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An American Haunting (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama, History, Horror | 5 May 2006 (USA)
Trailer
1:00 | Trailer
Based on the true events of the only case in US History where a spirit caused the death of a man.

Director:

Courtney Solomon

Writers:

Brent Monahan (novel), Courtney Solomon
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... John Bell
Sissy Spacek ... Lucy Bell
James D'Arcy ... Richard Powell
Rachel Hurd-Wood ... Betsy Bell / Entity Voice
Matthew Marsh ... James Johnston
Thom Fell ... John Bell Jr.
Zoe Thorne Zoe Thorne ... Theny Thorn (as Zoë Thorne)
Gaye Brown Gaye Brown ... Kathe Batts
Sam Alexander Sam Alexander ... Joshua Gardner
Miquel Brown Miquel Brown ... Chloe
Vernon Dobtcheff ... Elder #1
Shauna Shim Shauna Shim ... Anky
Madalina Stan Madalina Stan ... Ethereal Girl
Philip Hurd-Wood ... Partygoer (as Phillip Hurd-Wood)
Vlad Cruceru Vlad Cruceru ... Richard Bell (aged 6)
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Storyline

In 2006, in Red River, Tennessee, a teenager has frequent nightmares. Her mother reads an old letter from 1817 written by her ancestor, Lucy Bell. After a dispute of lands judged by the church, her husband John Bell is cursed by his opponent Kathe Batts, who has a fame of being a witch. From this moment on, an entity threatens John and her daughter Betsy Bell, attacking the girl during the nights. With the support of Betsy's school teacher Richard Powell, who tries to find rational explanations for the manifestation; her brother John Bell Jr.; and their friend James Johnston, who unsuccessfully tries to exorcize the entity from the house, the family does their best to protect Betsy in the haunted house. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Possession Knows No Bounds


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense terror sequences and thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is actually based on a purportedly true story. Andrew Jackson was quoted as saying, "I would rather take on the entire English Fleet than stay one night at the Bell House," however his presence at the house is disputed and there are no official records that confirm he was actually present or witnessed any supernatural activity. The haunting is documented in M. V. Ingram's 1894 book, An Authenticated History of The Famous Bell Witch. This movie was based on the book by Brent Monahan,The Bell Witch: An American Haunting the Famous Bell Witch. However, the Ingram book has been called into question by researchers, who have noted that it's based on secondhand accounts and that no firsthand accounts to the haunting survive, and records from the time have not supported the story of the haunting. The Ingram book calls on quotes from letters and diaries but those documents no longer exist (if they ever did) and it is impossible to verify if the haunting actually happened or if it was a hoax or an early urban legend. Some researchers have even raised the possibility that the Ingram book was actually a work of fiction now mistakenly believed to be a factual account. See more »

Goofs

Right after John Bell gets knocked out by the door slamming shut, the "spirit" re-opens the door. A hand can be seen quickly pulling away from the knob on the other side. See more »

Quotes

John Bell: You were always a sound sleeper.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD is released in an Unrated Version, which has a number of differences from the original PG-13 version. See more »

Connections

References Monster (2003) See more »

User Reviews

 
fair ghost story but lacks scares
9 June 2015 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

A divorced mother is living in the woods with her daughter suffering from nightmares. She finds a letter from 1848 by the previous occupant recounting the tale of the Bell Witch. It's 1817 Red River, Tennessee. The church finds John Bell (Donald Sutherland) of usury for charging 20% interest against rumored witch Kate Batts. However Batts doesn't get her expected reciprocity and vows revenge on him and his beloved daughter Betsy (Rachel Hurd-Wood).

It looks good but there are few scares. The jump scares come with regularity which only makes it less scary. It's a lot of loud surprise noises and horror soundtrack. Sutherland and Sissy Spacek seem to be slumming it here in this one. This could work with Rachel Hurd-Wood front and center. Instead the movie starts with another girl in a different time period. It takes awhile to get to her and the movie keeps going back to the veterans. The reveal is problematic and a little bit confusing. This is a fair ghost story but it isn't scary.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | Canada | Romania | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 May 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Apariciones See more »

Filming Locations:

Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,380,000, 7 May 2006

Gross USA:

$16,298,046

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,612,137
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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