The Original Tale of Bella
The story of Bella begins back in April 1943 during early evening time at Hagley Woods in Stourbridge. Four boys in search of bird nests found a striking elm tree that caught their eye. One of the four climbed up to take a closer look only to peer into the hollow and discover a human skull.
As the boys were not supposed to be in Hagley Woods, they decided to head home and keep this to themselves through fear of getting themselves in trouble. However one of them decided to tell his father, who in turn rang the police and the story of Bella in the Wych-Elm was born.
Okay granted, that is likely to be a very short version of the tale, but you get the idea. Jayne Harris covers it much better in her documentary, which is what this post is about of course. I recently watched Jayne’s film and to be honest I was pleasantly surprised. So, I thought I would post a little review of it for you all.
Looking At A Few Theories Surrounding Bella!
Jayne isn’t shy about looking at several of the prominent theories regarding Bella, which is one of the reasons I really enjoyed the film.
One of the most spoken about theories is that the events that lead to Bella’s demise were related to Witchcraft in some way and thats why she was placed in the elm tree. Jayne tackles this theory head on, gathering the related information attributed to this line of enquiry and then follows it up with a smart approach. After all when the stories of Bella seem to be related to Witchcraft, who better to talk to about this possibility than a Witch of course. In this case Jayne speaks to Ashley Mortimer, a friend of mine and someone whom I consider very knowledgeable in all things to do with Witchcraft, Wicca, Paganism and the very interesting Doreen Valiente. This all presents very well in the film and gives us an interesting perspective on this theory.
Next up was the espionage theory which I found equally interesting as the witchcraft theory. Jayne done a fantastic job at looking into this theory in detail, chasing up quite a few leads to ensure that the evidence supported what was believed. Not to mention dismissing a few parts of this theory that were more fiction than fact. However the trail for this theory was well followed and documented in film.
The final theory that was looked at in the film was that of either unfortunate events or good old fashion murder. Jayne looked at the possibility that Bella had either walked through Hagley Woods and someone had either robbed and murdered her or her body had been hidden there following her unfortunate demise.
Who Was Bella?
However Jayne didn’t just leave the case here looking at those three probable theories, she continued to look at some aspects of the case that may have been overlooked in the past. This was something that really made the film for me, as Jayne took a look at who Bella might have been, which may also help to explain why she ended up in the Wych-Elm.
Drawing from the facts in the police reports Jayne makes comparisons in order to discuss some of the possible candidates for Bella. I like the way that the candidates are logically assessed by Jayne and found myself nodding in agreement with her conclusions of this.
Although I am not familiar with the case of Bella it certainly seemed as if ‘no stone was left unturned’ by Jayne and this approach shone through in her film. I could see that the evidence and details of the case had been followed. This was made evident in how the film presented Jayne’s findings, remaining true to the case and its facts. Rather than seeking a supernatural answer.
Not Entirely Without Supernatural Links!
However at a couple of points during the film Jayne interviewed and utilised what could be said to be more psychical resources, with the interview of a Psychic Medium and also a Remote Viewer. Given the rest of the films approach, this should have been the bit where I felt a little disappointed and possibly rolled my eyes a little. Not because I dismiss these approaches, but because the film may not have seemed like these approaches would fit the format. This I am happy to say was not the case though. Both individuals were interviewed well and utilised in conjunction with matters relating to the case, presenting them as valid rather than a supernatural inclusion.
Personally I especially liked the use of a Remote Viewer, as this particular approach is something that has been heavily documented over the years, but often dismissed. However many law enforcement departments (certainly in the States) have utilised them on active cases productively. The use of a Remote Viewer also resulted in some fascinating responses, no spoilers, but keep an eye out for them.
If you’re like me and find yourself looking into the facts behind cases that often have supernatural links, then ‘Who Put Bella in the Wych-Elm – The Untold Secrets’ is a must for you without a doubt!
Jayne Harris has produced an excellent film covering the case excellently and in a way that captivated me throughout. The documentary was at a good pace too and didn’t just deliver the facts or analyse the possibilities, it told the story!
I have to be honest I went into this with an open mind, but was prepared for a film that wasn’t going to be let’s say of TV professional standards. Perhaps because I didn’t want to set my expectations too high and then be disappointed. However I have to admit, I was wrong to do so. Jayne Harris has delivered a fantastic film, which in my opinion is every bit professional as many of the paranormal shows I have seen on TV, if not better. It’s certainly up there as a good documentary, which would not be out of place on TV.
Great job Jayne I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Who Put Bella in the Wych-Elm – The Untold Secret’ and I look forward to your next film.
If you’ve not seen the film, please do and also check out more of Jayne Harris’s work at www.jayne-harris.com.
A DVD of Who Put Bella in the Wych-Elm – The Untold Secrets is available here www.hdparanormal.com/product-page
Jayne also has a Halloween screening of the film coming up, tickets are available here at www.boroughhalls.co.uk/who-put-bella-in-the-wych-elm.html
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