The Cursed Brass Bell of Trussville

The following is the history of The Cursed Brass Bell of Trussville, as I have come to understand it. I am remiss to admit that I have not been able to determine its origin, nor do I know of how it came to reside in the rural farmhouse inherited by Daniel Hopkins in 1867. While typically I would continue my investigation of the item before parting with it, I have begun to hear ringing at night, and fear that I will soon suffer further symptoms if I do not part with the cursed thing. That said, its history is as follows:

The Bell’s First Victim: Daniel Hopkins, 1842 – 1869

Cause of Death: Suicide

In June of 1867, Daniel Hopkins inherited a rural farmhouse in Trussville, Alabama, from his grandparents. Reports indicate nothing abnormal regarding his grandparent’s passing, but I have not been able to ascertain the specific cause of their deaths.

At the time, Daniel was the owner of a small carpentry business and a prominent member of the community. He had been happily married for six years, and had two beautiful children, a boy and a girl. Although he owned a lovely home in town, after inheriting the farmhouse, he began spending nights away from his family.

These nights away became more and more frequent. By November of 1868, Daniel was spending weeks at a time alone at the farmhouse. He had grown distant from his family and stopped operating his business altogether. His wife, Sarah, wrote that his face had grown gaunt and sallow, that he had lost weight, and that he constantly complained of headaches, for which he blamed an incessantly ringing bell, which nobody else ever heard.

In December of 1868, Daniel was found dead in the farmhouse. He had hung himself in the guestroom; the same room which just so happened to house the Brass Bell.

The Bell’s Second Victim: Timothy Hopkins, 1863 – 1870

Cause of Death: Apparent Suicide

Timothy Hopkins was six years old at the time of his father’s suicide. In her diary, Sarah Hopkins noted that her son had taken the Brass Bell for himself, and that he kept it on his nightstand. She does not appear to think anything abnormal of the bell.

She writes that Timothy began to spend most of his time alone in his room. He became moody and easily agitated, and he also began to complain of headaches. Sarah attributed this change in behaviour to the death of her husband; her child was struggling with the death of his father, as any child would. Sarah’s diary notes only once that he complained of a ringing bell, but also says he frequently spoke of a “grey lady” whispering to him in his sleep.

Three months after his father’s death, six-year-old Timothy was found dead outside his family home. The boy had leapt from his bedroom window in the middle of the night.

The Bell’s Third Victim: John Tambor, 1845 – 1884

Cause of Death: Suicide

After the passing of both her husband and her son, Sarah Hopkins lived as a widow and single mother in Trussville for many years. Her daughter married in 1882 and moved into her husband’s home, and Sarah remarried in 1884, to John Tambor, a neighbour.

Once the two moved in together, her husband became distant, and began suffering from the same symptoms as had her first husband and her departed son – the incessant ringing of a bell, headaches, and the voice of a “grey woman” whispering to him at night.

That very year, Sarah Hopkins found her husband dead, hanging from the same rafters in the farmhouse as her first husband. On the nightstand, inexplicably, was the Brass Bell. This is when Sarah, in her diary, first writes that the bell is cursed. She left the item in the farmhouse, where she swore to never return.

Sarah Hopkins died of natural causes in her home in June of 1911.

The Bell’s Fourth Victim: Ashton MontClaire, 2001 – 2016

Cause of Death: Suicide

After the passing of Sarah Hopkins’ second husband, the farmhouse in rural Trussville obtained a reputation of being haunted. The property became stigmatized and remained untouched for over a century.

In October of 2016, eighteen-year-old Ashton Montclaire broke into the abandoned farmhouse with his girlfriend. As later reported by his girlfriend, they were becoming intimate when he suddenly turned pale and became frantic. He asked her if she heard a bell, and became transfixed on the upstairs guest room. When she went to check on him, she found Ashton dead, having cut his own throat.

The Bell’s Fifth Victim: Stewart Bonham, 1991 – 2020

Cause of Death: Suicide

In January of 2020, a home inspector was assessing the farmhouse when he discovered the dead body of Stewart Bonham, a homeless man who had a criminal history of substance abuse. Bonham had hung himself, in the same room as the others.

I first heard the tale of the haunted farmhouse in Trussville, Alabama many years ago, but only this past summer found the time to visit. I was in the guest room when I noticed the Brass Bell, sitting quietly on the nightstand, collecting dust. Fascinated, I took the trinket for myself, excited to discover its secrets.

Locals argue that the farmhouse is haunted; that it is what mysteriously took the lives of those five poor souls. However, I am of the opinion that it is the Brass Bell which carries the curse. As noted previously, I do not know from where the Brass Bell originates, why the men around it have heard ringing, or who the “grey lady” might be, but the coincidences are uncanny. I hate to part with the artifact before I learn more, but I must admit, I have not been sleeping well these past few months, and sometimes, in the middle of the night, I hear a faint ringing in my study.

To the person who purchases the Brass Bell, the item will be meticulously packaged, and delivered with a copy of its history. Thank you for reading this tall tale, and I wish you all the best.


J. W. Smithworth

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