Scary

2018 in Review, Looking to 2019

Greetings, Friends and Enemies:

A year ago today, I was relaxing after a busy last few years and contemplating much of the same for 2018. As it turned out, I was right. Although I haven’t “rested up” from the whirlwind called 2018, and probably will not for some time, I must admit that it was a great year on all fronts and I couldn’t be happier.

On the musical end, I did several key projects this past year. And more importantly, I made many new friends and contacts along the way. It is an honor and a privilege to know and work with them.

The paranormal world was busy as well, with investigations, lots of behind-the-scenes research on some alternative and new-to-me areas of the field, several special guest appearances at conventions, a handful of radio interviews, three TV appearances, a musical guest appearance with the OrbTones (a rock band composed of paranormal researchers), and some well-attended lecture and book signing events.

To those who attended any, or some, of the events listed above, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You (fans and friends) are the folks who matter, and are why I’m here and do what I do; you have my full loyalty.  The paranormal activities and events are special in the same way that musical activities are special. They afford me the opportunity to meet many exciting people and make strong, lasting friendships, and offer me the privilege of being able to relate to, and learn from, those people.

Having been in the paranormal field since 1978, I have seen the field recycle, reinvent, and redefine itself many times. Interest reaches a peak every five years, and then resets in the sixth year. 2019 will be the fourth year of the current cycle. Look for more great things; not only from me, but from others as well. We are only a year away from the very top of the roller coaster. Enjoy.

Looking to the future, I first think of all the “new me” statements people make, especially on social media. Why? I mean, let’s reason together. How often does a new year—a predetermined date on a calendar—automatically and suddenly alter a person’s life and attitude? It doesn’t, except for rare cases when someone manages to keep their New Year’s resolution.

This brings me to my own New Year’s resolution for 2019, which I should be able to keep because it hasn’t changed in 40 years: “keep on keeping on, stand strong and firm in my convictions, maintain my standards of research, and don’t change a thing.” The “new me” is still the “old me.”

A couple exceptions might come into play, however. I am looking at extending my efforts and research into an area that I feel would greatly benefit from it, but as with everything else, I look before I leap. And, I am still looking. I am also pondering some new and big paranormal opportunities that have recently been offered to me. (Side note: I will not discuss them, so please don’t ask). As good as the opportunities sound, I can’t lose sight of the fact that everything usually looks good on paper, but paper often amounts to nothing more than the proverbial “sheep’s clothing.” I must evaluate the opportunities very carefully, and wisely.

But, most importantly, I would like to wish everyone a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2019!

The Bell Log Cabin in Adams, Tennessee

Its history, its stories, and my spending two nights there
(a long article, so grab a pot of coffee)

On the grounds of the Bell School building and city park in Adams, Tennessee, a tiny and rustic house sits quietly, paying homage to a bygone era. For over two hundred years, her now rusty nails and withered logs have stood witness to the triumphs and tragedies of those who came before us. Some even say she holds secrets; if only those logs could talk.

Known as the “Bell log cabin,” the aging two-story house is named after the John Bell family, who moved to the area in 1804 and settled nearby. The cabin and park occupy a tiny portion of what was once John and Lucy Bell’s massive farm, where their family allegedly endured a four-year reign of terror at the hands of a malevolent entity known as the “Bell Witch.”
(more…)

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…)

Frights on the Gallatin Ghost Walk

I was recently given the honor of co-hosting a special edition of the Gallatin Ghost Walk in Sumner County, Tennessee, a few miles northeast of Nashville. As Donna and Randy Lucas shared the haunted history of Gallatin’s many old buildings, I demonstrated how to use ghost investigation equipment by conducting a mini-investigation of each location we visited. The results were nothing short of amazing.

Gallatin Ghost Walk in Gallatin, TN / May 2017

Both the flashlight and the EMF meter are flashing on the window ledge of Andrew Jackson’s old law office in downtown Gallatin, TN.

Is there more information about the Gallatin Ghost Walk? What is the historical significance of Gallatin and Sumner County?

The Gallatin Ghost Walk intertwines Gallatin’s rich and diverse history with spine-tingling tales of haunts and eerie happenings. Its hosts, Donna and Randy, stroll around the Square and surrounding blocks, enlightening and enthralling their guests with spellbinding stories of old Sumner County and her illustrious former residents, many of whom still frequent the old buildings today.

Gallatin Ghost Walk in Gallatin, TN / May 2017

I had the honor of co-hosting a special edition of the Gallatin Ghost Walk back in May. As Donna and her husband–both dressed in period clothing–told the haunted history of Gallatin’s old buildings, I brought along ghost investigation equipment, explained how it us used, and conducted fast, “mini investigations” of each building we visited. The old buildings were so active that the batteries in all of my equipment died before the walk was over with. Incredible!

Eighty-six buildings in Gallatin’s Commercial Historic District were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, although some have since been torn down. Construction dates of the buildings range from the late 1790s to 1935, and their diverse architecture includes Art Deco, Classical, Victorian, and some unusual examples of Gothic Revival, Italianate, and Second Empire.

Gallatin Ghost Walk in Gallatin, TN / May 2017

The Gallatin Ghost Walk group sits and listens to Donna and Randy tell the chilling history of the old building in the background. And yes, Randy’s gun is real.

From the man who disappeared before his disbelieving family’s eyes in an open field, never to be seen again, to the 16 Confederate soldier spirits in Andrew Jackson’s old law office on Gallatin’s public square, the paranormal happenings in and around Gallatin are legion–and LEGEND!

Gallatin Ghost Walk in Gallatin, TN / May 2017

Ms. Donna telling about some of the old buildings and activity that has occurred there in recent years. Here, we are standing caddy-corner to a very old building that was once Andrew Jackson’s law office.

 

Gallatin Ghost Walk:  On Facebook  /  On Blogspot

 

Remembering Jay Ellis

Jay Ellis was a very nice, knowledgeable, and beloved paranormal investigator who unfortunately passed away last year. Jay loved to investigate Octagon Hall and communicate with little “Mary-Elizabeth,” one of the old plantation’s resident ghosts.

During a private ghost investigation back in March, while having a session in the family graveyard where Mary-Elizabeth is buried, my friend Joe asked her about Jay. It was obvious that she misses him terribly.

Summer Greetings

Time truly flies when you’re having fun–and when you are busy. I apologize for the long delay between updates; it has been a very busy and productive last few months. I plan to post a lot of pictures, videos, and news in the coming weeks.

As 2017 reaches the halfway point, I am repointing and refocusing my efforts on current research and writing projects, and fewer ghost investigations. Not that there is anything wrong with ghost hunting, but planning the investigations, the travel involved, and spending weeks reviewing evidence takes a LOT of time. And so does writing. Finding the time to investigate hauntings, research cases, and write books, all at once, and hoping for the proverbial “big bang,” is daunting at best. Any more ghost investigations? You betcha–but just not as frequently (for a while). It is now time to catch up on my writing projects.

I have several works in progress, some of which are near completion. In my queue is a new, revised edition of “The Bell Witch: The Full Account,” a sequel to “Ghostly Cries From Dixie,” entitled, “More Ghostly Cries From Dixie,” and two new, first edition books: “The Outlaws and Ghosts of The Natchez Trace” and “From Turkey Creek – A Memoir.” The Natchez Trace book is in its early stages, and Turkey Creek is almost finished.

You will be hearing much more about these titles, as well as release dates and upcoming appearances, through more frequent updates of this web site/blog. I will also be sharing pictures from various ghost investigations and my travels.

In the meantime, I leave you with a video from a ghost investigation near Jackson, Tennessee, conducted on January 21, 2017. Three of us investigated an 1850s-era church building and Masonic hall, and the graveyard behind it, which dates back to the early 1820s. Activity was fast and furious, so much that we brought a much larger group for another investigation on June 24th; we encountered the same results.  The area is chock full of history. Watch the video and read the captions for more information!

Thanks for watching. See you soon!

New A&E TV Series — “Cursed: The Bell Witch!”

I’m proud to be a part of A&E’s new fall TV series, “Cursed: The Bell Witch!”

This show goes where other productions wouldn’t go, and sheds much-needed light on one of America’s most terrifying ghost stories. The top-notch crew and other cast members went above and beyond in making sure the legend was “done right,” and it was both an honor and a pleasure to work with them.

I am unable to comment about the show’s plot or other details at this time, so I will leave you with A&E’s “first look” video of “Cursed: The Bell Witch!” Look for the show to begin airing in early October.

ALSO, for updates and more upcoming events and appearances, check out The Bell Witch Web Site, my Facebook page, and my Bell Witch book page. But for now… enjoy the following video. Thanks for watching!

Radio Interview – Tuesday July 14th

Tuesday July 14th from 10P-Midnight (Central Time)

I will be joining Dave Schrader on Darkness Radio to discuss the legend of Tennessee’s infamous “Bell Witch,” and the cold-blooded terror an entity named “Kate” inflicted on the John Bell family, changing their lives forever.

Listen Live at Darkness Radio

Radio Interview @ Paranormal Kool-Aid July 15th

I’ll be appearing on the “Paranormal Kool-Aid” radio show July 15th at 9P Eastern / 8P Central. The discussion will center on two local haunts near and dear to my heart, The Thomas House and Octagon Hall, and why they should be on everyone’s paranormal bucket list.

A “listen live” link will be posted closer to showtime. Make your plans to listen now. Get your spook on.