As the tale goes, late in the summer of 1817, a vicious, evil witch began to terrorize the Bell family on their Tennessee farm. She kept them up late at night with strange, eerie noises, violently beat family members and eventually poisoned and killed the head of the family, John Bell. But during her four years on the Bell farm, she also made time to save a child inside the Bell Witch Cave and give a quick lesson on safety.
According to legend, a group of children playing on the farm discovered a 500-foot-long karst cave. During their exploration of the dark cavern, one of the children became stuck in a hole. Panicking, the child called out for help, only to hear his cry answered by a voice shouting, “I’ll get him out!” That voice, and the invisible hands that pulled the boy out of the hole belonged to the Bell Witch, the same witch that choked John Bell and dragged chains through their house at all hours of the night.
After pulling the child out of the hole, the invisible witch gave the children a quick lesson on safely exploring caves and disappeared again. Most accounts hold that the Bell Witch Cave served as the witch’s home when she was not tormenting the Bells, and modern-day tours point out the cave’s spooky features.
Despite the witch’s supposed good deed inside the cave, many who have explored it have reported strange phenomena and it is widely considered one of the scariest places on the famous haunted farm.