Since I was suffering from a lack of proper bells I chose to use aluminum cans for this experiment, and used a pull tab as a clapper. One can was kept at 0V while the other was charged to +35kV via a cockroft walton multiplier. Satisfactory and mildly annoying results were obtained.
Step 1: How they work
The bells must be insulated from each other, and the charged one must be insulated from ground. The clapper must be insulated as well, hanging it from a cotton or polyester thread does a good job of that.
The potential difference between the two bells should be rather large for the device to work optimally; anything over 12kV should provide satisfactory results. Higher voltages cause the bells to ring more furiously, with a mild ring at 20kV and all hell breaking loose at 70kV.