[Bob’s Note: The Bell Witch by John F.D. Taff will be released by Books of the Dead Press in July 2013.]
John F.D. Taff takes us to Adams, Tennessee circa 1820 to tell the all-American ghost story of The Bell Witch. Taff extracts elements of real Southern folklore to build the structure of his story, but populates it with compelling fictional characters.
The Bell family has skeletons rattling in the closet, and a dark secret has given birth to a vengeful supernatural entity — The Bell Witch.
The Witch exists almost entirely as a disembodied voice who harasses the members of the Bell family like an overbearing mother-in-law. She’s “The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave,” and before long the Bells become bored, annoyed, and impatient with the intrusive Witch.
But her purpose becomes more apparent — and more sinister — when The Witch targets certain members of the Bell clan for a rough brand of supernatural bullying. This vengeful, diarrhea-mouthed spirit won’t rest until a terrible truth is revealed, and a deadly debt is paid.
The Bell Witch is an atmospheric Southern Gothic—an all-American ghost story—born of regional folklore, and Taff’s fertile imagination. The Witch is a memorable haunt, a spook with a conscience and a purpose, a ghost that gets drunk, horny, and lonely, but never waivers in her mission of vengeance.
BOB’S BOTTOM LINE: The Bell Witch will haunt you long after you finish reading this well-crafted, all-America ghost story.