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Communicating with the Dead (Original)

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Author Topic: Communicating with the Dead (Original)  (Read 4335 times)
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« Reply #210 on: January 19, 2008, 03:41:18 pm »

Sandra Taylor

Member # 2492

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   posted 07-22-2005 08:20 PM                       
More on the movie:

Press Release:
“Bell Witch Haunting” Film
Contact: Linda Thornton
(615) 264-8999

In Spite Of Mysterious Delays, “Bell Witch Haunting” Is Released

Forget Stephen King’s books, forget the Poltergeist movies, and as far as that goes, forget any ghost story you have ever read or seen on TV or in films. Truth is stranger than fiction. There is a “true” ghost in Tennessee that will put any fictional apparition to shame. It’s called the Bell Witch.

The recent release of the feature film “Bell Witch Haunting” was a great relief to director Ric White and producer Linda Thornton after almost a year-and-a-half of post-production and wondering if the legendary spirit was ever going to let them finish the film. “I was warned by several people not to make a film on the Bell Witch”, said White. “Several production companies have tried over the years and something always happens and the projects are never completed.” That “something” almost ended Willing Hearts Productions’ project when the office where White was editing mysteriously caught on fire in June of 2003. A fax machine that had been on for over two years in the editing suite, suddenly decided to catch on fire one day and burned part of the building. This followed an unexplained fire during the shooting of the film that took the life of the Bell Witch museum curator, who was found with her hand on the front door trying to get out of her burning house. A few months after White’s office burned, another unexplained fire broke out at the Red River Baptist Church (which was depicted in the movie) and part of the historic building was destroyed. Three unexplained fires surrounding the Bell Witch haunting happened within months of filming the movie. White continued to edit at home (after recovering from the fire and losing edited footage), where he began to experience further strange activities. “For several months there was a feeling of being watched, strange foul odors, a turned off cell phone that rang and constant problems with the editing equipment”, White said. “We had to re-edit most of the film several times and had the computer fixed three times in three months; it still would crash, flicker and lock up constantly.”

Many people believe that the Bell Witch, one of America’s most famous entities, still resides in a cave in Adams, Tennessee on what used to be the Bell property. All sorts of strange paranormal activity is said to happen in and around the cave including people hearing voices and children playing, being touched by unseen forces, orbs manifesting and photos and videos either not working properly or picking up strange images. The Bell Witch haunting and cave phenomena have been featured in countless magazine and newspaper articles, books, and on radio and several television shows, most recently a special on Country Music Television called “Most Shocking... Ghost!” that aired in October 2004, which included footage from “Bell Witch Haunting” film.

Following the story of one of the world’s most famous and well documented ghost stories ever, "Bell Witch Haunting" movie is a powerful supernatural historic thriller based on terrifying actual events that took place in Tennessee from 1817 to 1821, in which a spirit tormented John Bell and his family, leaving him in a terrifying fight against the vengeful ghost to save his children and his own life. The haunting is the only known case where a spirit actually took credit for killing someone. After visiting the Bells’ home, future President Andrew Jackson said, "I vow I would rather fight the entire British army single-handed than face the Bell Witch again!"

The haunting started as unexplained noises around the Bell house beginning as scratching and knocking sounds and soon progressed to the sounds of dogs fighting, chains being dragged around and "beating" sounds on the outside walls of their house. It wasn’t long until the children began complaining of more terrifying things--having their bed covers pulled off, being touched and pinched by a seemingly invisible force. Soon, they heard what sounded like faint, whispering voices--too weak to understand--but sounded like a feeble old woman crying or singing hymns. The encounters escalated, and the Bells’ thirteen-year-old daughter, Betsy, began experiencing brutal physical encounters with the entity. It relentlessly pulled her hair, beat and slapped her, often leaving visible prints on her face and body for days at a time.

Quickly, the entity’s voice strengthened; it carried on intelligent conversations, and answered questions from visitors. Although the Spirit tormented many people, including the Bells’ slaves, she seemed to adore Lucy Bell, John’s wife. Over a four year period, hundreds of people spoke with the Spirit and witnessed its wonderful and horrifying demonstrations; and ever so many detectives, wise men, witch doctors and conjurors came to exercise their skills on the Spirit and tried to rid the Bells of their tormentor; all were brought to grief by the Spirit and left confessing the phenomena was beyond comprehension. Yet, those who witnessed the demonstrations knew that it had a wonderful power of intelligence, possessing great knowledge of men and things; a spirit that could apparently read minds, tell men’s secrets, repeat sermons word for word and sing every song in the hymn book. It often assumed a pious character, enjoying religious discussions and quoting scripture with absolute accuracy.

The Spirit often expressed its dislike for "Ol’ Jack Bell" and vowed to kill him. As John Bell’s health grew worse, the Spirit would torture him more severely by relentlessly beating him while he was experiencing seizures. On the morning of December 20, 1820, John Bell took his last breath; and when the family found a small vial of unidentified liquid, the Spirit suddenly spoke up exclaiming, "I gave Ol’ Jack a big dose of that last night, and that fixed him!" John Bell’s funeral was one of the largest ever seen in Robertson County, hundreds of people attended, including the gloating Spirit, who cheerfully offered mourners a concert of brawny drinking songs.

“‘Bell Witch Haunting’ movie is a haunted house adventure that mixes history, a frightful ghost story and a great suspense plot. This true story of terror from an unseen evil is chilling and unforgettable”, said Linda, the film’s producer. “What kind of being was this that was gentle to his wife, but tormented John Bell to his death? Why was it so full of contradictions; kind to some, vengeful to others; angelic at times, demonic at others?” Linda asked. “No one knows, but there seems to be a lot of evidence that something is still around today.”

After several set backs and almost losing the film to the fire, “Bell Witch Haunting” premiered this past summer (2004) and has been shown in theaters in Tennessee and Kentucky. In May of 2004 Willing Hearts Productions signed with Shoreline Entertainment to distribute the film. In September of 2004 sales of the DVD, which includes deleted scenes and behind - the- scenes footage, began on the website The film also opened the 2004 Mid-South paranormal convention and some of the footage was used in the October CMT Special. “The response to the film has been phenomenal”, Linda said. “It has been incredibly positive in terms of both turn out for the screenings and reaction to the film. It has been extremely well received.” The movie has received nothing but high praise from Bell Witch enthusiasts. Pat Fitzhugh, Bell Witch author and historian, wrote in his review “Whether you are a Bell Witch expert, novice or armchair historian, I think you will enjoy and learn from “Bell Witch Haunting” film. I highly recommend that you go see it and get the DVD as well - you will probably want to watch it again and again.”

“Was it the Bell Witch or just an amazing set of coincidences, we’ll never know. All I know is it has been a difficult year”, said White. “But with the excitement and enthusiasm we have had over the film, it has been well worth it.” To find out more about the Bell Witch story or order the DVD, you can go on the website; you can also order the movie by calling (615)264-8999.

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