I was on the fence about watching the recent paranormal series, “Cursed: The Bell Witch”. However, considering I live about ten minutes away from the Bell Witch Cave, I felt compelled to do so. I already knew about the story and the history behind the Bell family. I started watching a couple of episodes but then something would always pull me away and I never really got a chance to really digest what I was watching. So, one day after the series was over, I put on a cup of coffee, sat down and watched every single episode from start to finish.
Every. Single. Episode.
And I LOVED IT!
I’m just kidding. It was absolutely wretched!!!! I’ve seen some pretty bad paranormal shows in my time, but just when I thought it doesn’t get any worse than a demon being blown up in a mirrored box, I watched “Cursed: The Bell Witch.” I considered shoving my head into a toilet in the hopes of flushing out all the crap and shenanigans I witnessed in a 34 minute time span of watching the show, but I figured, why punish myself more? This was yet another stereotypical paranormal show full of ominous music for no apparent reason, awkward camera angles, and bad acting, accompanied with incorrect history and inaccurate facts.
To begin with, the show portrayed the residents of Adams, TN as overall-wearing, backwoods, ignorant, country folk that hate outsiders and most likely have a friend named “Cricket” who is married to his first cousin with one tooth. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The residents of Adams are very kind, normal, sweet people. I’ve been to Adams several times to visit my friend who lives there and I’ve asked locals about whether or not the Bell Witch legend was true. Not one time did anyone “warn” me to get out of town and to stay away if I know what’s good for me, which is what the show pretended to have happen to the cast members, John and Chad. In one episode, they actually tried to get viewers to believe that while they were sleeping in their tent, an Adams resident hung a corn doll up in a tree to warn them and scare them off. Now I have seen something similar to that…in the movie “The Blair Witch”! Everyone who saw that movie remembers that scene, John and Chad!
In one episode, John and Chad embark on a spiritual cleansing of the land to break it of a possible Native American curse by performing a shaman ritual. There’s just one little small problem with that scenario: The area the Bell farm was located at was NOT, I repeat, NOT, Native burial ground. It was Native hunting ground, as was all of the South. Did they not read up on the Tennessee Mound Builders who buried their dead in mounds, hence why they were called Mound Builders? Furthermore, real Native “Shaman” do not publicize that they are “Shamans”. In fact, they don’t really use that term to describe themselves. They most definitely wouldn’t perform any ritual on a TV show. But then the ritual goes terribly wrong and John must turn to his only hope: an exorcism! (Cue ominous music!) At that point my level of “I can’t even…” was exceeded. Is the Catholic Church aware that there is apparently an express lane to exorcisms? They might want to put a phone call in to John and Chad.
In yet another horrible episode, they whip out their reliable K2 meter and place it on a tombstone. Of course, it starts lighting up when a foreboding question is asked. It is purely coincidence that it seems to light up at the exact same time the camera man leans in to get a better camera angle. But of course, that big ass camera and boom mike aren’t going to manipulate that trusty K2 meter. Way to go, dumb dumb!
Why does Chad’s service dog, Newton, bark and run off, leaving his handler by himself? Isn’t that what he’s NOT supposed to do?
The main characters, John and Chad, were constantly hearing footsteps, twigs breaking, and movement in the woodline while they were investigating at night. I would hope that they did. It’s called wildlife. Not uncommon, especially in the backwoods of Tennessee. Just because you’re in a fabulous tent and you turn your flashlight off doesn’t mean all the other animals have to go to bed, John and Chad!
The show really struck a nerve with me when they started dispelling the history of the legend as being factual, grounded in historical documentation. Oh you dedicated purveyors of truth, John and Chad! In actuality, the first book that was ever published about the Bell Witch was written 75 years after the alleged occurrence. Anyone who would have had first hand knowledge of what actually happened was dead when it was written. Yeah, let that sink in for a moment. The author of the book wasn’t even alive when the Bell Witch “haunts” began. According to the show, the legend was first documented in the handwritten diary of Richard Bell, who was six when the “hauntings” began. Nevermind the fact that he didn’t write the diary until 30 years after the “hauntings”. The problem with this is that they completely overlooked the fact that the guy who wrote it is remembering with great detail something that supposedly happened when he was six and he waited 30 years to write it down. Not only that, but there is no evidence that the diary even exists as no one has ever seen it.
I could go on and on about the absurdity of the show but you get the point. If you get the opportunity to watch it, don’t. You can’t get that time back. All the tomfoolery and chicanery will suck the marrow of life from your bones with each passing minute. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I bet if we ask John and Chad’s trusty K2 meter if that will happen, it will light up, and that makes it real.
I give this show -666 stars….for obvious reasons.