A NEW documentary about an unsolved Hagley murder mystery has created renewed interest in the baffling case of Who Put Bella in the Wych-Elm.

Jayne Harris, of HD Paranormal, has spent the last three years researching the mysterious case which followed after a woman’s body was found by a group of schoolboys in a hollowed out tree in Hagley Wood in 1943.

A host of cryptic messages asking Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm? have appeared at various sites in the Hagley and Halesowen areas ever since the grim discovery was made over 70 years ago.

But who the unfortunate woman was and how her body ended up in the famous Wych-Elm has never been proven and the mystery continues to fascinate locals.

In a new film about the case, which had its debut screening at a packed-out Stourbridge Town Hall on August 4, Stourbridge-born paranormal investigator Jayne looks for answers to a host of threads in the unsolved saga.

As well as touching on much-talked about theories such as how the unidentified woman, dubbed Bella, may have been a German spy or a victim of witch-craft - a raft of other possible avenues and explanations are examined.

Supernatural links to the Bella legend are also explored. Psychic medium Phil Downing was invited to investigate ghostly-goings on at the nearby Badgers Sett pub where there have been reports of unexplained paranormal activity.

Fellow psychic medium Ian Griffiths, whose speciality is remote viewing, also shares some interesting thoughts in the documentary.

Perhaps one of the most chilling aspects of the film is an account given by Bob Bennett who claims to have seen the ghostly vanishing figure of a woman, clad in old fashioned clothes, in the woods at Wychbury Hill.

Equally enthralling is the anecdotal tale of a Hasbury woman who reportedly told people in the 1960s that her daughter Isabella went missing in 1939 but she never reported it to police. Could she have been Bella?

Census records apparently listed an Isabella Short living the area at the age of six - which would have put her at about 35 in 1939 - the approximate age of the dead woman found in the woods.

But Jayne said: "There were no further records of her, nor of Mrs Short who has long since passed away so without further evidence there's no way of knowing if Bella was Isabella."

The documentary, which is wonderfully atmospheric and beautifully shot by Halesowen cameraman Kevin Powis, also explores whether Bella or her killer may have been a member of the travelling community as the area was known to be a popular stop off for travellers and Bella, it is thought, could be short for 'bluebell' - a common moniker among the travelling community.

The hour-long film doesn't claim to solve the mystery that has baffled Black Country folk for so many years but it takes a thorough and fascinating look at the facts as well as the somewhat fanciful theories associated with the case.

Jayne said: "The reaction has been really positive.

"I was very nervous to put the film out there so publicly given that it's my first documentary. The fact that I've received so many positive comments, both at the screening and since, has just been wonderful.

"At one stage the production was beginning to take its toll, and towards the very end I was editing for up to 12 hours a day, but now I'm able to look back and say it was worth it - after hearing so many people enjoyed it."

The film, 'Who Put Bella in the Wych-Elm? - the untold secrets', is available to buy as a DVD from www.hdparanormal.com.

It will also be screened again at Stourbridge Town Hall on Halloween - October 31.