William Porter carrying the Bell spirit in a blanket to try and burn her. According to legend, from 1817-1821, his family and the local area came under attack by an invisible entity subsequently described as a witch. The entity was able to the witch in history pdf, affect the physical environment and change forms.
Some accounts record the spirit with the capability to be in more than one place at a time, cross distances with rapid speed and the power of prophecy. In 1894, newspaper editor, Martin V. The book is widely regarded as the first full-length record of the legend and a primary source for subsequent treatments. The individuals recorded in the work were known historical personalities.
20th century became a source of continuing interest, belief, and generation of lore. Martin Van Buren Ingram published that the poltergeist’s name was Kate, after the entity claimed at one point to be “Old Kate Batts’ witch,” and continued to respond favorably to the name. The physical activity centered on the Bells’ youngest daughter, Betsy, and her father, and ‘Kate’ expressed particular displeasure when Betsy became engaged to a local named Joshua Gardner. The haunting began in late summer of 1817 when John Bell witnessed the apparition of a dog with the head of a rabbit. Bell fired at the animal but it disappeared. Activity moved into the home with sounds of scratching, knocking and smacking lips with sheets being pulled from beds. The phenomenon grew in intensity as the entity pulled hair, slapped, pinched and stuck pins in the family with particular emphasis on Betsy.
The Bells turned to a family friend James Johnston for help. After retiring for the evening at the Bell home, Johnston was awakened that night by the same phenomenon. Soon word of the haunting spread with some traveling great distances to see the witch. The apparition began to speak out loud and have full conversations and even at one point repeating word for word two sermons given 13 miles apart at the same time. John Johnston, a son of James, devised a test for the witch, something no one outside his family would know, asking the entity what his Dutch step-grandmother in North Carolina would say to the slaves if she thought they did something wrong. The witch replied with his grandmother’s accent, “Hut tut, what has happened now?
On another occasion, an Englishman stopped to visit and offered to investigate. On remarking on his family overseas, the witch suddenly began to mimic his English parents. Again at early morning, the witch woke him to voices of his parents worried as they had heard his voice as well. The Englishman quickly left that morning and later wrote to the Bell family the entity had visited his family in England and apologized for his skepticism. At times, the spirit displayed a form of kindness, especially towards Lucy, John Bell’s wife, “the most perfect woman to walk to earth. The witch would give Lucy fresh fruit and sing hymns to her, and showed John Bell Jr. Referring to John Bell Sr.