Ghost Adventures The Bell Witch Cave
Ghost Adventures: Season 10, Episode 5 -
Zak Bagins, Aaron Goodwin, and the rest of the Ghost Adventures crew head to Adams, Tennessee to investigate the Bell Witch Cave, home to an entity so powerful, it is said to have killed someone.
History of Paranormal Activity Near Adams Tennessee & The Bell Witch Cave
After loading up their gear to head to the backwoods of Tennesee, the Ghost Adventures team meet up with Walter Kirby, the owner of the property on which the infamous Bell Witch Cave resides. According to Walter, the farm he now owns was once home to the Bell family, who famously experienced a haunting between 1817-1820, more than 200 years ago. The story of the haunting is widely considered one of America’s most well known and well documented, and has been chronicled by countless writers over the centuries.
The first written account of paranormal activity at the Bell farm was written on June 6th, 1819 by a man passing through the area. After stopping for the night to rest at the Bell farm, the man wrote in a letter that the family sat together in wait of a dangerous witch, reading their bibles in an attempt to ward off the demon. In other accounts, the family reported seeing strange animals around their property, like dogs with rabbit heads, which would arrive before the witch appeared to them. Later, the family experienced loud knocking noises, which seemed to have no source, no matter how often they investigated.
The youngest son, Richard Bell, kept a detailed diary of the hauntings, which included accounts of the entity eventually coming into the family home. According to Richard’s diary, the so-called Bell Witch took a special interest in the youngest daughter of the family, Betsy Bell, frequently entering her room to hit, slap, pinch, and pull at her. To protect the family and Betsy William Porter - John Bell’s son in law - attempted to catch and kill the witch, wrapping a shadowy figure in a blanket and trying to throw it in the fire.
William Porter III - the heroic man’s direct descendant, who still resides near Adams, Tennessee, was reportedly told that the attempt had failed because the witch had become unbearably heavy the closer he got to the fire.
Although Betsy became the frequent target of the Bell Witch’s rage, it would be the patriarch of the family, John Bell, who would suffer the worst. On December 20th, 1820 John Bell was found dead in bed by the family. Beside him was a vial containing a mysterious substance, and as the family examined it, they heard the voice of the Bell Witch say: “I gave ol’ Jack a big dose of that last night, which fixed ‘em.”
Some residents of the area believe that the Bell Farm and Bell Witch Cave, which exists on the northern end of the property, was built upon an ancient Native American burial ground, and that angry spirits had retaliated against the family for disturbing the remains. One of the Bell children, allegedly, had dug into the burial ground, discovering a human skull which they eagerly brought home to show the family. One of the teeth came loose from the skull and slipped between the cracks of the floorboards where it couldn’t be retrieved, cementing the spirit’s attachment to the home and family.
Though this could explain the specific haunting of the Bells, other visitors to the cave - even some recently - have experienced strange phenomena, or become gravely ill after removing rocks or pebbles from the natural cavern. According to the current owner of the property, they frequently receive rocks in the mail with requests for them to return them to the cave, often including some warning that they, a family member, or a friend had been injured or gotten extremely sick.
Walking Through the Bell Witch Cave
The Ghost Adventures crew were the first paranormal investigative show to be granted access to the Bell Witch Cave, which is widely considered to be the home of the infamous Bell Witch, who may have killed a man 200 years ago.
In their initial walk-through of the cave, Zak spoke with Kris Kirby, another owner of the property. Formerly a skeptic, Kris was made a believer in the paranormal by the Bell Witch Cave, where she says she once saw the spirit of a little boy. As she watched, the boy stepped forward and into a portal, disappearing and leaving Kris in shock.
Evidence of burial sites and civilization within the cave and surrounding areas could indicate that the cave is indeed a sacred place, and could have once been used as a spiritual pathway for Indigenous peoples. If one of the Bell children did indeed disturb such an important place, it could explain the severe repercussions. The child in question was likely Drury Bell, whose home still stands in Adams, Tenessee. The crew took the time to visit the home, which you can see by watching the full episode.
Late in the evening, with the sun fully set and the sky dark, the crew set out for the Bell Witch Cave to try to make contact with the infamous Bell Witch. Zak explained that the crew had brought along a ‘trigger object’, which might elicit a response from the entity. In this case, the trigger object was a person, William Porter III, the direct descendant of William Porter, the man who is said to have attempted to kill the Bell Witch.
Before the team even entered the cave, one of the camera and mic stands they had set up before beginning the investigation caught a strange, echoing voice. After analysis of the sound, the voice seems to be saying ‘listen to me.’
Startled, but excited, the team started the investigation by sending William Porter into the cave on his own. The plan was to emit a very low infrasound, which might be able to tap into the frequency of the spiritual world hidden within the rock of the cave. As the team played the sound, lights began to appear in the cave, seemingly responding to the vibrations of the infrasound. Next, William - equipped with a camera and hardhat - entered the cave.
Deep in the cave, William asked for the spirit in the cave to take his hand. In response, a rock falls - or is thrown - deep within the cave. The more William spoke, the more rocks began to fall and at a rapid rate, until suddenly, William’s audio picks up a strange grunting sound, which happens in sync with responses from some of the crew’s equipment. Could William be conjuring the Bell Witch in the form of one of the strange animals seen by the Bells?
Next, Billy, a member of the crew headed into the cave and discovered that some of their equipment was flashing frantically to indicate the presence of a strong energy field. As the crew began asking questions, their equipment began to flash in response. Having spent quite some time in the cave, the whole crew began to feel the physical effects of the extreme electromagnetic fields.
Wanting to try to further connect to the spirits within the cave, Aaron began to put himself into a meditative state. As the rest of the crew filmed him with thermal technology, a cold, blue mass began to form around Aaron’s body, and what looked like a head with two horns seemed to appear behind him. Immediately upon leaving the meditative state, the strange blue beam disappeared.
Suddenly, Billy began to experience severe back pain and suddenly became emotional at the thought of the desecrated burial site they may have been standing in. Distraught, Billy quickly exited the cave, followed by the others who were also experiencing similar levels of emotional distress.
After an hour or so of recovering, the crew decided to split up. Zak and Aaron locked themselves into the Bell Witch Cave, intent on making contact with the Bell Witch. As the pair traveled into the cave, the openings became narrower and more difficult to navigate. Not having encountered anything, Zak and Aaron turned back, no longer able to walk in the dank and water-logged depths of the cave.
Billy and Jay, in the meantime, traveled to the hidden gravesite of John Bell, which sits in the very spot the Bell family home once stood, and where John was poisoned by the Bell Witch. Though they sat for some time, they captured no EVPs of the Bell Witch, or any other entities.
Finally, nearing the end of the night, Zak asked for the Bell Witch to show herself in the form of a ball of light. Suddenly, captured on one of Zak’s cameras, he saw a ball of light shoot towards him through the darkness. Strangely, this was the only ball of light to appear throughout the entire time spent in the cave. Even more shocking, Zak’s recorder picked up a voice at the exact moment the light sped past him, clearly saying: “Here I come.”
Paranormal Findings & Analysis
Based on the findings of the Ghost Adventures crew, they were able to conclude that the area is indeed a hotbed of paranormal activity. Despite the torturous hauntings of the Bell family above ground ending 200 years ago, the continued reports and evidence of hauntings within the cave suggest that there could well be a spirit - or spirits - residing in its depths.
Is the spirit within the same spirit that killed John Bell? Is it the Bell Witch, or some other spirit, disturbed by the comings and goings of tourists eager to view what was once a sacred place?