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Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Bell Witch An American Haunting Review

This is my first EVER (written) book review, so please keep that in mind! The Bell Witch, An American Haunting edited by Brent Monahan I downloaded the unabridged version and listened to the book rather than reading it. This edition by Brent Monahan is the telling of the original account of the haunting as told by Richard Powell, a school teacher of the children of Adams Tennessee. Powell witnessed the tirades of the witch and eventually married Betsy Bell the favorite target of the Bell Witch. Synopsis(without too much detail!) The Bell's, a family in Tennessee in 1818, begins hearing noises in the dark. The noises grow into whispers and the whispers evolve into a spirit that can speak, move objects and is able to physically abuse the family members. Known throughout Tennessee and elsewhere as 'Old Kate' curious neighbors, church authorities and even Andrew Jackson. The poltergeist was thought to be a curse that was brought about by Kate Batts, a witch and a member of the community. The witch was in a legal battle for some land with John Bell, the family patriarch. My Thoughts The book started well and I was entertained, not being a believer in such things, and no thanks, I don't want to be proven otherwise! The legend constructs believable characters and situations with eerie descriptions and chilling examples of the mischief the witch deals to the family. Details about the era, land and religion give credence to the story as well as insite to the shaping of the legend. The acts of the witch get monotonous and long. I listened absentmindedly through much of the middle since it was more of the same. It picked up again for the last few chapters when the witch lives out it's purpose, yes it has a specific purpose! A discovery is made by Richard Powell that peaks my interest and sheds new light on the encounters, making the endurance well worth the needless chapters in the middle of the book. Recommendation: If you like a good ghost story, supposedly true, this is a good one! It's clean of language but a bit disturbing after all it's about a witch, poltergeist, and or ghost! I hear there are several movies based on this legend. I am going to try to find one, now that I have read the book - just for fun! If you have read The Bell Witch, or read it in the future, please let me know what YOU think! Next: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote


Anonymous said...

That's a very good review, Melissa!

Anonymous said...

Nice job with the review! It was organized and expressed very well.

I love a good audio book. They are so handy sometimes, and with a good narrator they can be full of depth and inflection.

Sounds like this book was perfect for the challenge.

Deborah said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I hven't posted on Bookrage in so long, I'm surprised it's still there. Your review of Bell Witch was great - made me want to read it. Will be interested in what you think of In Cold Blood - now THERE'S a scary book.

Anonymous said...

The only time I've heard of the Bell Witch was while watching the Blair Witch Project...years ago! If memory serves, I believe they made several references to it.

This book sounds interesting, I'll have to find the courage to give it a shot ;) - bekkah

Melanie said...

Great review, I just finished the book myself see my review at:

Like you I thought it started of very interesting then became almost boring, but the ender was a shocker.