Lets see. Where to begin? Well, I guess our names are a good place to start. My name is Jonathan and my buddy-in-arms is Darren. We are sophomores in college, but come from a small town about 100 miles from Seattle, Washington. You know, the place where music starts, or at least that's what a few of our friends think. This year we decided to do something different for spring break (that's right the spring break of all spring breaks). We decided to drive across the country in our trusty "Land Shark" (that's what we call the old VW minibus). It doesn't look pretty, but it's trustworthy. So with the "Shark" loaded up with all the essential supplies, (food, blankets, food, tp, road atlas, food, high times magazines and more food) we hit the road.
We planned to drive across the country to Daytona Beach and back in only 20 days using mostly back roads, when possible, and shooting tons of pictures. We wanted to see how the American Man really lives and hopefully find love along the way (or at least a hot night of passion).
We had been on the road about five days when the "Shark's" tape deck ate our favorite Pink Floyd tape (Man, that bites). So, we started scanning the local airwaves. We tuned in to a country radio station out of Nashville playing The Dixie Chicks and about twenty other groups that we don't know (or really care about). That's when Darren got the bright idea to go see Nashville, check out a couple of bars, and learn more about the birthplace of country music. Along the way we got totally and utterly lost. I mean we were in B.F.E. and turned left. That's when we drove into a little, out-of-the-way obscure town called Adams, TN.
Strange things started happening when we got back home. I kid you not; we have been hearing strange noises at night (we also heard the noises in the on the way back home, but just wrote it off as stuff hitting the side of the "Shark")
Several times, I have woken up with my sheets pulled off the bed and Darren has had the same happen to him. It took Darren almost four weeks to recover from the odd illness. He went to three doctors, and no conclusive diagnosis was ever made. Some said that he had food poisoning and others said it might have been the flu.
What we want to know is has anyone else had these things happening to him or her after visiting Adams, Tennessee? Other freaky shit has happened to us, but we're not going to tell everything. We want to hear your stories and compare them to our experiences.
All I can say is that we got more than we bargained for over spring break.
We stayed another night since it was so late but during the night Darren got extremely sick and by morning it was clear that the Daytona trip was now off. We started home. Darren was running a 104 temperature and throwing up a lot.
From the well, John Bell's grave was just a short distance up a hill. It is the most menacing place that we have ever been. You can feel evil in the air. When we started out the sky was blue and clear, but when we stumbled upon the grave of John Bell the skies turned black and overcast. Once we left, the skies cleared again. While we were there Darren heard whistling (I didn't hear any), but I did get this really heavy feeling on my shoulders, like someone pressing down on me, which departed when we left the place. I can assure you that we will never go back again.
The next morning, we retraced our steps and went back to John Bells Jr's house and you would not believe it! His grave is about 200 yards from where the house stood and about 50 yards from where we parked. This really fired us up. We went back to the Bellwood cemetery to try and retrace the directions from the monument to John Bell's grave. After about 5 hours, we were getting close. We had found the old well and the site of John Bell's original house. Darren laid down on the ground and shot off a couple pics down the well. We didn't notice it at first, but when we got back home and loaded the pictures into the computer there were some irregularities about the well shots. We did a little research on the net, and discovered that we had captured in the shots is called an "energy sphere". "Energy Spheres" are believed to be proof of paranormal activity or the presences of a spirit. (NOTE: THE PICTURE TO THE LEFT SHOWS THE "ENERGY SPHERE" CIRCLED IN RED. THE PICTURE BELOW IS ZOOMED IN. OUR PHOTOS OF THE WELL HAVE NOT BEEN DOCTORED OR RETOUCHED IN ANYWAY).
With our Bell Witch book in hand, the notes taken from the monument and an Indiana Jones like attitude; we started to calculate where some of the gravesites and homes might be. The first one we discovered was John Bell Jr's house, or at least where it once stood. We spent the rest of the day trying to decipher the directions and connect them to roads on our map. We still hadn't found John Bell's grave. So, as you've probably guessed, we had to stay another day.
Having struck out at the Bell Witch Cave, we decided to see what we could conjure up at the Bellwood Cemetery. The most striking feature of this site is the huge, monolithic monument dedicated to the John Bell Family and their descendents. The strangest thing about this monument is the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" like writing on all four sides. It gives the directions to the families homes and gravesites. Distance is given in "rods" and direction by compass "degrees". On one of the base blocks for the monument is an arrow giving the north heading. I don't know about you, but this stuff was a big "Come-and-Find Me" sign if we ever saw one. Darren made the comment that we should drag the guy that had lived in Adams 50 years down to the cemetery and make him look at all this. The bizarre thing is none of the main Bell family is buried at the cemetery.
The first place on our agenda was the Bell Witch Cave. But, of course, in typical Adams fashion, the cave is only open in the summer or whenever the owners feel like it. By the way, this is the only area of Adams that we don't have pics for (except the front gate to the cave and a sign frame for the cave with no actual sign. Go figure.) If you've got any good pics of the cave, please send them to us!!!
We spent that night taking turns reading the book we picked up in the museum, and became fascinated with the story of the Bell Witch. There were so many accounts in the book that we decided to check this story a little more, get some video, shoot some pictures and do the old Bogart (some investigating).
When we woke up, we were itching for some breakfast and to discover more about the Bell Witch. We head over to grab some food at the gas station and decide to ask some of the locals about the legend. This is where things started getting really creepy. We asked one old man if he could tell us about the Bell Witch and he said that he had lived in Adams all his life and didn't know anything about it. But he thought he remembered his parents talking about it when he was little. Oh come on!!! How can you live in a town for 50 some years with a damned witch on your city sign and a museum with information about the legendary Bell Witch and say you've never heard of it?
We shelled out a couple of bucks and took the grand tour of the one room museum. The museum/antique shop, located in the old Adams High School, (with a spooky ghost in one of the windows) is filled with pictures and artifacts from the late 1800's/early 1900's including a casket from that era. There were a couple of pamphlets about the Bell Family and the Bell Witch, which we grabbed and a couple of books for sale. We bought one of the books for a souvenir, and asked the museum director for some info about the Bell Witch. He told us that he was simply drawn to Adams and the Bell Witch Legend and that the book we had bought would tell us all we needed to know. He led us outside and pointed us in the direction of the Bellwood Cemetery and said that an old log cabin that John Bell helped build was around the fence and behind the museum. It was getting late in the afternoon, so Darren and I decided that we would crash in Adams for the night in the "Shark".
Now let me tell you how small this town is. They have only one gas station /store, a post office, a volunteer fire department (we're still not sure if there were any trucks in the building), a museum (more about that later) and one mondo honking graveyard. But the first thing that we noticed was the city limits sign. It said, "Welcome to Adams", and had a picture of a witch riding a broom. At that point, we felt like we were in the "Twilight Zone". Not the classic black and whites, but the hideous remakes in color. Needless to say, small town, witch on the sign; our curiosity was peaked. Yes, you've guessed it. We stumbled across the Bell Witch.
We stopped at the lone gas station to get some directions and ask why the hell did the City of Adams have a witch on their sign. The man at the station gave us decent directions, but was not very forthcoming about the witch. He mumbled something about "Bell Witch" and said if we wanted to find out more to check out the museum. We headed over to the Adams Museum to discover what this Bell Witch thing was all about. We were starting to wonder when the "Shark's" paint job would suddenly go 60's and a fricking Great Dane would bound out of it and call us Shaggy and Fred. (Obscure reference to Scooby Doo and the Mystery Machine).
Side note: just to let you know, during our stay in Adams, we asked several other people about the Bell Witch Legend. Although nice, polite and friendly, no one seemed to want to talk about it with us. If you ever want to feel like you're in an episode of the "Outer Limits", or visiting Mayberry on crack, visit Adams, TN.