Friday, June 06, 2003

Speaking of ghosts, I've never been what you could call a believer in the supernatural; more often as not I wear the skeptic hat when it comes to that sort of thing. I love a good horror movie or ghost story as much as the next person, and will freely admit that there are things that not even a lifetime spent in Horse Cave, KY can account for (that's a paraphrase of a quote from Charles Finney's Circus of Dr. Lao, in case you were wondering), but I've never personally encountered any sort of ghostly manifestation that I'm aware of, so until I do I must remain skeptical. Any nutcases out there reading this, don't take this as a challenge. Please.

Anyway, as I was saying: I may not believe in ghosts necessarily, but I have always loved one ghost story in particular, that of Tennessee's Bell Witch and Andrew Jackson. The eBay thing reminded me of the tale, which I read for the first time in a book that belonged to a friends' grandmother, a small, white squareback publication, purple illustration on the front, which was a history of the phenomenon by one M.V. Ingram. I did a Yahoo search for Jackson and the Witch, and got several sites which stated that Jackson, paying a visit to witness the manifestation firsthand, was frightened off by the Witch– but Ingram's account said nothing of the sort. According to Ingram, Jackson and the Witch had a good laugh at the expense of a "ghost layer" which had traveled with the company. This is the version I prefer, because it's funnier and makes Jackson out to be more of a badass. I'm really surprised no one's made a film about the Witch, especially in the wake of the similarly-named Blair Witch film.

Anywho, here's the text of this story, straight from Ingram's book– but it's in PDF format, which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to open it up. If you don't have Acrobat Reader, go here. It's free.

Maybe I should have saved this for October...

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