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All Things Bell Witch


Check this page often for news and events pertaining to the Bell Witch legend.  The information on this page is believed to be accurate, but the site's owner assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions.  If you notice a mistake, please send a correction.


December 13, 2020 -- More Information Comes to Light in Debunking the Ingram Fabrication (Hoax) Theory

In January of 2017, The Bell Witch Site reported that an 1856 reprint of the Saturday Evening Post article had been found, and provided a link to an extensive write-up about the find and why it is important in debunking the Ingram Fabrication Theory.  The theory states that Martin Ingram, the author of 1894's "Authenticated History of the Bell Witch," made up the entire legend. It thrives on the now-false assumption that nothing had been written about the case prior to Ingram's book, except for an 1886 Tennessee historian's synopsis that was most likely penned by Ingram. The find reported in 2017 proves that something was indeed written about the Bell Witch prior to Ingram's book--at least 38 years prior. However, a small group of the fabrication theory's diehard proponents stated that Ingram likely wrote, or influenced, the old article that was reprinted 1856.

Now for the NEW development. In December of 2020, The Bell Witch Site was made aware of a digitized version of Captain John R. Bell's (no relation) journal that he penned while exploring the Rocky Mountains and heading back to Washington, D.C. in 1820, the year of John Bell's (of Bell Witch fame) death. In October of 1820, he passed through the Port Royal and Red River Settlement, where he heard about the Bell Witch from locals and wrote about it in the journal. Although much different from Ingram's story, Captain Bell's account is the proverbial "last nail" in the Ingram Fabrication Theory because it was written 12 years before Ingram was born. There was no way Ingram could have influenced it. Read more about it at Pat Fitzhugh's author site.

October, 2020 -- Bell Witch Researcher and Award-Winning Songwriter Bring Legend to Song on 200th Anniversary

NASHVILLE, Tenn., October 5, 2020 -- Pat Fitzhugh, longtime guitarist and researcher of Tennessee's Bell Witch legend for over 40 years, has joined forces with Dove Award-winning bluegrass songwriter, Mike Richards, to bring the epic tale to song. The final product, a single entitled "The Bell Witch (Let the Game Begin)," is available at major retailers now.

 As legend has it, an unseen force called "Kate," or the "Bell Witch," disturbed and tormented the John Bell family of northern middle Tennessee between 1817 and 1821. Allegedly poisoned by "Kate," John Bell died in 1820.

 Released two-hundred years after Bell's death, Fitzhugh and Richards' new collaboration embodies not only their musical synergy, but also their lifelong passion for folklore and spooky tales. That shared passion led to their meeting each other for the first time after one of Fitzhugh's lecture and book signing events.

"I have played music for most of my life, but writing a Bell Witch song never crossed my mind until I met Mike," says Fitzhugh. That was the spark. "It was collaboration at first sight," he recalls, "Mike asked if I had considered writing a song about the legend, and I was like, no, but let's make that happen."

Richards, whose grandparents lived in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky, grew up on folklore. He penned the chorus of his and Fitzhugh's new song. "John Bell had already been through his troubles, and it was obvious he wasn't going to get away; it had been a cat and mouse game the whole time, and it couldn't go any further," Richards explains, "and that's the idea behind Let the Game Begin."

In addition to Fitzhugh and Richards, the recording also features middle Tennessee native Jimmy Williams, who sings the choruses after Fitzhugh's narrations, and fiddle player Lydia Bain, a New York native who has performed at Carnegie Hall and opened for Snoop Dogg. When discussing her role in the project, Bain relates, "The Bell Witch is a moody, legendary entity that decides who it likes and who it doesn’t; people who fall out of favor usually experience some kind of torture. I'm here to put the good vibes out, so that things can go a little more smoothly."

Williams, who has won awards for musicianship and vocal performance, as well as performed at Nashville's Opryland Hotel, says of the project, "I have always been a fan of scary ghost stories, and the Bell Witch is one of the most famous. We hope people will enjoy our version of it, and that it will live on in song."

Performer Bios

Mike Richards has one Dove Award to his credit, and nominations for the honor on several other compositions. In addition to producing two Billboard-charting albums, he has written six #1 songs on various charts and numerous top-25 songs in multiple genres. He has one song of the year award to his credit, as well as multiple nominations for the honor. He has also written music for movies and TV, as well as mainstream country artists.

Lydia Bain, who has performed at Carnegie Hall and opened for Snoop Dogg, learned the violin while growing up in Brooklyn, New York. After moving to Jackson, Mississippi, she later formed and toured with her band, Wink and the Signal. Bain has shared stages with such acts as Jason Marsalis, Michael Cleveland, Sandy Genarro, and Nellie Mack. Her current project is Worldpop4life, an immersive show that brings healing entertainment to the masses by exploring music from all over the world.

Jimmy Williams is a middle Tennessee native who grew up hearing the area's legends and lore, including the infamous Bell Witch legend. Along the way, he discovered his immense vocal talent and musical ability. While in high school, he won four state band championships in a row, and later won first place at two Nashville vocal competitions. He has also performed at Nashville's Opryland Hotel.

Pat Fitzhugh has researched the Bell Witch legend for over 40 years, and has two books and hundreds of radio and TV appearances to his credit. He appeared on the DVD, An American Haunting, starring Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland, and appeared in A&E's 2015 series, Cursed. His most recent appearance was in the documentary movie, Mark of The Bell Witch, from Small Town Monsters. Having played the guitar since an early age, Fitzhugh has played and toured with bands, written and arranged music, taught guitar classes, and worked as a session musician in Nashville. Primarily a rock and blues musician, his collaboration with Mike Richards marks his first venture into the Americana musical genre.

The song is available at the following outlets and other retailers:       iTunes       Amazon       Bandcamp


January, 2017 -- Ingram Fabrication (Hoax) Theory Finally Debunked

In recent years, many have come to believe that Martin Ingram "made up" the legend of the Bell Witch, because no written mention of the legend was ever made prior to his 1894 book. Information that has recently come to light disproves this popular theory; the Bell Witch legend was alive and well long before Ingram penned his account. For more information, including pictures and links to evidence, click here.


September, 2015 -- A&E Series "Cursed: The Bell Witch" premiers October 26th @ 10 Eastern / 9 Central

Going forward, it will air on Monday nights and in the same time slot (Prime Time!) The new reality series will feature experts and others close to the legend, and promises to shed new light on one of America's most terrifying legends--The Bell Witch. The cast includes family descendants, paranormal experts, Bell Witch author/researcher Pat Fitzhugh, and others. Filming took place in multiple locations over the spring and summer of 2015.


July, 2013 -- Signed and Personalized Paperbacks Available Once Again

For the first time in two years, signed and personalized copies of "The Bell Witch: The Full Account" and "Ghostly Cries From Dixie" are being made available. For more information, and to order your signed and personalized copies today, please click here.


March, 2013 -- New Bell Witch Book (eBook/Paperback) Due in Fall 2013 - Thirteenth Anniversary Edition

To celebrate the book's thirteenth anniversary, The Bell Witch: The Full Account will be offered as an eBook for the Kindle, Nook, and iReader, beginning October 13th. But that's not all.

In addition to being offered as an eBook, the thirteenth anniversary edition will feature a major update--developments over the past 13 years--and a full rewrite of the original text. When asked about his reason for rewriting the book, author Pat Fitzhugh stated, "I am loyal to my readers, and I want to give them my best--my very best. My writing has developed and improved over the past thirteen years, and I want my readers to enjoy those improvements. Also, a rewrite allows me to flow the book into a newer, more prolific genre."

The Bell Witch: The Full Account, which reveals many previously unknown facts surrounding the infamous case, raised the bar for Bell Witch research and caused two previously published Bell Witch books to be rewritten after its publication. And, nearly every Bell Witch book, video, and article produced since "The Full Account" has drawn extensively from its research notes and appendices, sans attribution. Over its life, "The Full Account" has attracted two motion picture options and has twice appeared on the State of Tennessee's Suggested Teen Summer Reading List.

"Several theories have been put forth in recent years, and they need addressing," says author Pat Fitzhugh. "I've also learned more about the real people involved with the legend, especially one individual," Fitzhugh notes. "Their keen observations were hastily dismissed nearly 200 years ago, but when those observations are added what to we've learned over the past couple decades, we unmistakably identify a culprit with a genuine, provable motive; closure is likely on the horizon."

The Bell Witch rewrite and eBook conversion will be Fitzhugh's main focus over the coming months. The sequel to Ghostly Cries From Dixie is still planned, but its release could fall in early 2014. From Turkey Creek - A Memoir, Fitzhugh's childhood memoir, is now in final edit and should released in time for the holidays.

To keep up with the Bell Witch eBook project's progress and other news pertaining to The Bell Witch: The Full Account, please join the book's official fan page on Facebook.


October, 2010 -- Books Now On Facebook

"The Bell Witch: The Full Account" and "Ghostly Cries From Dixie" now have Facebook pages where you can learn about the interesting histories behind them.  Also, Pat Fitzhugh now has an author page where readers can keep up with book releases, excerpts, signings, and other events.  The new pages are linked, below.

The Bell Witch: The Full Account        Ghostly Cries From Dixie        Pat Fitzhugh


October, 2010 -- "Spirit" Play to be Held in Adams, Tennessee

Community Spirit, Inc. is once again presenting, "Spirit-The Authentic Story of the Bell Witch," at the Bell School pavilion in Adams, TN.  In its eighth season, the production features many local actors--including Bell family descendants.  For show dates, times, and driving directions, visit the Bell Witch Fall Festival site.


October, 2009 -- Ghostly Cries From Dixie Releases Today

October 9, 2009 marks the release of Pat Fitzhugh's long-awaited book, Ghostly Cries From Dixie. The book, which contains photographs, an appendix, a bibliography, and a comprehensive index, is a collection of ghostly and unusual tales from the American south.  Get more information and order your signed copy by clicking here.


October, 2008 -- Bell Witch Play in Middle Tennessee

Tennessee Theater Company, the same people who brought us the movie, "The Bell Witch Haunting," are putting on a Bell Witch play this year entitled, "The Bell Witch Story."  Productions will be in Nashville, Lebanon and Murfreesboro.  The play, which lasts approximately two hours,  is based on early accounts of the Bell Witch my M.V. Ingram and Charles Bailey Bell.

Bell Witch author and historian Pat Fitzhugh will be on hand Friday nights to do the opening announcements and sign copies of his book, "The Bell Witch: The Full Account."

Schedule of Performances

*  TN State Fairgrounds (Orange Building on Hill) - Nashville, TN  -- October 9-11, 16-18

*  Wilson Co. Fairgrounds (Ward Ag. Center) - Lebanon, TN October 23-25

*  Patterson Place Theatre - Murfreesboro, TN October 29-31


July, 2007 -- New Documentary Searches for the Truth

NASHVILLE, TN -- "Bell Witch: An American Haunting (In Search of the Truth)," produced by Nashville's Willing Hearts Productions, will debut soon.  Filmed on location in Tennessee and Mississippi, the documentary searches for answers to the most common questions and myths surrounding the popular legend.  In what promises to be the most informative Bell Witch documentary yet, noted researchers, John Bell descendants, and others come together to explain the details of this fascinating yet terrifying tale of terror on Tennessee's early frontier.  To keep abreast of the project, please visit their web site and join their mailing list.


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Last Update: July 03, 2024