Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Simply History: The Bell Witch

Welcome to October! Yes, it's time for Halloween with spooks and creeps. I wanted to start us off with a Spook from Tennessee. The entity is known as the Bell Witch. The Bell Witch is the most famous haunting in America. The story begins in Red River, which is now known as Adams, Tennessee in 1817, when John Bell Sr. began to be terrorized by the spirit of a witch. The Bell family had moved to Tennessee from North Carolina in the early 1800's. Mr. Bell was a farmer and had expanded his property to around 328 acres. It was during this expansion that he happened to come across a woman by the name of Kate Batts. According to legend, Kate had a disagreement with Mr. Bell over a slave and also believed that he had claimed/stolen some of her property that was adjacent to his. From then on, she was known to have cursed the Bell family regularly in public, so when the haunting began in 1817, many believed that Kate had conjured up a spirit to get even with the Bell family. The haunting began when John Bell came across an odd creature in his pasture. He was said to have shot the creature but it soon vanished. Later that evening, the home was disturbed with knocking on the doors and windows, the sound of wings on the ceiling and rats gnawing at the bed posts. The family did not find any evidence when they arose the next morning and decided to keep quiet about the events. Unfortunately, the haunting was only beginning. The "Witch Spirit" continued the assault on the family. Blankets would be ripped from the beds of their children, milk and sugar spilled across the kitchen floor and even food pulled from the mouths of the children. Betsy Bell was one of the children that the spirit seemed to focus on. She was subjected to being struck, pinched and having her hair pulled. Lucy and John Junior were mostly spared from the torture. However, John Jr. was said to have had many long and intense conversations with the witch spirit and held great animosity towards it. The children were not the only ones to deal with the spirit. The witch spirit disliked the family's slaves and would torture them with beatings, and not allow them to enter the home. One slave would carry an axe and "witch ball" to protect himself. No visitor to the property was safe. The future President of the United States, General Andrew Jackson, owned property in the town and insisted on visiting the Bell family due to all the stories. When Jackson came upon the property, the wheels of his wagon became stuck by an unforeseen force. The General was quoted as saying "By the eternal boys, this is the witch." The spirit replied, "All right, General, let the wagon move on. I will see you again tonight." The wagon was then released from the unforeseen hold and they continued on to the camp site.  When the evening came, a witch hunter was brought in to rid them of the evil. Soon, the sound of light footsteps was heard and a voice stated, "Alright, General, I am on hand and ready for business." The witch hunter had brought a gun with a silver bullet to shoot the witch spirit, but the gun would not fire. The hunter then ran from the tent in terror, proclaiming that he was being stuck with needles and had been grabbed by the nose. The spirit then stated, "How the devil did run and beg; I'll bet he won't come through here again with his old horse pistol to shoot me. I guess that's fun enough for tonight, General, and you can go to be now. I will come tomorrow night and show you another rascal in this crowd." Andrew Jackson was excited about the prospect for another visit, but his party did not want to stay any longer and he returned to Nashville. The haunting continued for several years and many believed that it caused the death of John Bell Sr. on December, 20, 1920. It was said that the witch spirit even crashed his funeral by singing vile drinking songs. You would think that after the death of Mr. Bell, the witch spirit would subside, but she did not. There are many stories left to tell about the Bell Witch, but it would be a very long blog post to tell you of them all. You can find out more online, or you can bravely visit Adams, TN and ask her yourself! I hope everyone has a great rest of the week, and be sure to join us again on Friday, for our Recipe of the Week! Till the next Haunting!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Get Out & Explore: Events and Festivals for the Week/Weekend of 10/01-10/05

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! We have compiled a list of festivals and events that are happening around Tennessee for the upcoming week/weekend. You will find that the listings below are divided into three categories based on the areas of the state. I hope you find the list useful. Please feel free to leave a comment if this was beneficial for you. If you have an event you would like for us to post, please let us know! Join us on Wednesday when we will tell you about a Tennessee Haunting: The Bell Witch! Have a fun and safe week! :)

West TN
  • Now-Oct 17, 23rd Annual Festival of Quilts & Fine Needlework
Bank of Ripley, Ripley, TN
  • Oct 3-Nov 1, Spooky Nights
Shelby Farms Park, Memphis, TN
  • Oct 3-5, Reelfoot Arts & Crafts Festival
Reelfoot Lake, Tiptonville, TN
  • Oct 4, Mid-South Classic Collector Car Auction & Swap Meet
50 Fiberglass Road, Jackson, TN
  • Oct 4-5, 70th Anniversary of Saipan Re-Enactment
111 Perry Switch Road, Jackson, TN
  • Oct 4, Cordova Arts & Crafts Festival
Community Center, Cordova, TN
  • Oct 4, Oktoberfest
Henry County Fairgrounds, Paris, TN
  • Oct 5-11, 47th Annual Davy Crockett Days
Davy Crockett Cabin Museum, Rutherford, TN

Middle TN
  • Now-Oct 25, Baker Mountain Farm Fall Festivities
Baker Mountain Farm, Spencer, TN
  • Now-Oct 7, Group Dog Training Class
Franklin Dog, Franklin, TN
  • Now-Oct 31, Walden Pumpkin Farm
8653 Rocky Fork Road, Smyrna, TN
  • Now-Oct 31, "If These Walls Could Talk" exhibit
Sutton Homestead, Granville, TN
  • Now-Nov 1, Grandaddy's Farm Corn Maze, Fall Market, Pumpkin Patch & More!
454 Highland Ridge Road, Estill Springs, TN
  • Now-Nov 1, Bell Witch 2014 Fall Festival
Bell School Ground, Adams, TN
  • Now-Nov 2, 14th Annual Cedarwood Pumpkin Patch
6794 Nashville Highway, McMinnville, TN
  • Oct 1-31, Fall Fun Seasons
Sycamore Springs Farm, Jamestown, TN
  • Oct 2-3, Tennessee Green Industry Expo
Music City Center, Nashville, TN
  • Oct 2-4, Upscale Barn sale
White Farm, Lafayette, TN
  • Oct 2-4, Roller Coaster Yard Sale
Various Sites, Byrdstown, TN
  • Oct 2-4, The Hayloft I Fall Barn Sale
The Hayloft at Port Royal, Clarksville, TN
  • Oct 3, NHC Murfreesboro's Fall Fest Alzheimer's Awareness Block Party
420 N. University St, Murfreesboro, TN
  • Oct 3-4,  Oktoberfest
Clarksville Speedway, ClarksvilleTN
  • Oct 3-4,  Miss Tennessee USA & Teen USA Pageant
APSU Music/Mass Communications Building, Clarksville, TN
  • Oct 3-4,  Humphrey's County Antique Tractor & Engine Show
Humphrey's County Fairgrounds, TN
  • Oct 3-4, The Belmont Community Art Show & Sale
Christ the King School, Nashville, TN
  • Oct 3-4, Arts in the Appalachians
Historic Downtown, Gainesboro, TN
  • Oct 3-4, Manchester Old Timers Day
Downtown, Manchester, TN
  • Oct 4, Civil War Living History & Monteagle Homecoming Displays
16 Dixie Lee Avenue, Monteagle, TN
  • Oct 4, Million Dollar Mile Yard Sale
Bockman Way & Highway 70, Sparta, TN
  • Oct 4, Train Robbery Excursion Train to Watertown
Tennessee Central Railway Museum, Nashville, TN
  • Oct 4, Lewisburg Lions Octoberfest
Lewisburg Downtown Public Square, Lewisburg, TN
  • Oct 4, Williamson County Master Gardeners Association Fall Plant Sale
Carnton Plantation, Franklin, TN
  • Oct 4, Whiskey Runners 2014 Cruisin the Hollow
Wiseman Park, Lynchburg, TN
  • Oct 4, Waynesboro Harvest Festival
Downtown, Waynesboro, TN
  • Oct 4-5, 152nd Anniversary Re-Enactment of the Battle of Riggins Hill
Historic Collinsville, TN
  • Oct 4-31, The Cooper Trooper Foundation's Pumpkin Patch
530 Cool Springs Blvd, Franklin, TN
  • Oct 4, Autumn Street Fair
Downtown, McMinnville, TN
  • Oct 4, Art In The Park
J. Travis Price Park, Springfield, TN
  • Oct 4, Art In The Park
Our Town City Park & Courthouse grounds, Shelbyville, TN
  • Oct 4, Milky Way Farm Mud Mall
Milky Way Farm, Pulaski, TN
  • Oct 4, Smith County Fall Funday
Smith County Ag Center, Carthage, TN
  • Oct 4, HPC Third Artisan Craft Fair
Hermitage Presbyterian Church, Hermitage, TN
  • Oct 4, Sona Fest
Dudley Park, Nashville, TN
  • Oct 4-5, Spring Hill Country Ham Festival
Tennessee's Children's Home, Spring Hill, TN
  • Oct 4-5, National Banana Pudding Festival & Cook-off
Centerville River Park, Centerville, TN
  • Oct 4, Jazz on the Cumberland
Granville Veteran Park, Granville, TN
  • Oct 4, 2014 Greater Nashville Heart Walk
Vanderbilt University Sports Field, Nashville, TN
  • Oct 4, Cheekwood Harvest
Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, Nashville, TN
  • Oct 4, Second Annual Festival of Hope & Superhero 5K
Charlie Daniels Park, Mt. Juliet, TN
  • Oct 4, The Grape Stomp Festival
O'More College of Design, Franklin, TN
  • Oct 4, Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival 2014
Centennial Park, Nashville, TN
  • Oct 4, Fall Fest featuring fundraising for Local Pet Rescues & Open House
Nipper's Corner Pet Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • Oct 4, Main Street Festival
Historic Downtown Square, Gallatin, TN
  • Oct 4, The Macaroni & Cheese Festival
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Nashville, TN
  • Oct 4, Lotz House 6th Annual Antiques Appraisal Fair
Lotz House, Franklin, TN
  • Oct 4-5, Fall Fest at the Hermitage 2014
The Hermitage, Nashville, TN
  • Oct 4-5, Handmade Harvest Vintage Farm Fair
J. Alexander Farm, Bethpage, TN

East TN
  • Oct 1-Nov 11, Scarecrows on Main
Downtown, Mountain City, TN
  • Oct 2, Fifth Annual Taste of Monroe
Downtown, Madisonville, TN
  • Oct 2-5, 20th Annual Sycamore Shoals Quilt Show
Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, Elizabethton, TN
  • Oct 3-4, Unicoi County Apple Festival
Downtown, Erwin, TN
  • Oct 3-5, National Storytelling Festival
Downtown, Jonesborough, TN
  • Oct 3-5, Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival at Arrowmont
Arrowmont School of Arts & Craft Campus, Gatlinburg, TN
  • Oct 4, Annual 12-Mile Yard Sale
Clinch Valley Road between Route 70 & Route 30, Rogersville, TN
  • Oct 4-5, Appalachian Heritage Day & Founders Day Celebration
Various Sites, Rugby, TN
  • Oct 4-5, 38th Annual Hancock County Fall Festival
Fall Festival Site, Sneedville, TN
  • Oct 4, Kingston County Fair
Fort Southwest Point, Kingston, TN
  • Oct 4, Maryville College Harvest Craft Festival
Clayton Center for the Arts, Maryville, TN
  • Oct 4, Newport Harvest Street Festival
Downtown, Newport, TN
  • Oct 4-5, Jewelry & Bead Show
East Ridge Community Center, East Ridge, TN

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Get Out & Explore: Events and Festivals for the Week/Weekend of 09/22-09/28

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! We have compiled a list of festivals and events that are happening around Tennessee for the upcoming week/weekend. You will find that the listings below are divided into three categories based on the areas of the state. I hope you find the list useful. Please feel free to leave a comment if this was beneficial for you. If you have an event you would like for us to post, please let us know! Have a fun and safe week! :)

West TN
  • Sept 24-27, Unreal Film Festival
Evergreen Theater, Memphis, TN
  • Sept 26-28, 16th Annual Buck Creek St. Jude Trail Ride
Weaver Farms, Alamo, TN
  • Sept 27, Adamsville Music Festival
Adamsville City Park, Adamsville, TN
  • Sept 27, 13th Annual Antique Radio Show
Main Street, Henderson, TN
  • Sept 27, Heritage Festival with Arts & Crafts & Antiques
Historic Court Square, Covington, TN
  • Sept 27, Sardis Antique Farm & Home Show
City Park, Sardis, TN
  • Sept 27, One Way Music & Arts Festival - Huntingdon Heritage Day
Huntingdon Court Square, Huntingdon, TN
  • Sept 27-28, Arts Round the Square
Downtown Court House Lawn, Paris, TN

Middle TN
  • Sept 25-26, Heritage Days
Historic Sam Davis Home & Plantation, Smyrna, TN
  • Sept 26-27, 41 A Kiwanis Arts & Music Festival
Downtown Tullahoma, TN
  • Sept 26-28, Tennessee Craft Fall Fair
Centennial Park, Nashville, TN
  • Sept 26-28, Glen Leven Farm Family Harvest Days
The Land Trust for Tennessee's Glen Leven Farm, Nashville, TN
  • Sept 26, Campus School Fall Festival Fundraiser
Campus School, Murfreesboro, TN
  • Sept 26-27, Southern Fried Festival
Downtown Columbia, TN
  • Sept 26-28, TACA Fall Craft Fair
Centennial Park, Nashville, TN
  • Sept 26-28, Nashville Flea Market
Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN
  • Sept 26-27, 14th Annual Montgomery County Antique Tractor & Engine Show
4-H Club Grounds & Pavilion, Clarksville, TN
  • Sept 26-28, 14th Annual Buffalo River
1690 Airport Ridge Road, Linden, TN
  • Sept 26-28, 25th Annual Music City Mopar Club Car & Truck Show
Wilson County Fairgrounds, Lebanon, TN
  • Sept 27, Patterson Park Fall Arts & Crafts Show
Patterson Park, Murfreesboro, TN
  • Sept 27,  Remembering WWII: Re-Enactment & Swap Meet
Linden Courthouse Square, LindenTN
  • Sept 27,  Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show Plus Swap Meet
Ricky Woodard Park, Westmoreland, TN
  • Sept 27,  Garrett's Hero run 5K and Fun Run/Walk
Thompson's Station Park, Thompson's Station, TN
  • Sept 27, Annual Celebrate Mt. Juliet Walk
Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center, Mt. Juliet, TN
  • Sept 27-28, Teddy Bear Two Music Festival
Wilson County Fairgrounds, Lebanon, TN
  • Sept 27-28, Civil War Nashville 1865
Fort Negley, Nashville, TN
  • Sept 27-28, 33rd Annual Mt. Juliet Pow Wow
Mundy Memorial Park, Mt. Juliet, TN
  • Sept 27-28, Greater Murfreesboro Kennel Club's All-Breed Dog Show
Middle Tennessee State University Livestock Center, Murfreesboro, TN
  • Sept 27, Color of Fall Car Show
On the Square, Woodbury, TN
  • Sept 27, Antique P.a.c.e Car Show
Martin Methodist College, Pulaski, TN
  • Sept 27, Patterson Park Fall Craft Show
Patterson Park Community Center, Murfreesboro, TN
  • Sept 27, Fall Festival: The Dog & Pony Show
Thompson's Station Park, Thompson's Station, TN
  • Sept 27, Chili Cookoff, Car Show & Crafts
Hannah Pickett Park, Monteagle, TN
  • Sept 27, 3rd Annual Storytelling Festival
Standing Stone State Park, Hilham, TN
  • Sept 27, Fall Mile Long Yard Sale Trip
Tennessee Central Railway Museum, Nashville, TN
  • Sept 27, Cheekwood Harvest - Birds of Pray Shows
Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, Nashville, TN
  • Sept 27, Jazz on the Lawn: CJQ
Beachaven Vineyards & Winery, Clarksville, TN
  • Sept 27, New Hope Community Church SeptemberFest
New Hope Community Church, Brentwood, TN
  • Sept 27, RecoveryFest Nashville 2014
East Park, Nashville, TN
  • Sept 27, 10th Annual Holy Trinity/Montessori Oktoberfest & Kids Rock
HT Lutheran Church, Nashville, TN
  • Sept 27-28, Homesteads Apple Festival
Cumberland Homestead Tower Museum, Crossville, TN
  • Sept 28, Fall for Cheekwood, A Family Benefit
Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, Nashville, TN
  • Sept 28, Glen Leven Farm Family Harvest Day
The Land Trust for Tennessee's Glen Leven Farm, Nashville, TN

East TN
  • Sept 22-Nov 01, Dollywood's National Gospel & Harvest Festival
Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, TN
  • Sept 27-28, Exchange Place Fall Folks Arts Festival
Exchange Place Living History Farm, Kingsport, TN
  • Sept 27-Oct 25, Pigeon Forge Rotary Club Craft Festival
Patriot Park, Pigeon Forge, TN
  • Sept 27, Public Lands Day & Cleanup
Norris Lake, Andersonville, TN
  • Sept 27, Appalachian Heritage Festival
Scott County Museum, Huntsville, TN

Friday, September 19, 2014

Simply Potato Skins

Potato Skins
Happy Friday!  It's Football Season and snacks are on the menu.  Today, we will share our recipe for potato skins.  The key is to deep fry the skins in oil before you add the cheese and bacon.


3 Medium Potatoes
Shredded Cheese
Bacon Bits
Sour Cream

1.  Wash and then wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated oven of 375 F for 1 hour-1 1/2 hours.

2.  Remove the potatoes from the oven and discard the aluminum foil.  Allow to cool 10-15 minutes.

3. Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the centers to make a bowl.  Make sure not to scoop all the way to the skin.  You want to leave some of the potato on the inside to hold it's shape.

4.  You will fry the potatoes in oil for 3 minutes in a deep fryer (or deep skillet) at 350 F.

5.  Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and fill with cheese and bacon.

6.  Put the potatoes back into the oven and broil them until the cheese begins to bubble.

7.  Remove from the oven, add some sour cream and enjoy!

Have a great weekend and check back with us on Sunday, when we will let you know what events/festivals are happening around Tennessee for the next weekend. If you missed this weekend's list, you can find the post on our blog from this past Sunday, September 14, 2014!

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