Supernatural or paranormal events have long been a newsworthy topic, attracting the attention of believers and skeptics alike. It seems that when something seemingly inexplicable happens, especially when mysterious circumstances such as ghosts are involved, it is not long before the neighbors start talking, newspaper articles start to appear and soon the story has become something of a legend. . Over the years, these stories become more and more embellished and soon become part of a community’s tradition. There are numerous fantastic examples of these supernatural tales, and below is an overview of three of the best known.
The bell witch – One of America’s most famous appearances occurred in what is now Adams, Tennessee, on land that was owned by John Bell in the early 1800s. The story begins in 1817 when John, a farmer, was working in one of his cornfields and saw a strange looking animal. The creature appeared to have the body of a dog with the head of a rabbit, and John wasted no time trying to shoot it. After several shots, the animal simply disappeared and John returned home. That night, a series of heavy blows began, as if something were striking outside the house. John and his children went to inspect the noises and found nothing strange, but this was only the beginning of the strange and terrifying events that the family would suffer. Before long, the Bell children began to experience strange sounds in their bedrooms, their blankets being removed at night, and even painful pinching and slapping. Betsy Bell was the main recipient of these unwanted events, but the entire family was also traumatized. Mild whispers, laughter, and crying were also occurring, and soon John Bell was forced to tell his close friend and neighbor about the strange occurrences. News of the heartbreak began to spread and people as far away as Nashville began to take an interest in what had come to be called The Witch with the Bell. Over the years, the antics of the entity did not stop; rather, they became more frequent and severe. Betsy continued to endure the Witch’s physical abuse, and it was not until John Bell’s death in December 1820 that events apparently began to subside. Descendants of the Bell family have reported the return of the spirit on a few occasions, and to this day, people in the area claim that mysterious things still happen around Bell’s ancient site.
The Lemp mansion – One of the best houses in St. Louis from the 19th century is Lemp Mansion, located in the heart of the city. The house was built in the 1860s by beer magnate Johann “Adam” Lemp, who became world famous for his beers. Lemp and his sons made a fortune operating their brewery that covered five city blocks, and they were well known in St. Louis for their wealth and power. With such success at the brewery, Adam’s son William Lemp Sr. built the 33-room mansion that became the family home to all the Lemps. Trouble began for the family in 1901 when William’s favorite son died suddenly from health problems, and they only continued for the Lemps with scandalous divorces, waning success at the brewery, Prohibition beginning in 1920, and eventually multiple suicides. By 1922, three of Adam Lemp’s sons had committed suicide, and another son did the same in 1949. With the brewery permanently closed and finally sold, and the last name so tarnished, Lemp’s remaining descendants lived fairly quiet lives. But the mansion, it seemed, was anything but silent. Paranormal events began to be reported for the first time in the 1950s after the fourth suicide. At that time, the house had been bought and transformed into a pension. But with the strange sounds and chilling footsteps echoing through the house, the tenants didn’t stay long. In 1975, the Lemp mansion was sold to Dick Pointer and was converted into a restaurant and inn. Patrons of the place have reported mysterious sounds, the sensation of being watched, and objects that move by themselves. Although the Lemps have long left the mansion, it seems that their absence is only in the physical sense, and that their spirits linger, unable to leave the family home.
The fox sisters – Sisters Leah, Kate and Margaret undoubtedly became three of America’s most famous mediums when they began receiving messages from the dead in 1848. Living in a house with a reputation for being haunted was not too difficult for people to believe that the young women had been selected by a spirit to serve as links between the living and the dead. Through a series of blows, a code was developed where the girls asked yes-no questions and the spirit responded with a certain number of blows. These communications led to the discovery that the ghost was that of a murdered man who had been buried in his basement. Word quickly spread, and soon the girls became famous, traveling and giving public sessions. As interest in spiritism increased, so did the skepticism surrounding the Fox sisters, with critics loudly proclaiming that they were frauds. It was not until many years later that Kate and Margaret confessed that they were responsible for the blows, producing them through the crunching of the joints of the toes. Although they admitted to misleading the public about their spiritual communication, their story fostered a growing interest in the supernatural and remains one of the best-known examples of paranormal activity today.