Halloween

The Paranormal – Some Thoughts

I am often asked about my views of the paranormal and how I investigate it. Unless we have had the good fortune of meeting and chatting with each other at a signing or lecture event–or a live investigation, the following interview from TNT Paranormal’s Bumps in the Night newsletter is a great place to start. We did the interview last year, and it begins on page 4.

Also, make sure to read the other articles. TNT is a very professional and knowledgeable organization.

Bumps in the Night – Interview with Pat Fitzhugh

 

 

Recent Lectures and Upcoming Projects

It has been a busy yet productive fall, winter, and spring, and new BELL WITCH-related lectures, books, and other items are on this year’s horizon! More on that in the coming weeks. This is, of course, in addition to several other projects I am currently working on.

I will also be talking more about the Bell Witch development I posted recently, regarding an old, 1856 reprinted account of the BELL WITCH that recently surfaced, and its impact on a theory recently popularized by the skeptical community.

Meanwhile, I am leaving you with photos from two BELL WITCH lectures and storytelling sessions I did last fall–one in Sparta, Tennessee, and another at the McCracken County Public Library in Paducah, Kentucky. Enjoy.

Talk to you soon!

Big Development in the “Bell Witch” Case

Author’s note: This was originally posted to the Facebook fan page several months ago; I have recently decided to move forward with publishing it to a wider audience.  — Pat Fitzhugh

One of the more popular “Bell Witch theories” to emerge in recent years centers on the first book ever written about the case, published by Martin Ingram of Clarksville, Tennessee, back in 1894, seventy-five years after the supernatural disturbances allegedly happened.

A “first book” is often the starting point for those researching an old case, and the researcher’s first job is to try and validate the author’s claims. What happens if the author is deceased? What if the author’s sources were destroyed by the proverbial “courthouse fire,” or simply went missing? It comes as no surprise that many first-published accounts of allegedly true events are open to conflicting interpretations and harsh, relentless scrutiny. People read the accounts, draw their own conclusions, void of any proof, and then argue their conclusions as “fact.” Welcome to the Bell Witch case.

Because Martin Ingram is long deceased, and his source document–Richard Bell’s Our Family Trouble manuscript–has yet to be found, his Bell Witch book has become the prime target of inquisitives, conspiracy theorists, and skeptics alike. Many even think he made up the legend. Did he? Welcome to the jungle. (more…)

Lecture and Signing Event — Batesville, Mississippi

Thursday, April 23rd, 7:00 PM Central

Batesville Public Library
206 Highway 51 North
Batesville, MS

This free event is open to the public, and is being held in conjunction with a regular meeting of the Panola County Historical Society. The discussion will center on the “Bell Witch” legend, with special emphasis on its local Mississippi ties. The limited supply
of books to be sold and signed include, “The Bell Witch – The Full Account,” and “Ghostly Cries From Dixie.” Light refreshments will be served.

Winter Update

Ice, bone-chilling temperatures, more ice, and very stressful driving. That’s what Tennessee winters are all about. We get little snow, but lots of ice. Kentucky’s weather isn’t any better.

I would like to extend a big thank-you to the many people who braved 5 inches of snow and 2-degree temperatures last Thursday night to attend my Bell Witch / Southern Ghosts lecture, Q&A, and book signing at the library in Bowling Green, Kentucky. After having done a TV filming in Adams, TN, earlier in the day, followed by a slow, 1.5-hour drive over Kentucky’s backroads toward Bowling Green, I was warmly relieved to find so many upbeat and welcoming people at the end of my journey. It was a lot of fun. Thank you!

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On March 5th, I will be traveling to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to give another lecture (to a private organization) and then spend the evening of March 6th performing paranormal research at possibly the Read House or the Choo Choo, followed by an investigation at UT Chattanooga and a nearby location. Then on March 14th, it will be an all-night paranormal research and investigative session at Octagon Hall in Franklin, Kentucky. The following week, I will likely return to The Thomas House for some research and possibly some writing. The rest of my year looks about the same as this; it’s going to be a very busy and productive year.

Several more lecture and signing appearances will be announced in the near future, including another visit to Kentucky (Owensboro) on October 15th. New book releases are also in the works. It’s going to be a fun year. Stay tuned!

 

Facebook Pages for Two New Books

The Facebook pages for two of my three upcoming books are now online. They’re new, and I’m still moving in, but please feel free to “like” those pages. By doing so, you will receive periodic updates on the progress of each book, as well as release dates, signings, and other events! Just click on the title.

The Outlaws and Ghosts of the Natchez Trace

MORE Ghostly Cries From Dixie

Fall Update

I hope everyone had a great Halloween and is enjoying this creepy fall weather.

I’ve been involved with several projects as of late, one of which is more ghost hunting and paranormal investigation. If you write books about ghosts and the paranormal, you need to live the part. Right? I’ve been to several places over the past year, most notably The Thomas House in Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee. Why there? Why so many times? That’s because it’s one of those places where you will always be guaranteed action. I like action, lots of action. With its sordid past, the place stays active around the clock, every day. It’s also a short drive for me, the overnight room rates are cheap, the food is great, and the place makes an excellent getaway for reading, writing, or just relaxing and rebooting the old mind. It should come as no surprise that I am including The Thomas House in the sequel to Ghostly Cries From Dixie, which I am currently working on.

The sequel, still unnamed but using “MORE Ghostly Cries From Dixie” as its working title, will be released in the spring of 2015. As was the case with its predecessor, it will be a compilation of weird and ghostly tales from the South. Sound easy? Given the South’s reputation for haunted places and campfire tales, one would think it easy to find plenty stories for the book. Not so. Finding ghost stories for inclusion in a book is one the hardest projects I’ve ever worked on. The story needs to be rich enough in history to create a backdrop and backstory, yet creepy enough to be consistent with the book’s theme. Well-grounded ghost stories, especially those from the South, contain not only spooky elements, but also a strong sense of place.

During my search for bookworthy ghost stories from the South, I kept finding stories from the Natchez Trace, a footpath through the Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee wilderness back in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Apparently, some of the early travelers along the old path, who never made it home, are still wandering up and down the trail or lurking in the nearby woods after more than 200 years. There were a few Native American attacks, a couple disease scares, and a handful of natural deaths, but most of those who died on the Natchez Trace were murdered by outlaws and bandits. Money was not always the motive. Some “land pirates,” such as the Harp Brothers, killed people just for the sake of killing. They thought it was fun. The Natchez Trace is full of history, outlaw stories, and ghosts. So, guess what? In addition to the “Ghostly Cries From Dixie” sequel, I am also writing a book about the infamous ghosts and bandits of the Natchez Trace. Look for it in the summer of 2015.

Also, at some point, I will hopefully get From Turkey Creek – A Memoir and the Bell Witch update book done as well.

Later……

Upcoming Radio Interview

I will be a live interview guest on The Paranormal Roundtable radio show this Thursday night, September 18, at 7 PM Central / 8 PM Eastern. We’ll be discussing the Bell Witch legend, and possibly some other cases. You can tune in by clicking the this link, and then clicking “Live Streaming.”

New Venture in Video: ParaTakes (First Segment: Bell Witch)

This is the first of many ParaTakes With Pat Fitzhugh that I intend to produce and distribute. A ParaTake is my short take on any topic related to the paranormal. The first few ParaTakes will cover popular myths and misconceptions associated with Tennessee’s infamous Bell Witch legend. Why the Bell Witch? Although there is more to my work than just the Bell Witch, I’ve spent two-thirds of my life researching the terrifying legend. Over the course of decades spent researching a legend, the researcher accumulates a list of pet peeves. And naturally, the researcher occasionally feels the urge to share them. Sounds like a job for ParaTakes!

Filmed in Mississippi, this first ParaTake segment features my analysis of the so-called abuse theory, which has been used in several recent attempts to “explain” the Bell Witch legend. Before we watch the video, please take moment to familiarize yourself with the story. Here’s the condensed version…

“From 1817 to 1821, a Tennessee family experienced a series of terrifying disturbances at the hands of an invisible, malevolent entity. Known as the Bell Witch, the entity beat on walls and floors, tugged on the children’s bedcovers, sang hymns, and predicted the future. Along the way, she mercilessly brutalized the family’s youngest daughter, Betsy, and killed her father.

“Scholars have attempted to explain the mystery for almost 200 years. Although nearly everyone has an opinion about the so-called Bell Witch, a provable explanation continues to elude researchers. A popular theory posed in recent years suggests that the entity evolved from Betsy Bell’s subconscious mind as the result of her [allegedly] having been abused by her father.

“In this ParaTake, author and longtime researcher Pat Fitzhugh provides his take on the oft-controversial abuse theory.”

And now, the video…

ParaTake #1: The Bell Witch Legend’s Abuse Theory — Fact or Speculation?