‘Amish Witches’: Is Lifetime’s ‘Holmes County’ True-Story Movie Based On The Chesterville Witch?

Amish Witches: The True Story of Holmes County is a Lifetime horror film that is set to debut this weekend. Amish Witches: The True Story of Holmes County is about a production crew that is pulled into a paranormal nightmare after the death of an Amish witch. The movie was directed by Jake Wade Wall and written by Dandi Dewey and Shannon Evangelista. This latest Lifetime movie stars Hayley Palmaer as Esther, Caleb Carlson as Isaac, Kaylyn Scardefield as Iva, Evangeline Young as Ruthie, Michelle Young as Katie Ann, Nicole Rodenburg as Conor, and Amanda Jane Stern as A.J, according to IMDb.

Synopsis: Amish Witches: The True Story of Holmes County on Lifetime

A television reality crew has arrived in town to document facts about an isolated Amish sect called the Swartzentruber Amish. But their plans change, and filming is interrupted after the death of an Amish witch named Brauchau. After the witch’s funeral, locals in the town convince the production company to document the paranormal activities that have begun plaguing them. To pull it off, the production crew and the townspeople must put up with evil forces that are set on destroying them.

A Few Mentions

Lifetime’s advertisement for Amish Witches: The True Story of Holmes County says that the movie is based on real events. During the research for this movie, there was no information on a witch named Brauchau. However, the story makes one think of the town of Chesterville and the story of the Chesterville Witch, according to Amish 365’s article, “Amish Witches, Fact or Fiction?”

Chesterville was a town in the Amish countryside that is no longer found on modern maps of Illinois. Chesterville is also the home of the Chesterville cemetery, which holds the body of the Chesterville witch. (Some articles call this place Chesterfield.)

According to local legend and History Witch, the Chesterville witch was a 15-year-old (age not confirmed) rebellious teen with a mind of her own. She was outspoken and was ahead of her time. Her views and speech were considered highly inappropriate, and it was rumored that she worshiped the Devil. She was hated so much that the elders of the Amish community excommunicated her from the group, and no one was allowed to associate with her. The girl was later found dead, and the local funeral home refused to give her a respectable burial despite her parent’s pleas. Instead, the body was placed on display for the locals to see a real witch, according to St. Louis Paranormal Research Society.

Then, she was dishonored even further by having a night burial with a tree placed on top of or near her grave. It is said that if the tree ever died, the Chesterville Witch would be free to unleash all of her revenge and anger upon the people who disgraced her.

Some More Key Points

  • It is believed that the legend of the Chesterville Witch originated more than a century ago.
  • According to History Witch, the legend was passed down orally, and over time, the witch’s real name was forgotten. (She is called the Chesterfield Witch in that article, too.)

“There are many conflicting stories- some say she invoked a violent storm on the village, others report seeing her ghost standing by the grave. Needless to say, someone is buried under the tree in Chesterville (which is not on any map – but still there) and a wrought iron fence surrounds the tree to keep the curious back.”

  • While examining the story of Amish Witches: The True Story of Holmes County, a search of old newspapers going back to and before the 1900s didn’t turn up any information on the Chesterville Witch that we could find.
  • The Swartzentruber Amish is a subgroup or sect that broke away from Old Amish Order in the early 1900s. It was started by Sam E. Yoder, Amish America states.
  • Holmes County is in Ohio.
  • Amish Haunting is a 2014 documentary that explores haunted houses and the grave of an Amish witch in the episode “Faceless Doll, The Witch’s Grave.”

In addition to the Chesterville Witch story, there is also the book Nightmare In Holmes County by Patrick Meechan. His book is based on his own negative experiences with the Amish community and the paranormal events that were directed toward him. It is written from a Christian perspective and discusses a home that was built over an area that was cursed by Native Americans. Readers find his story creepy but detailed and interesting.

Lifetime Television’s Amish Witches: The True Story of Holmes County is a Hot Snakes Media production with the A&E Television Network providing the distribution. Executive producers are listed as Eric Evangelista, Shannon Evangelista, Erik Kesten, and Jake Wade Wall.

Watch the movie, Amish Witches: The True Story of Holmes County, this Saturday at 8/7 p.m. Central on Lifetime. Last week, Lifetime debuted the true-story movie Death of a Vegas Showgirl, which was based on the murder of Debbie Flores-Narvaez.

[Featured Image by Lifetime TV UK]