Bella in the Wych Elm: Unsolved Mystery

The original Wych Elm in Hagley Wood
On April 18, 1943, four boys from Stourbridge, England were poaching in Hagley Woods when they came across a large witch-hazel tree. When one of the boys climbed the tree, he discovered a human skull in the hollow trunk. After police were notified, they found an entire skeleton concealed in the tree–along with a shoe, gold wedding ring, and fragments of clothing. A severed human hand was also buried next to the tree. A taffeta was found in the skull’s mouth, indicating that the victim had died from asphyxiation. A forensic examination determined that the victim was female and had been dead at least 18 months. Coincidentally enough, a resident had reported hearing a female scream in Hagley Woods about 18 months beforehand.

Bella's skull found in the Wych Elm
Though the woman was never identified, her legend grew months later after mysterious graffiti messages started appearing on walls, which often read: “Who put Bella in the Wych elm?”. These messages all appeared to be written by the same unknown person, who may have had knowledge about what happened. This message last appeared in 1999 when it was sprayed on the 200-year old Wychbury Obelisk. It was theorized that the unidentified woman might have been the victim of black magic, or that she was a member of a spy ring and was giving secrets to the Luftwaffe about local munitions factories. After 70 years, there are still no answers about who “Bella” was or who put her in the Wych elm.


Bella in the Wych Elm: Unsolved Mystery Bella in the Wych Elm: Unsolved Mystery Reviewed by Elvis G. on 11:38:00 AM Rating: 5
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