Jessika's Reviews > The Bell Witch: An American Haunting

The Bell Witch by Brent Monahan
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Jun 29, 2009

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bookshelves: fiction, historical-fiction, horror, library, mystery
Read from May 17 to 19, 2010

I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I read it twice when I was younger and was obsessed with it. I went through a phase where I gobbled up anything and everything about poltergeists.

It was definitely a little creepy, but I think what kept this from being a four-star read for me was knowing that this isn't an actual manuscript, but rather one that Monahan conjured based off of the "true" story (whether you believe in the supernatural or not). See, when I was younger, I didn't know that and it made this story infinitesimally scarier. With that said, I think that Monahan did a great job at holding true to how Powell would have spoken/written during that time period. There is a feeling of authenticity to it that does allow for the "creep factor" to settle in, and I feel like Monahan does an excellent job at making this seem as real as possible.

I probably wouldn't read this one on a dark, windy night. Maybe it's just because I've been on such a Stephen King kick, but this one just didn't terrify me like it used to. If you like ghost stories, though, this one is pretty spooky and enjoyable. Knowing the twist at the end made this story affect me in a different way entirely, though. Well, I was horrified, but for a completely different reason than the Bell witch. I don't want to say too much though because I do think that this is worth a read, if only for a spooky story for around the campfire.
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Reading Progress

05/17/2010 page 52
26.13% "This is interesting so far. I think Monahan is doing a good job at making this appear as realistic as possible."
05/18/2010 page 103
51.76% "Creepy creepy!"
09/14/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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Jo (Bloomin'Chick) How is this Jess? It's on my to-read list. The movie was pretty good.


Jessika I just heard about the movie this morning! I'll have to look into it. So far, this is pretty good. Monahan apparently wrote this based on the true story, so it's less of a documentary and more of a story. I like it though!


JG (The Introverted Reader) I read this right after I had my wisdom teeth pulled. I think the painkillers upped the creep-factor.


Jo (Bloomin'Chick) Most likely! Wow, what a time for a story like this!


JG (The Introverted Reader) I don't know what I was thinking. I just didn't think it through when I made my trip to the library beforehand.


Jo (Bloomin'Chick) I know what you mean! I decided to start reading Stephen King's story The Mist 2 years ago while I was sick and experiencing for the first time the trauma & heartbreak of having to put one of my kitties down and I can't begin to tell you how much I scared the crap out of myself! I couldn't even finish the story and donated the book it was in because I don't even want it in the house any more, lol!


Jessika Lol this is really funny reading both of your stories. I'll have to try reading something scary the next time I'm sick and have to take Nyquil or something!


Jo (Bloomin'Chick) LOL! Don't say you haven't been warned against it! :~)


JG (The Introverted Reader) I agree! Only if you want to scare yourself to death!


Jo (Bloomin'Chick) I'm shuddering at the thought!


Carroll Straus Monahan says the work is NOT fiction. On what basis are you asserting otherwise?


Jessika Well, he based it off of a true story, but this actual novel is fiction, according to his website.


Carroll Straus Well in the book he states it is true end verified so he lied at one or the other time. And the web site--badly written and not necessarily from the author: I looked up who owns the web site and it does not list his name. Whoever it is lives in Scottsdale.

So either he is a liar in print or he is a liar on the evanescent internet. I sure don't see that VERY badly written web site being the work of a much published author.

Which lie shall we believe?


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