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Known throughout Tennessee as "Old Kate," the Bell Witch took up residence with John Bell's family in 1818. It was a cruel and noisy spirit, given to knocking and gnawing sounds before finding its own voices. With these voices and supernatural acts, the Bell Witch tormented the Bell family. The extraordinary tale recounts the only documented case in U. S. History when a spirit "actually caused a man's death." The then local schoolteacher, Richard Powell, witnessed these strange events and recorded them in a diary for his daughter. His astonishing manuscript fell into the hands of novelist Brent Monohan, who edited it for this retelling. Richard Powell, State Senator for Tennessee, was a schoolteacher when he first encountered the Bell Witch. He died in 1848.