Professor Alison Bell is a social scientist, anthropologist, archeologist and…. ghost believer? In our podcast, we sought out a ghost story from a local Lexington personality, hoping to shed some light on supernatural belief in our area. Although Professor Bell’s story speaks for itself, some introduction to Professor Bell herself is necessary to fully grasp her story.
Alison Bell has spent most of her adult life in Central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. She completed her Bachelors here at Washington and Lee University with a double major in Anthropology and English. She was among the third class of women to attend W&L and that itself speaks to her incredible personality and drive. Professor Bell went on to earn her Doctorate of Philosophy in Anthropology from the University of Virginia. She has spent several years teaching at various institutions through Virginia and the East Coast, including a position as a English professor at Armstrong State College. Her research interests include material culture, consumption and production, and the 18th and 19th century eastern United States.
However impressive her CV is, as we met Professor Bell in her office, we immediately felt at ease. Her warm personality and contagious laughter filled the room as she spun the tale of her ghostly interaction at the age of 18 in Kalispell, Montana. She did not hold back recounting the details of her story, but shared with open ease and the comfort of a story told many times over. As an educated women, her experience with the supernatural is surprising. After hearing her story, it is near impossible to decide if this indeed a ghost or merely a lucky chance encounter with a helpful stranger.
As you listen to her tale, consider the full reality of her experience. A young woman, alone, in the dark, in the middle of nowhere – the true fear that must have surrounded her as she was abandoned at a country gas station. This alone makes a terrifying tale. Add in a strange man and a nonexistent house and the tale progresses to something out of a horror movie. Listen to it without judgment, accept the reality of her experience, and try to decide – do you believe in ghosts?