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The Mark of the Bell Witch

Some people have grown up with the legend of the Bell Witch.  I was a young boy in Kansas when I first heard this tale of supernatural folklore and, considering that it has its roots in a town of only 600 people, that fact is quite an achievement and it is due to its terrifying nature as first documented by newspaper editor Martin V. Ingram in 1894. 

"we get a historically minded approach to the telling of the case, as well as a dive into how the haunting has affected the local culture of the town"

Now, the true story can be told as The Mark of the Bell Witch aims to educate those who only know of it from movies and television.

Comets in the sky.  The Mississippi River running backwards.  Snow in July.  Earthquakes and the eternal darkness of the early 19th century as fall settles in.  There’s a lot to the story - and the background of the area - that we simply haven't heard before, which is where this investigative  docudrama gets its most of its movie muscles from.  

The legend of merciless spirit who tormented a family for a period of four years is based on the true events of the Bell family and, finally, their legacy can be shored up thanks to Small Town Monsters and documentarian Seth Breedlove (The Mothman Legacy) who present a dramatized retelling of the Bell Witch in The Mark of the Bell Witch, a brand-new docudrama, which is being released this week.The Mark of the Bell Witch

From knocks on the door to change dropping on the floor, the poltergeist activity begins subtly, but its repercussions will leave decades of questions.  The Mark of the Bell Witch is the first attempted documentary of the famed piece of Appalachian folklore and it begins with strange sightings of some curious animals. Expertly assembled, thanks to some fine photography and solid pace and plenty of suspense and WTF-moments, this docudrama is a sure-fire hit on a Friday night.

Considered to be one of the only known cases of murder committed by a “ghost” in American history, the story of John Bell’s poisoning at the hands of the witch has been the subject of numerous television shows, books, songs, and even a horror film, but here we get the folklore, the history, and the haunting laid out before us in a succinct manner that proves to be undeniably earnest.

The Mark of the Bell Witch arrives just in time for the 200th anniversary of John Bell’s death - which is exactly where this film begins - and dives into the entire sordid affair that has long plagued Adams, Tennessee.  But, thanks to the fine efforts collected here, we get a historically minded approach to the telling of the case, as well as a dive into how the haunting has affected the local culture of the town and all of it makes for an interesting 80-minutes of supernatural discussions.

Now, for the first time, learn the truth behind what actually took place during one of the most famous haunting in American history. The Mark of the Bell Witch will be available to rent or own on Amazon Instant Video, Vimeo OnDemand, DVD and VIDI Space starting December 15th. Blu-ray and DVD copies will be available exclusively from the STM Shop.

4/5 stars


[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

The Mark of the Bell Witch


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[tab title="Film Details"]

The Mark of the Bell Witch

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
85 mins
: Seth Breedlove

Adrienne Breedlove, Amy Davies, Aaron Gascon
: Documentary
Behind the Haunting, Beyond the Legend. Lurks the Horror
Memorable Movie Quote:
Small Town Monsters
Official Site: https://www.smalltownmonsters.com/
Release Date:
December 15, 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: 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, were 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. 


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The Mark of the Bell Witch