The Bell Witch: An American Haunting

The Bell Witch: An American Haunting - Brent Monahan, Cameron Beierle

I enjoyed this, though I'm not quite sure how much of it was "real" and how much was not (and that is half the fun!)


I admit I did see the revelation towards the end that

her father had been sexually absuing her,

(show spoiler)

but although I had thought of it very early on as a possibility, by the time it came back up I had forgotten it enough that I was surprised again.



It was eerie and I thought the "witch" herself was an interesting character. The voice given to her in the audiobook helped quite a bit in establishing that, as did deciding, for reasons unknown to me but probably relating to some kind of insanity, that I ought to listen to this at night as my bedtime book. I liked that she was multi-dimensional and had different reactions to different people; it was intriguing to try to figure out "why" (if there is a "why" in what is supposedly a real haunting).


The main character's interest in the young girl was a little creepy, though given the time period I suppose it is not quite as skeevy as it seems today. He was a decent enough narrator, and I liked the framing of this as something he is passing down to his daughter. I wish he had had a more active roll throughout the story, but given this is based on a real incidence, I suppose there's not much to be done about that.


Betsy Bell, for all that she seemed to be one of the main centers of the paranormal activity, did not come through with a whole lot of character. It is probably made worse that the voice for her in the audiobook was pretty atrocious. I literally had to pause the first time I heard it and laugh; it is an awkward attempt by a man to sound like a young woman, and it very much sounds like it. Even by the end of the book, I never felt like I knew her, though I did understaand her a little better.


In the end, this was creepy and enjoyable, and I'm glad I read (heard?) it. I had heard the name "The Bell Witch" in passing previously, so I came in with no knowledge of what to expect, and I feel like that is the best way to experience the story.