience store, a couple of churches, a railroad crossing and a turn of the century schoolhouse that was once an antique mall and now is a center of all trades. Rural does not even begin to describe that part of Robertson County, and it's that part of Tennessee where farms extend as far as the eye can see on either side of the road.

But there's something else in  Adams--a unique industry that cannot be claimed anywhere else in the world. It consists of two graveyards--one public and one hidden--a cave, a room in the schoolhouse-cum-community center, and all that aforementioned farmland. That industry was launched in 1817, on the farm of the community's most prosperous land owner, John Bell, when his family became the victims of what is arguably the best-documented paranormal event in American history. Of course, I'm talking about the Bell Witch. You already knew that because you're smart and read the title. The Bell haunting is historically significant for a couple of reasons. First, it is the only such episode ever investigated by a state government and deemed to be supernatural. And second, the Bell Witch's most famous encounter was with Old Hickory--Andrew Jackson, before he was elected President. 

As of late, though, the Bell Witch is gaining new notoriety. In fact, the reason you're reading this blog is most likely because you googled the new reality show on A&E Cursed: The Bell Witch, or saw the truly excruciatingly bad and non-researched movie An American Haunting or last year's Ghost Adventures episode where they were the first paranormal television show to investigate the Bell Witch Cave. But I have to tell you--anytime you add film cameras or Hollywood to a story, the 'reality' portrayed isn't always the reality. 

Aside from growing up in the area, I have a couple of other legend advantages. First off, I started researching the Bell Witch legend in the 1980s while I was in college. I knew the longtime owner of the farm where the Bell Witch cave is located for years--he was a farmer, my dad owned a farm store--and so I was able to learn a lot of what happened in the decades his family had been on the land. While I was attending Austin Peay State University, the famous playwright Arthur Kopit was brought in as the first artist-in-residence for the Center of the Creative Arts. While he was at APSU. Kopit wrote a play based on the legend that the theater department produced. I contributed research for that project. And finally, I have had my own paranormal experiences in and around Adams, both when I visited the owner of the Bell farm like a proper young adult (which included a couple of all-night investigations in the Bell Witch Cave) and when I visited the Bell farm like a stupid and lawbreaking young adult in the middle of the night (when I could find the hidden Bell cemetery through corn fields, woods, and even in bad weather. What? It's only a mile or so from the road...) 

Sic transit gloria... Yes. I was one of those kind of kids.

At any rate, there are my bona fides. I plan to write a multiple post blog series that will incorporate the historical facts behind the Bell Witch legend, along with anecdotes regarding paranormal activity in and around Adams from people I interviewed as well as my own paranormal experiences on what was the Bell land. So--ready to get started?

There are three primary source materials for the Bell Witch legend. First is the 1934 book "The Bell Witch of Tennessee" written by the physician and direct descendant of the Bells, Charles Bailey Bell. This source is important because it contains the memories of multiple Bell family members who had experienced the haunting. Second, and probably the more expansive source is M.V. Ingram's 1894 book "Authenticated History of the Bell Witch (and Other Stories of the World's Greatest Unexplained Phenomenon)". These book also include "Our Family Troubles", a previously unpublished journal written by Richard Williams Bell, who was the next-to-the-youngest son, being around seven when the haunting began.(Richard Bell's account was written from memory some forty years after the haunting ended, and is the only known account produced by any of the Bell family who were present during the haunting.) In my opinion, the Ingram book is the better source. His understanding of the haunting was perfectly summed up on the cover page of his book. Ingram billed the story as being about "the mysterious talking goblin that terrorized the west end of Robertson County, Tennessee, tormenting John Bell to his death."

That right there, folks, is a succinct and horrifically accurate description of what this legend entails. The entity talked--in fact, carried on full conversations with whoever happened to be present--and possessed a distinct personality and agenda. And that agenda was simple: the Bell Witch existed to torture and eventually murder the Bell patriarch, John with a secondary mission of forcing his daughter, Betsy, to not marry Joshua Gardiner, a young man with whom she 'had an understanding'.

And that's exactly what happened.

That's the simple, unvarnished truth of the matter--and that's why I'm writing this blog series. There's absolutely no need to exaggerate what occurred on the Bell farm during those years when the entity was torturing the family. In the end, what's the most important thread of this story is very straightforward--the Bell family was haunted by an entity who said from the very first utterance of words that it was there to torture and kill John Bell, Senior. So let's chuck all the BS and relate the legend, simply, as it was originally recorded by witnesses. I'll throw in anecdotal tales from my research in Adams from the 1980's, 90's, and 2000's and my own paranormal experiences. But all the speculation, the hyperbole, the 'dramatic license' crap? We'll leave that to filmmakers.

There's no witchcraft in this story. The experience of the Bell family was a haunting, plain and simple. But this haunting was so spectacular, so incredible, so infamous that for several years people from all over the world traveled to the Bell farm to witness the antics of this entity. Being simple, God-fearing folk, they didn't call the bizarre things going on a 'haunting', and I doubt they even knew what a 'poltergeist' was. They identified it as a witch, and that led to some serious ramifications for one woman who lived in the neighborhood. You know how in every neighborhood there's one woman who's so mean that no one likes her? In 1817 Adams, that neighbor's name was Kate Batts, and the 'witch' claimed to originate from her. And so the entity came to be called--and answer to--the name Kate. Therefore, I'll refer to her the same way, and use the feminine pronouns when referring to her.

I do have one hypothesis to put out there, however. Looking back 200 years, we do have to consider that Kate was a manifestation of some demonic entity. There's no way to prove that theory, unfortunately. There has not been at any time. as far as I know, any formal investigation or acknowledgement of the Bell Witch by a religious organization or representative. I think the ongoing paranormal events in Adams today really are nothing more than a haunting, and that any diabolical influence left with the original entity's well-documented departure. I have no idea who or what is haunting the cave, farm, the old Bell school, or the structures on the original Bell lands now. But if I had to make a guess, I do think the original witch was either a demon or an entity working on behalf of one. The abilities demonstrated by Kate are unmatched to this day, even by the most famous hauntings in the world like Amityville or the Enfield poltergeist, and are in my personal opinion indicative of something much stronger than a regular run of the mill ghost.

If there is such a thing.

So let's begin.

In 1804, John Bell brought his wife, Lucy, and their growing family to settle in Robertson County, Tennessee on the banks of the appropriately named Red River. The Bell family were well-to-do back in North Carolina, and so John Bell was able to carve out an extensive property in what is now the tiny bump in the road named Adams. The Bells had a large family, with two daughters--Esther and Elizabeth--and a horde of sons--John Jr., Jesse, Drewry, Benjamin, Zadok, Richard Williams, and Joel, and became one of the leading families in the region. {They also owned several slaves--which is a historical fact and an important part of the story so I'm not going to gloss that aspect over, okay? Don't blame me--I'm just the writer.}

The two oldest sons served under Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812--a fact that will become important later. The older daughter, Esther, was married and in a home of her own when the haunting began. The younger daughter, Betsy, was thirteen--an age that proponents of the poltergeist theory cite as being significant, especially as she was specifically targeted as the secondary victim of the witch's anger. But what makes the poltergeist theory suspect, in my opinion, is the fact that the inciting incident for the haunting didn't happen in the house, in Betsy's range of potential influence. That first encounter happened literally in the middle of one of John Bell's huge cornfields, in the fall of 1817, followed by a series of other outdoor sightings experienced by various other members of the Bell extended family.

John Bell was walking through the field with his gun--as any smart pioneer would do back in the untamed wilderness that made up the majority of Tennessee--when he suddenly came face-to-face with a bizarre black animal. The creature--which he finally identified (dubiously) as some kind of weird feral dog--was just sitting in the middle of a row of corn, staring at him. The silent confrontation went on for a few moments, until John finally shot at the thing and it ran off.

A few days later, his young son Drewry--we'll call him Drew--ran across a huge black bird that he originally thought was a turkey. He ran into the house for a gun to kill it, and when he came back the 'turkey' was still sitting there, watching him. As he got closer, he realized that this bird wasn't a turkey. For one thing, it was too big and for another it was completely black. As he got close enough to raise his gun, the bird flew off.

Not too long after that, Betsy was walking in the woods with the younger children, when she ran into a pretty little girl dressed in green swinging high up in the branches of an old oak tree. The little girl wouldn't acknowledge their calls, and before long she disappeared. Soon after that, Betsy encountered a strange woman near their house. She spoke to her, and the woman disappeared.

One of the Bell slaves, Dean, was married. His wife, Kate, belonged to one of the Bell's neighbors, so every night Dean went to visit his wife. After the above events, a strange black dog began to show up in the middle of the road at the exact same place every single night. It would go the rest of the way with Dean to his wife's cabin and then disappear.

To this day, there are sightings of strange animals in and around the Adams area--something I experienced for myself during the most significant paranormal encounter I ever had there.

More on that in a later post.

In the winter of 1818, the manifestations moved into the Bell house. Don't fall into the trap of thinking this was some grand Southern plantation, by the way. I've been to the sinkhole where the remnants of the Bell homestead collapsed and we are not talking about some pioneer mansion here. In fact, it was used as a corn crib not too long after the haunting ended, which should give you a pretty good idea of its size. The house was big for its time, most likely, and because the Bells were prosperous may have possessed some finishing work their neighbors couldn't afford--like glass windows, perhaps siding over the original logs or plaster on the inside walls. But that was probably it. The upstairs was divided into at least two rooms--one for the boys and one for the girls that Betsy occupied alone since the marriage of her sister--and perhaps a third bedroom space, which would have been used by guests or if it was the Bells' turn to board the schoolteacher. John and Lucy Bell slept in a room downstairs. Within a few weeks from the commencement of the haunting, every single room in the house experienced some sort of phenomena.

The haunting progressed slowly into a kind of daily torture. At first, the Bells heard scratching and rustling-- Richard Williams Bell described it as a sound like "a rat gnawing on the bedpost". The boys would light a candle so they could kill the rat, but when the candle flared to life the scratching stopped and there was no rat--or gnaw marks--to be found. The scratching noise moved to the walls, and was quickly followed by knocking then beating on the outer walls of the house. The knocking moved to the front door, as if someone was banging loudly to wake the household. But when someone went to the door, there was no one there.  As soon as whoever'd investigated went back to bed, the noise would start right back up and frequently last through most of the night.

The Bells were keeping these disturbing events quiet. At first, they thought they were being tormented by some mischief-maker in the neighborhood, but it soon became clear that no one else in the community was having these types of troubles and that the disturbances were increasing in frequency and severity. The entity was now making sounds like a person about to speak--sounds like the smacking of someone's lips, gulps, choking sounds, or someone clearing their throat. Richard reported that now blankets were being pulled from the beds, that sounds like big stones rolling down the roof overhead, chains dragging on the floor or chairs being knocked over were now keeping the family awake night after night.

And then, finally, the entity began to physically abuse people in the family. Richard wrote that he 'felt my hair beginning to twist, and then a sudden jerk, which raised me. It felt like the top of my head had been taken off.' (Our Family Trouble, Richard Williams Bell) The entity began to systematically terrorize Betsy, who as the only girl at home had the dubious distinction of a room to herself, pulling her hair, slapping her face, and pinching her. Then John Bell Sr. started to display the first symptoms of the spirit's enmity and the strange physical ailment that would eventually lead to his final illness, His tongue would abruptly stiffen--which he described as feeling like a piece of wood was stuck sideways in his mouth--and while it was like that he couldn't eat or talk.

The worsening situation in the Bell home had reached the breaking point. For around a year, the family had kept the phenomena secret, but now the nightly torture had escalated to such a level that they no longer could. They needed answers, but had no idea where to go for them. But being a pioneer family with strong roots within their church, they had an idea who might be able to help.

So, John Bell told the family minister, James Johnson, what was going on, and invited him to spend the night at he Bell farm to witness these goings-on for himself. Rev. Johnson and his wife came, and that night before everyone went to bed he held a service for the Bell family. Through dinner and the rest of the evening, the entity had been quiet--which, if you think about it, is an even more cruelly refined torture than what they'd been experiencing. 1818 is not that far removed from the witch trials in the grand scheme of things. Can you imagine what the Bells were thinking? Here they've finally confessed to their minister what they've been suffering through, and when he gets there the damn ghost doesn't do a damn thing! Imagine them sitting through an early 19th century prayer service, desperately afraid of what's tormenting them but even more afraid that it'll leave them alone that night and not do anything. I mean seriously--which option would you pray for?

But the quiet didn't last any longer than it took for the family and their guests to snuff out the lights and go to bed. The spirit began its nightly rampage, going from room to room and finally landing into the guest bedroom where Rev. and Mrs. Johnson lay, listening to all the noises. The entity jerked the blankets from the bed, shocking the good Reverend, who sat straight up in bed and demanded that the spirit "reveal itself and tell for what purpose it was there". (Ingram, Authenticated History of the Bell Witch) Subsequently, Rev. Johnson, in talking the matter over with the Bell family, became convinced that whatever was lurking in the shadows was some kind of intelligent being. After all, he pointed out, the spirit certainly understood language and when it was spoken to all other activity ceased for a moment, as if it was listening. He thought that the entity could probably talk. He encouraged the Bells to let the news of what was happening to them spread, and bring other people into their home to witness and therefore document their experiences. The Bells took his advice, and they surely didn't have a clue of what would happen to them as a result. The next few years saw the Bell household packed to the rafters, as first their neighbors and then hordes of people--wholly uninvited, unannounced, and unknown--descended upon their farm to see this spectacle for themselves. The Bells housed and fed every single guest, and it must have cost them so much, especially back in those days when every morsel of food on their table was produced through months of back-breaking labor from the entire family. They were basically running a B&B for nonpaying guests.

But there was a bigger consequence of Rev. Johnson's first visit. His belief that the spirit could communicate with them led to what is probably the most fascinating aspect of the haunting. For within a short while, the witch learned how to talk. Not whispers in a sound range above or below the auditory range that is a human's ability to hear. Not EVPs or moving a planchette or knocking once for yes, twice for no. The single-most unique element of the Bell Witch haunting is that Kate learned how to talk, to shout, to sing. She carried on long conversations with guests, she repeated two religious sermons taking place at the same time but seven miles apart word for word, she sang songs to soothe Mrs. Bell when she was ill, and sang bawdy songs at John Bell's funeral.

Let's put that into perspective. There are a lot of paranormal research groups out there, and information is more readily available on the subject now than ever before. I've spent the last couple of days chasing leads, trying to find any haunting that parallels the Bell case solely on the basis of an entity being able to converse with any and all people it chose to, in front of witnesses. I can't find a single one. Oh, sure, there's lots of documented cases where a person hears a disembodied voice once or twice. But Kate, once she began to talk, never shut up. She talked off and on, all day, every day--through Betsy's breaking of her engagement, through John Sr's death in 1820, until she departed over three YEARS after her first words. And when she returned as promised seven years later, she was talking like she'd never left at all--leaving a series of remarkable prophecies in her conversations with John Jr in 1928 that were documented by his son.

And when Kate talked, everyone could hear her. Her conversation with General Jackson occurred in the middle of the forest with scores of witnesses--and they were miles from the Bell farm when it happened. She showed up at other people's houses, at church, during community events--in short, wherever or whenever she pleased. There was no equivocation in any witness testimony either. They all, universally, corroborate the fact that Kate had vocal interactions on a daily basis as if she were, in fact, another person sitting in the room. That fact alone elevates this haunting to a level that is unmatched historically.

But all the source materials agree on one thing. After Rev. Johnson declared that the entity was some kind of intelligent supernatural being, the Bells and visitors began to encourage it to speak. Richard Bell described the process that led finally to a conversant entity:

"...visitors  persisted in urging the Witch to talk and tell what was wanted, and finally it commenced whistling when spoken to, in a low broken sound, as if trying to speak in a whistling voice, and in this way it progressed, developing until the whistling sound was changed to a weak, faltering whisper, uttering indistinct words. The voice, however, gradually gained strength in articulating, and soon the utterances became distinct in a low whisper, so as to be understood in the absence of any other noises. I do not remember the first intelligent utterance, which, however, was of no significance, but the voice soon developed sufficient strength to be distinctly heard by everyone in the room. This new development added to the sensation already created. The news spread, and people came in larger numbers, and the great anxiety concerning the mystery prompted many questions in the effort to induce the Witch to disclose its own identity and purpose..." (Our Family Trouble, Bell)

 This description is, in my opinion, overlooked by paranormal investigators. Ever since Harry Houdini was busting fraudulent mediums who hid their creative husbands behind secret panels in the wall to whisper grieving widows out of their pensions, the paranormal field hasn't given much credence to the concept of spirits verbalizing. The Bell Witch case is unique, and to my mind it begs the question--if simple American pioneers in early 19th century Tennessee can encourage an entity to learn to talk, how hard would it be for paranormal researchers to do the same now, with the advantages technologically that we have--as well as not having to worry about the neighbors using you for firewood if you succeed?

So now, the Bell Witch was talking, and nothing would ever be the same again.

Seems like a good place to end this first installment. So think about it, really consider how this supernatural event began to take shape for John Bell and his family--and next time we'll dive into some ridiculously detailed information of how the Bell household rather quickly turned into the pioneer version of a three ring circus--complete with chaos, tragedy, and the heartbreak of young love denied.

 Gentle Readers--I've linked to source materials that I encourage you to check out. If you have any questions or comments to add, please do so and I'll be happy to answer them as best I can--or point you in the right direction if I don't know the answer. The Bell Witch haunting is a huge case history, coming up on its 200 year anniversary and as long as Adams remains haunted that file will just continue to grow.