Kay Bagby’s vision for the preservation of history in Adams has expanded significantly over the years, culminating into an annual festival featuring multiple shows, events, and thousands of people in attendance every fall. However, twenty years ago, it was just a spark of an idea in Kay’s mind. Upon becoming familiar with the legend of the Bell Witch, she realized the impact that both the history and the story had on the area, and wanted to find a way to ensure it would not be forgotten.

Kay approached Juilliard graduate and Adams native David Alford with an idea for a stage performance that retold the story of the Bell family and their experience with the notorious spirit known as Kate. Once the play was written, Kay joined forces with other art-lovers in the area to officially organize the production known as ‘Spirit: The Authentic Story of the Bell Witch’.

Over twenty years later, Kay’s spark of an idea has transformed into The Bell Witch Fall Festival, put on and managed by Community Spirit, Inc. The festival includes multiple performances of both ‘Spirit’ and David Alford’s second full-length performance, ‘Smoke: A Ballad of the Night Riders’, as well as interactive storytelling through the unique ‘Red River Tales’. The month-long festival attracts thousands of people to the small town of Adams every year, sharing the region’s one-of-a-kind history and traditions with folks both old and new.

Since 2022, every performance of ‘Spirit’ has been held in the Kay Bagby Theater, and every April 3rd is celebrated as Ms. Kay Day in Adams- a well-deserved honor for the woman who helped bring such a unique legend to life!