Review: ‘The Mark of the Bell Witch’ documents the true terror of one Tennessee family.

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The Mark Of The Bell Witch

The Mark of the Bell Witch tells the terrifying, true story of the Bell family of Adams, Tennessee. A family who, for nearly five years, was haunted by an apparition bent on destroying their lives, and murdering the patriarch of the family, John Bell. Beginning in 1817 as a disembodied voice before eventually manifesting into numerous entities and showing her power through horrifying encounters, the Bell Witch has since become a folk legend.  Now, for the first time, learn the truth behind what actually took place during one of the most famous hauntings in American history.

The most impactful element of this film is the narration by genre actress Lauren Ashley Carter. Her dramatic readings of Richard Bell’s book are haunting and beautiful. As a fan of horror, I am constantly immersing myself in folklore, true crimes, and scary stories not only in film form but also podcasts. Carter provides the setting we need to understand the terror in true form the Bell family was experiencing for so long. Layered over the striking cinematography of DP Zac Palmisano, it is incredibly effective.

The advantage The Mark Of The Bell Witch has other dramatized versions of this story is that it includes so much more of the story. We hear from local historians as well as the diary entries from family members and even a few neighbors. No doubt the similarities to other haunting events will raise doubts. But, perhaps, this actually gives the lore more merit. What is most fascinating is the fact that it occurred for so long. There were innumerable witnesses, both curious believers and hardened skeptics were scared away. Andrew Jackson even had interaction with The Bell Witch, having known the family for years. There is an intriguing aspect in that the witch becomes vocal over the years. She calls herself Kate. Although she seems to aim much of her torture on the young Betsy Bell, leaving bruises on her cheeks, attacking her in all sorts of physical and emotional manner, she also warns her about a potential suitor.

Taking into consideration how folklore spreads, the oral history since John Bell’s Death in 1820, the historical text, Adams, Tennessee owns this history, even giving guided tours of the only standing site from the tales; The Bell Witch Cave. Whatever you do, don’t take a rock from the cave. Nothing good will come of it. The ghost hunting nerd in me would not have minded an attempt to contact the Bell Witch on the now dismantled site of the Bell Cabin, but it certainly isn’t necessary. The history buff in me appreciated the quality of storytelling made even better by the gorgeous illustrations along the way. You can get a sense of the style of this docudrama in the trailer below. The Mark Of The Bell Witch is available today on Digital HD.

The Mark of the Bell Witch Haunts the Holidays
New Docudrama Comes 200 Years After the Death of John Bell in Tennessee
Dramatized Retelling of the Bell Witch’s Reign of Terror Lands December 15 on Digital HD
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