fiction and speculation surrounding the Bell Witch legend have been in a constant
state of evolution and chaos since the early 1800s, making it difficult
to put many key elements into perspective.
to the confusion are many accounts of the legend that
purport to be the only "true" or "authentic" version, basically
implying that all other accounts are lacking.
Analyzing the many "authentic" yet oft-conflicting accounts yields more questions
than answers, and the casual Bell Witch fan is left wondering, "what
should I believe?"
someone chooses to believe is entirely up to them; however, I feel that people
should acquaint themselves with the basic facts of a situation before
chiseling their beliefs in stone; i.e., everyone has the right to an informed
collection of essays that follows is intended to provide a broader
understanding of the legend and a base from which to work when searching for
answers. Emphasis is placed on the historical aspects because the
folklore aspects (e.g., Dean being turned into a mule; Bell Witch singing to
Lucy Bell, etc.) can not be proved.
This section is
a working set of pages and always under construction. Updates
are made as time permits. Underlined essay titles are currently
The Concept of Historical
The Bell Witch of Mississippi
History of the Bell Family in
John Bell and Josiah Fort
Slaves on the Bell Farm
The Kate Batts Connection