Friday, July 29, 2016

Readers' Strange Real-Life Tales


Here are a few strange real-life tales from the readers of 'Phantoms & Monsters':

Pretty in Pink

Hi Lon,

I really enjoy your blog but honestly, it scares the hell out of me sometimes. I wanted to relay a weird experience told to me a while back that I have only told to one other person...my wife. When I was with the police department in a jurisdiction near Ames, Iowa in 1988 a deputy told me about an experience he had one evening while driving down an isolated country road. The area was new to him as he was covering for another off duty officer. He told me it had just finished raining at about 6:30 pm when he drove past a cemetery on his right. About a quarter mile down the road he noticed a girl walking on the side of the road. He stopped his cruiser to offer the girl a ride to wherever she was going. She accepted his offer and sat in the back seat during the ride. The deputy remembered how pretty she looked dressed in beautiful pink prom gown. She explained she was on her way to her school prom and after about two miles down the road, asked to be let out on the dimly lit corner at an old filling station. He dropped her off then proceeded down the road to continue his tour.

It was a dark evening and he got concerned about the girl's safety so he turned around and went back to where he had dropped her off, but she was no where to be found. He passed the old abandoned filling station and continued back down the road to the cemetery and a small house located next to it. He parked his cruiser in the dirt driveway and knocked on the door. An old man answered the door and the police officer described what had happened and he had wondered if the girl possibly came to his house. The old man just smiled and said to come inside and he would explain.

It seems that the girl the deputy picked up that night, was killed on her way to her school prom back in the 1940's by a drunk driver. The old man stated that several times a year she walks down that same road trying to get to her prom. He took the deputy into the cemetery and showed him the girl's gravestone. After shaking off the shivers the deputy returned to his cruiser and began his tour again. He was driving on the same road but at the corner where the old filling station was located there was just an open field with trees. The deputy asked me to never tell anyone about this experience.

I no longer live in the area but I have been told that the pretty girl still frequents the old country road searching for a ride to the prom.

Jim C.

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Vanishing 'Man-Beast' Encounter

About three years ago, I had a strange encounter in the length of woods that borders my house. It was winter and I was on one of my routine hikes with my brother. We would periodically stop and rest, listening to the sounds of the forest. We were climbing a steep hill and having a hell of a time with it. Our march was halted when I stepped in a pothole and when I finally dragged my foot out we decided to take a breather. That's when I saw it. We were just standing there, making small talk, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a figure. I turned and saw a large, lanky creature watching us from atop a hill. The very instant my gaze fixed on it, it began to barrel down the hill at us. I tried to run or even alert my brother, but I couldn't move. I was paralyzed with fear.

I heard my brother asked "what's the matter?"...but I couldn't tell him because I didn't know. I didn't know what I was looking at. I was finally able to break my paralysis and was about to tell him what was happening and then it was gone. Just POOF! Like smoke in the wind. Needless to say I hauled ass out of there. If I was to describe the thing I would say that it was at least 6'1 with some of the longest hair I've ever seen. It had a slim build and was completely nude. It's body was pale with a large patch of hair on it's chest. I never caught sight of it's face or any reproductive parts, but I have the feeling it was male.

Every time I look back on it and try to analyze what it might have been I always come up short. I can't come up with a believable or concrete explanation. I sometimes doubt I saw anything at all. Granted this is not the first strange experience I've had in those woods. The disembodied baby's cry comes to mind.

Cody B.

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The Red Man

Being the only girl in the family, at the time, I had a bedroom all to myself. I was just a teen in junior high and was interested in witchcraft. (I guess I was watching too much 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' or something). I was spoiled with a computer and a TV in my room. Back in the day, kids having a computer in their own bedroom wasn't very common. I would go online trying to find spells that I could do, stumbled across this one website that had an Ouiji board online. I had heard stories of how the board is the devil's game. I figured since this was online it wasn't the same.

The website had a prayer or a chant that I remember I had to say to have God protect me from whatever may happen. I asked a simple question "is anyone here"...I thought..."ok now whats suppose to happen...is the mouse suppose to move around? How do I get an answer?" It just came to a point where I thought it was ridiculous and shut off my computer.

A couple of nights later, I noticed my teddy bear missing from my bed. (I've always slept with a bear because it brought comfort like someone was there with me). I bent down to go pick it up, and staring at me was a red man standing half way through my door. I looked at him and froze. He just smiled at me, not moving. I left the bear and pulled the blanket over my head and trembled...terrified that the thing would come over and just rip the blankets away from me. I was too scared to sleep so I waited until the morning, when I can see some sort of light in my bedroom.

I was eating breakfast at the table with my two younger brothers and my dad...so I told them what I saw. My dad overhears me and goes "oh dont worry, that was me". I didn't say anything because I didn't want to freak him out if he couldn't explain it, but how could it be him if I locked the door? I am the only one who has the keys to my door (like I said I was pretty spoiled, I changed the locks myself and had both the keys that came with the door knob). I lock my door every night, I hate the feeling of someone, anyone...that can just burst into my room in the middle of the night.

That house terrified me. Late at night I could hear creaks and banging noises. I'm now 26 and no longer live in that house. I truly can't explain what I saw. My eyes don't play tricks on me, when I'm up...I'm up, even if its going to the washroom at 2 am or even 5 am.

I've told this story to my friends and co-workers but they laugh at me like I'm messing around. It's gotten to the point where, I'd rather not say anything at all because they are non-believers.

V

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Ghost at 30,000 Feet

I would ask my colleagues if they had a ghostly experience or anything related to it. This is one of my favorites...

Chona, a senior flight attendant at that time, was standing by her door in first class. The steward and the other flight attendant had gone on their first shift of their crew rest. The purser decided to turn off the video in the main screen because there was only one passenger and he requested not to be disturbed...he wasn't interested in the movie. The aircraft was a 747-200 series and we had 18 seats in first class.

The cabin was dark and Chona was enjoying her alone time staring at the darkened cabin when someone stood up from the front row. A steward! But...no one asked if they could sleep in front. So she waited as the steward turned and walked away from his seat...and through the fuselage into open air at 30,000 feet!

Without thinking, she ran towards business class to look for real humans. They never found out who the steward was and they left it at that.

Dawn

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Flying Jelly Fish

Hello, my name is Jordan and this is my story of a close encounter when I was about 17.

It was a Friday night in Phoenix, Arizona...believe it or not it was raining heavily and the clouds were very low. Me and 4 other people were at a friends house watching a movie trying to kill time. My friend Daniel and I were getting hungry so we had both decided to walk to the gas station and get some snacks. I walked outside and the clouds were extremely low. I have never seen them like this before...they were just above the street lights to give you an idea. As Daniel walked outside he exclaimed, "What the hell is that!?". He pointed to the house right across the street and it looked like there was something on the roof. As I got a better look at the object it looked like a balloon floating in the wind right above the house. But as I stood there looking at it, it stopped in mid air just floating there almost as if it were staring at us. That's when I knew this was no balloon, because balloons cant just stop and hover.

We approached it and I got a better look at it. It looked like a robotic jelly fish, if that makes any sense at all. It had a blinking red light on it. There were various things hanging down, what looked like tentacles. It was probably a little bigger than a basketball. Daniel grabbed a few rocks and threw them at the "balloon"...that's when the object zipped behind a tree faster than anything I have ever seen. I was extremely frightened as was Daniel when we realized that what we were dealing with was intelligent.

We both took off running down the street, I was looking behind me with every chance I got and I could see the blinking red light behind the tree. The thing was watching us...I knew there was something operating it. My friend, whose house we were at, had also seen the same thing but was in denial that it was a UFO. This experience changed my life forever. You hear of big UFO sightings but I have never even heard of a sighting like mine. I was so close to it, it was amazing. After much thought (many years) I believe that it was a probe used for surveillance. I have never seen anything like that again, until I looked up flying humanoids in Phoenix, AZ. I believe that they are kind of similar but not completely. I would love to have a reasonable explanation for this event in my life!

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead

The Real Story Behind the Exorcist: A Study of the Haunted Boy and Other True-Life Horror Legends from Around the Nation's Capital

Real hauntings: America's true ghost stories

Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places


'Dark Being' Encounters

I've listed a few 'dark being' encounters from readers and colleagues:

I have never tried to contact someone before about this, but here it goes. It's not a traditional "alien" story, but I am interested in seeing if anyone else has seen what I did. When I was 7 or 8 years old, I lived on Oahu in Hawaii, in the Salt Lake City area, which is located next to the base on that island.

We lived in a very populated area in a 12 level apartment building. It was a two bedroom - my parents room was on the other side of the apartment. One night I had a bad dream and got up in the middle of the night to sleep in my parent's bed.

Only my dad was there - I don't remember where my mother was. At some point in the earlier morning hours I had to go to the bathroom. I wasn't scared - I was just sleepy. The bathroom was adjoined to the bedroom. As I walked out of the bathroom toward the bed, something in the corner of my eye caught my attention and I looked up and saw a figure in a dark cloak walking past the doorway.

It saw me at the same time. We both were startled, and just stared at each other for a moment. I was scared out of my mind. I couldn't move or scream. One thing that was impressed on me was how little it was. It was my height.

It was wearing a dark cloak that covered its head and was clasped at the neck. Inside the cloak was pitch-black (so much that it seemed unnatural), and two large oval slanted (typical) RED glowing eyes was all I could see.

We stared at each other for a moment, then it jumped out of view. I had no idea what I saw nor what to do - I was completely freaked out and my dad was lying there asleep. So I did what most children do when they are scared - I laid down on the bed, and pulled the covers over my head.

It seemed like I might be imagining it as it happened, but I felt someone pushing down on the bed in a circle around me, and then last pushing on my pillow. I remembered everything very clearly, but didn't tell anyone for a very long time.

It never crossed my mind that it was an alien until much later. I thought it was some kind of demon. There are a lot of stories about evil little people in Hawaii, and I figured that was what I saw. But I met a lady who heard my story and told me about the greys, and the fact that I surprised and shocked it is what I can't get over. She said that it was probably expecting me to still be in my bed and that it was there for my father.

**********

Location: Saranac, Michigan
Date: November 27, 2007
Time: Late evening

The witness and her husband were sitting in their living room watching TV when they heard a gunshot next door and then a second. Her husband got dressed and headed over to his neighbor Bob’s house to see if was the bear that they had been seeing lately.

When he got there the neighbor was “freaked out” and explained what he saw. Bob’s wife Grace had taken their two dogs out one last time before bed and their oldest dog ran toward the woods like always, but stopped dead in his tracks and cowered. Grace yelled for Bob and he ran outside with his 30-30 rifle, thinking it was the bear again. He walked up to his dog and spotted movement from the corner of his eye.

He looked up and saw a dark figure walk across his path into the woods. It was standing upright like a human and was about 6’7”, just outside the right of light from his flood light, and Bob though it was a hunter that had been in the area lately. So he yelled at it, saying something like “Hey, who are you?” The figure then walked back across the path on all fours like an animal...and it had red eyes.

Bob was transfixed with the eyes; they glowed like the end of a cigarette. He raised his gun and put the sights of the scope on its chest, dead center mass, and noticed it had no fur. He shot once and hit it square in the chest. It didn’t even flinch. He then re-racked the gun, but it misfired. The gun had never done that before, so he racked out the bullet and racked in a new one. It misfired yet again. He looked at the bullet and it didn’t even have a dent from the firing pin. He re-loaded the bullet and looked up. The figure was standing upright again, but farther back in the woods. He aimed and fired and hit it again in the chest. It didn’t flinch again. It just walked off like nothing happened. Bob fired one last time, but missed. They found no tracks or any blood anywhere where Bob had seen the figure.

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Puerto de Alisas, Spain - April 4, 1991 - late night

Jose Saiz was traveling alone on an isolated road and as he was rounding a curve he saw what he thought at first to be a sheet floating in the air on the side of the road. It now floated on the center of the road and the witness slowed down and turned on the high beams. Suddenly he was stunned to realize that it was not a "sheet" but a man-like figure. It was moving towards the witness, moving its arms very slowly as if it were swimming. Little by little it moved off to the right and feet first, descended to the ground.

The now terrified witness could see that it was a tall man wearing something resembling a dark flowing tunic. It moved in strange leaps and bounds as the witness noticed that it had a very pale face with a pointed chin. As the witness drove by the figure he looked more closely and was able to see more details. It had a long bony pale face, somewhat resembling that of a corpse. Its whole face and body appeared to be illuminated by a dim glow, bluish reddish in color. It had long straight hair almost white in color and was shoulder length. Its hands and feet were long, bony and strong looking. He was apparently barefooted. The humanoid was easily over 2 meters in height and wore something on his forehead resembling a diadem or tiara. The humanoid facial expression was that of extreme resigned sadness and fear. This scared the witness who as he drove by the figure saw it bend down in an almost mechanical fashion. The witness attempted to accelerate the car but it had inexplicably lost power. The vehicle suddenly accelerated and the witness left the bizarre being behind. The witness had the impression that he humanoid remained on the road as if waiting for something or someone.

Source: Iker Jimenez

Rosemary Ellen Guiley's Guide to the Dark Side of the Paranormal

Dark Woods: Cults, Crime, and the Paranormal in the Freetown State Forest, Massachusetts

Dark Intrusions: An Investigation into the Paranormal Nature of Sleep Paralysis Experiences


Poltergeist Communication


Several years ago, a reader asked me about poltergeists and if these entities had the ability to use audible communication. There were a few modern reports, but I wasn't sure if these were exaggerations produced by the witnesses. So I decided to look over some of the prominent historical cases and post a few that exhibit authenticity even though the commentary may be a bit folksy. I offer my opinion at the end of the post:

John Arnason, in his Icelandic Legends gives an account of "The Devil at Hjalta-stad" as written by the Sheriff Hans Wium in a letter to Bishop Haldorr Brynjolfsson in the autumn of 1750.

"The sheriff writes: “The Devil at Hjalta-stad was outspoken enough this past winter, although no one saw him. I, along with others, had the dishonour to hear him talking for nearly two days, during which he addressed myself and the minister, Sir Grim, with words the like of which ‘eye hath not seen nor ear heard.’ As soon as we reached the front of the house there was heard in the door an iron voice saying: ‘So Hans from Eyrar is come now, and wishes to talk with me, the ------ idiot.’ Compared with other names that he gave me this might be considered as flattering. When I inquired who it was that addressed me with such words, he answered in a fierce voice, ‘I was called Lucifer at first, but now I am called Devil and Enemy.’ He threw at us both stones and pieces of wood, as well as other things, and broke two windows in the minister’s room. He spoke so close to us that he seemed to be just at our side. There was an old woman there of the name of Opia, whom he called his wife, and a ‘heavenly blessed soul,’ and asked Sir Grim to marry them, with various remarks of this kind, which I will not recount."

“I have little liking to write about his ongoings, which were all disgraceful and shameful, in accordance with the nature of the actor. He repeated the ‘Pater Noster’ three times, answered questions from the Catechism and the Bible, said that the devils held service in hell, and told what texts and psalms they had for various occasions. He asked us to give him some of the food we had, and a drink of tea, etc. I asked the fellow whether God was good. He said, ‘Yes.’ Whether he was truthful. He answered, ‘Not one of his words can be doubted.’ Sir Grim asked him whether the devil was good-looking. He answered: ‘He is far better-looking than you, you ------ ugly snout!’ I asked him whether the devils agreed well with each other. He answered in a kind of sobbing voice: ‘It is painful to know that they never have peace.’ I bade him say something to me in German, and said to him Lass uns Teusc redre (sic), but he answered as if he had misunderstood me."

“When we went to bed in the evening he shouted fiercely in the middle of the floor, ‘On this night I shall snatch you off to hell, and you shall not rise up out of bed as you lay down.’ During the evening he wished the minister’s wife good-night. The minister and I continued to talk with him during the night; among other things we asked him what kind of weather it was outside. He answered: ‘It is cold, with a north wind.’ We asked if he was cold. He answered: ‘I think I am both hot and cold.’ I asked him loud he could shout. He said, ‘So loud that the roof would go off the house, and you all would fall into a dead faint.’ I told him to try it. He answered: ‘Do you think I am come to amuse you, you ------ idiot?’ I asked him to show us a little specimen. He said he would do so, and gave three shouts, the last of which was so fearful that I have never heard anything worse, and doubt whether I ever shall. Towards daybreak, after he had parted from us with the usual compliments, we fell asleep."

“Next morning he came in again, and began to waken up people; he named each one by name, not forgetting to add some nickname, and asking whether so-and-so was awake. When he saw they were all awake, he said he was going to play with the door now, and with that he threw the door off its hinges with a sudden jerk, and sent it far in upon the floor. The strangest thing was that when he threw anything it went down at once, and then went back to its place again, so it was evident that he either went inside it or moved about with it."

“The previous evening he challenged me twice to come out into the darkness to him, and this is an angry voice, saying that he would tear me limb from limb. I went out and told him to come on, but nothing happened. When I went back to my place and asked him why he had not fulfilled his promise, he said, ‘I had no orders for it from my master.’ He asked us whether we had ever heard the like before, and when we said ‘Yes,’ he answered, ‘That is not true: the like has never been heard at any time.’ He had sung ‘The memory of Jesus’ after I arrived there, and talked frequently while the word of God was being read. He said that he did not mind this, but that he did not like the ‘Cross-school Psalms,’ and said it must have been a great idiot who composed them. This enemy came like a devil, departed as such, and behaved himself as such while he was present, nor would it befit any one but the devil to declare all that he said. At the same time it must be added that I am not quite convinced that it was a spirit, but my opinions on this I cannot give here for lack of time.”

In another literary work where the sheriff's letter is given with some variations and additions, an attempt is made to explain the story. The phenomena were said to have been caused by a young man who had learned ventriloquism abroad. Even if this art could have been practiced so successfully as to puzzle the sheriff and others, it could hardly have taken the door off its hinges and thrown it into the room.

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Donald Ban and the Bocan - Scotland: An 18th Century ‘Talking Poltergeist’ Case

A similar account titled "Donald Ban and the Bocan” by W. A. Craigie, M.A. was added to "Folk-Lore: A Quarterly Review of Myth, Tradition, Institution & Custom Being The Transactions of the Folk-Lore Society and Incorporating The Archaeological Review and The Folk-Lore Journal" in 1895 and later published in The Book of Dreams and Ghosts:

"It is fully a hundred years since there died in Lochaber a man named Donald Ban, sometimes called “the son of Angus,” but more frequently known as Donald Ban of the Bocan. This surname was derived from the troubles caused to him by a bocan—a goblin—many of whose doings are preserved in tradition."

"Donald drew his origin from the honourable house of Keppoch, and was the last of the hunters of Macvic-Ronald. His home was at Mounessee, and later at Inverlaire in Glenspean, and his wife belonged to the MacGregors of Rannoch. He went out with the Prince, and was present at the battle of Culloden. He fled from the field, and took refuge in a mountain shieling, having two guns with him, but only one of them was loaded. A company of soldiers came upon him there, and although Donald escaped by a back window, taking the empty gun with him by mistake, he was wounded in the leg by a shot from his pursuers. The soldiers took him then, and conveyed him to Inverness, where he was thrown into prison to await his trial. While he was in prison he had a dream; he saw himself sitting and drinking with Alastair MacCholla, and Donald MacRonald Vor. The latter was the man of whom it was said that he had two hearts; he was taken prisoner at Falkirk and executed at Carlisle. Donald was more fortunate than his friend, and was finally set free."

"It was after this that the bocan began to trouble him; and although Donald never revealed to any man the secret of who the bocan was (if indeed he knew it himself), yet there were some who professed to know that it was a “gillie” of Donald’s who was killed at Culloden. Their reason for believing this was that on one occasion the man in question had given away more to a poor neighbour than Donald was pleased to spare. Donald found fault with him, and in the quarrel that followed the man said, “I will be avenged for this, alive or dead.”

"It was on the hill that Donald first met with the bocan, but he soon came to closer quarters, and haunted the house in a most annoying fashion. He injured the members of the household, and destroyed all the food, being especially given to dirtying the butter (a thing quite superfluous, according to Captain Burt’s description of Highland butter). On one occasion a certain Ronald of Aberardair was a guest in Donald’s house, and Donald’s wife said, “Though I put butter on the table for you to-night, it will just be dirtied.” “I will go with you to the butter-keg,” said Ronald, “with my dirk in my hand, and hold my bonnet over the keg, and he will not dirty it this night.” So the two went together to fetch the butter, but it was dirtied just as usual."

"Things were worse during the night and they could get no sleep for the stones and clods that came flying about the house. “The bocan was throwing things out of the walls, and they would hear them rattling at the head of Donald’s bed.” The minister came (Mr. John Mor MacDougall was his name) and slept a night or two in the house, but the bocan kept away so long as he was there. Another visitor, Angus MacAlister Ban, whose grandson told the tale, had more experience of the bocan’s reality. “Something seized his two big toes, and he could not get free any more than if he had been caught by the smith’s tongs. It was the bocan, but he did nothing more to him.” Some of the clergy, too, as well as laymen of every rank, were witnesses to the pranks which the spirit carried on, but not even Donald himself ever saw him in any shape whatever. So famous did the affair become that Donald was nearly ruined by entertaining all the curious strangers who came to see the facts for themselves."

"In the end Donald resolved to change his abode, to see whether he could in that way escape from the visitations. He took all his possessions with him except a harrow, which was left beside the wall of the house, but before the party had gone far on the road the harrow was seen coming after them. “Stop, stop,” said Donald; “if the harrow is coming after us, we may just as well go back again.” The mystery of the harrow is not explained, but Donald did return to his home, and made no further attempt to escape from his troubles in this way."

"If the bocan had a spite at Donald, he was still worse disposed towards his wife, the MacGregor woman. On the night on which he last made his presence felt, he went on the roof of the house and cried, “Are you asleep, Donald Ban?” “Not just now,” said Donald. “Put out that long grey tether, the MacGregor wife,” said he. “I don’t think I’ll do that to-night,” said Donald. “Come out yourself, then,” said the bocan, “and leave your bonnet.” The good-wife, thinking that the bocan was outside and would not hear her, whispered in Donald’s ear as he was rising, “Won’t you ask him when the Prince will come?” The words, however, were hardly out of her mouth when the bocan answered her with, “Didn’t you get enough of him before, you grey tether?”

"Another account says that at this last visit of the bocan, he was saying that various other spirits were along with him. Donald’s wife said to her husband: “I should think that if they were along with him they would speak to us”; but the bocan answered, “They are no more able to speak than the sole of your foot.” He then summoned Donald outside as above. “I will come,” said Donald, “and thanks be to the Good Being that you have asked me.” Donald was taking his dirk with him as he went out, but the bocan said, “leave your dirk inside, Donald, and your knife as well.”

"Donald then went outside, and the bocan led him on through rivers and a birch-wood for about three miles, till they came to the river Fert. There the bocan pointed out to Donald a hole in which he had hidden some plough-irons while he was alive. Donald proceeded to take them out, and while doing so the two eyes of the bocan were causing him greater fear than anything else he ever heard or saw. When he had got the irons out of the hole, they went back to Mounessie together, and parted that night at the house of Donald Ban."

"The bocan was not the only inhabitant of the spirit-world that Donald Ban encountered during his lifetime. A cousin of his mother was said to have been carried off by the fairies, and one night Donald saw him among them, dancing away with all his might. Donald was also out hunting in the year of the great snow, and at nightfall he saw a man mounted on the back of a deer ascending a great rock. He heard the man saying, “Home, Donald Ban,” and fortunately he took the advice, for that night there fell eleven feet of snow in the very spot where he had intended to stay."

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The Bell Witch: An American Haunting

Tennessee is home to one of the most disturbing ghost stories of all time: The Bell Witch: An American Haunting which was one of the earliest American versions of a talking poltergeist. As with all traditional American folk stories there is modification and exploitation in the media. There are several books about the witch, but many Americans heard the story for the first time in the film An American Haunting, which was released several years ago and based on actual events. After reading the some of the original accounts of the haunting, I was surprised on how accurate and detailed the production was.

The Bell Witch is a story about John and Elizabeth Bell and their children, who lived in Adams in Robertson County in the early 1800s. Some of the original commentary from one of the children follows:

"Kate Bates was a member of our small community. One day, she and my father argued over a business deal. Over time, she became more and more displeased with my father, and legend has it that she cast a spell over my family, cursing us to be haunted for life.

"From then on, our family was visited by an apparition or ghost. She wasn't a friendly ghost, so we referred to her as a witch. She became known as the Bell Witch.

"At first, the Bell Witch couldn't speak, and she communicated in soft, whistlelike sounds. Gradually, her voice developed, and she felt free to communicate with us verbally. In the meantime, she was torturing our family. At night, my sister and I would lay in bed gripping our covers tightly because she would be pulling them off from the end of our bed.

"Occasionally, she would hit us or scratch us, and she wouldn't stop even when we cried. She teased and tormented everyone in my family except for my younger brother, John Bell Jr. She liked John and would protect him from harm and would harm those who were cruel to him.

"Eventually, the Bell Witch killed my father by poisoning him. She put black, poisonous liquid in his food. The curse of the Bell Witch continued for years, so my brothers, sisters and I were forced to leave home. Our friends and neighbors would often come and stay in our home to experience the haunting for themselves. We even had visitors from other cities who traveled to Adams just to see or hear the Bell Witch. My parents would feed and house our visitors, hoping that the visitors would experience the haunting, too.

"The people living in Adams were so tired of the Bell Witch and her trickery that they excommunicated her from the town and ordered her to live in a cave on the outside of the city, where she still lives today.

"If you are brave enough, you can go to Adams, Tenn., and visit the cave where the Bell Witch was sent to live. However, I want you to be very careful!

The Missing Headstone

The latest chapter of Middle Tennessee's famed Bell Witch story could be titled "The Tale of the Homesick Headstone."

It begins in 1860, when the 22-year-old great-granddaughter of John Bell died and was buried in the family cemetery, her rest undisturbed until the headstone disappeared about a century later.

It ends earlier this month, when the missing marker turned up in Nashville, upside down and broken in two.

"The stone was found in Madison," said Tim Henson, a local historian and curator of the Adams Museum in the Robertson County town. "It was used as a stepping stone in someone's yard for at least 41 years."

Now the marker is in its rightful place. Getting it there had its spooky moments, which seems fitting for a member of the family at the center of one of the South's most celebrated ghost stories.

In 1817, an angry spirit took up residence on the Bell farm in Adams, about an hour's drive northwest of Nashville. Some people identified her as Kate Batts, an eccentric woman who believed John Bell had cheated her in a land deal.

She tormented the family, slapping, pinching and pulling the children's hair. She sang hymns, preached and plagued their father, who fell into recurring bouts of illness until he died in December 1820, a terrible smell on his lips and a mysterious bottle of black liquid nearby.

The tale has been the subject of books and movies, including An American Haunting (2006). And townspeople and tourists say Kate still haunts today, throwing salad spoons and blue balls in the air.

The supernatural Bell mystique may extend to the headstone of Mary Allen Bell Coke, if the story its finder tells is any indication.

The marker had made its way to a trash bin in Madison, where a homeowner found it years ago and added it to the lawn.

"A contractor from Springfield, working on that house, brought it home," Henson said. The contractor, Janie Hudgens, was intrigued and went online to research the dead woman. That led to funeral director and Bell descendant Bob Bell in Springfield, who called Henson.

Hudgens said that after she and husband Sparky found the stone, she made it her mission to find out where it came from.

"I'm from Alabama, and we respect the dead there," Hudgens said.

"When we found the headstone, that bothered me. For three nights straight, I was on the computer till 3 or 4 in the morning looking for where the tombstone belonged."

The night before they were to give Henson the marker, they were in bed with the room dark when the screen came to life, static crossing its screen. Not long after she turned it off, "it came on again, and it was on the page about the Bell family."

Then there was the wind, which she said "blew the deadbolt-locked door open."

As she told Henson, "I think this stone wants to get home."

Henson recently took it to the cemetery and placed it on the grave, but that was just for a brief visit. It'll remain in storage until it can be safely and securely displayed.

"We just want to place it back in the Bell cemetery that it belongs in," he said. "We know within a foot or two where it's supposed to go. We want to put it back so that it can't be taken away again." - tennessean.com

Sources:
Icelandic Legends
stavacademy.co.uk
The Book of Dreams and Ghosts
wikio.com
munseys.com
Craigie, W.A. - "Folk-Lore: A Quarterly Review of Myth, Tradition, Institution, & Custom Being The Transactions of the Folk-Lore Society and Incorporating The Archaeological Review and The Folk-Lore Journal," Vol. VI.—1895
tennessean.com
The Bell Witch: An American Haunting


NOTE: These cases, in particular 'The Bell Witch' incident, were manifestations of self-created entities. The vast majority of poltergeist hauntings are actually an unconscious genesis by a living human. These entities do not 'talk'...though communication through writing and physical will have been well documented. For example, the movie Poltergeist depicted, for the most part, a severe haunting. The entity was not created by anyone in the family...but gained energy through the family's fear and anxiety. It was a very entertaining film, but most of it was simply conjecture. The San Pedro Poltergeist - Jackie Hernandez and the 'The Entity' Investigation - Culver City, CA - 1974 are good modern examples of poltergeist hauntings. The infamous Enfield Poltergeist case was most likely a possession where the victim somehow channeled an actual spiritual entity. Unfortunately, many Georgian and Victorian writers used 'poltergeist' as an incorrect descriptor for most hauntings...Lon