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Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 16:03:19 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) PEACE: Bell Witch rings a bell

Roy wrote:
>Also, the Lorn's strict religious observances make me doubt that they would
>desecrate a grave or use a gravestone for a doorstep. Neither do I think a
>strict country preacher would enlist the aid of a heathen "wise woman" to
>lay a ghost.

Maybe.  First off, what are/were the Cardiff Bretheren, anyway, who sent
missionaries to China?  (Sounds more like free masons to me!)  Granted Mr.
Lorn is an Approved Methodist, but still I'm not certain.  The bit about
the stone being a gravestone could be a lie and the rest somehow true.

As for the girl's own sense, whoa, Margie fantasizes that the China egg,
with pictures of the ressurection, will hatch a freaky sharp-toothed demon!
In her own way, she is a little Wednesday Addams (and thus a perfect match
for Weer); but I will agree in another case that her religion might make
her repelled by the subtext of the Tilly Tale which was so alluring to the
non-religious Olivia.

>My question is: what is a Bell Witch?

Check out this site: http://www.bellwitch.org/

The short answer is "it" started haunting in Tennessee in 1817, and it is a
bit like the ghost of Tilly's wife (using poison at least once), a bit like
the banshee, and it seems quite likely that Gene Wolfe knew all about it.

I only read the main text and there was nothing about a ceremony for
quieting the witch.

(And no, the witch doesn't ring a bell -- it is named after the family it
persecuted, the Bell family.)



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