The Bell Witch Part 1: Stories About a Story

In this episode we’re evoking spirits, and we’re telling old stories. You’ll hear about the Bell Witch, sure, but this story is not about the Bell Witch. You don’t need any more of that—it’s been done. It’s a tour, it’s a movie, it’s another movie, it’s a documentary, it’s a number of different books, it’s a number of different episodes of ghost hunter or spooky histories series. The Bell Witch has been done.

This is a story about stories.


Nashville Demystified is made possible with support by Knack Factory. It is distributed by We Own This Town.

You can find Nashville Demystified online on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Official Site: nashvilledemystified.com
Twitter: @NDemystified
Instagram: @nashvilledemystified
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@alexsteed

Subscribe to
Nashville Demystified

Or subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below

Get notified about new episodes and shows!

1 Comment

  • Excellent episode–excellent! This time of year is especially rife with misinformation and half-truths about the “Bell Witch,” and this year seems much worse. Thank you so much for setting the record straight in a number of areas. I was going to release a video along the same lines myself this year, but critical family illness and other matters haven’t made it possible–thought I still might if time comes available.

    If you are wanting to see a copy of the Vermont news article (an alleged reprint of the Saturday Evening Post article), or the book where Capt. Bell mentions hearing about the strange activities, please let me know and I can provide links. It is essentially the same storyline, except that the later (Vermont) account mentions names and adds some detail. Ingram’s book merely rearranges that story a bit, then adds tons and tons of stories involving local characters, all while employing very old, tried-and-true folklore basics (black dogs, shape shifting, etc.). Most of Ingram’s Bell Witch stories had been told by other authors long before his book was published.

    Much of his (Ingram’s) storyline and situational scenario come from a similar case in the Mid-Atlantic region that happened some years before Ingram’s book. None of the people interviewed for Ingram’s book were eyewitnesses–none–including the two women who were actually alive and living at Red River during the subject period. Even they provided hearsay testimony. I do believe something strange happened in the Bell household between 1817 and 1821, but nothing nearly as outrageous as Ingram let on. Although his stories are fun to read and tell, they’re just that–stories.

    Kate Batts was only the scapegoat, because she was eccentric and very poor (due to her husband, Frederick, having been paralyzed), which is why the community looked down on her. John Bell also had a dispute, over a property line, with Josiah Fort (brother of Bell’s pastor at Red River Baptist Church), that was ultimately decided–by the church–in Bell’s favor.

    Thanks again for a great episode!

    Sun October 31, 2021 at 10:08 pm