Haunted Trees in the United States
Can Trees Be Haunted?
There are ghosts all over the place these days. In houses, in the streets, in office buildings and in warehouses, in schoolhouses and malls. There are even ghosts that are said to haunt specific objects such as toys (dolls in particular) and motor vehicles, but can ghosts haunt natural objects such as trees? After reading this article, you may be convinced that ghosts and spirits of different kinds can indeed haunt just about anything on this planet.
Is it the fact that many people are scared of the woods that makes us believe these trees are haunted? Or is it true that certain ghostly specters have chosen to haunt these trees for special reasons such as tragedy and loss that may have occurred near or on the tree itself? We shall soon find out...come on a walk with me through the haunted forests of our imagination.
The Suicide Tree in Louisiana
There is a very beautiful yet creepy live oak tree in New Orleans, Louisiana that is said to be at least three hundred years old. It is located in City Park, amongst hundreds of other oak and cypress trees. This particular tree is known as the Suicide Oak Tree, and by its name you can guess what kind of bone-chilling events have occurred there. Legend has it that people would come to this particular tree in order to carry out their suicide plans. This oak tree has low hanging, strong branches...perfect for hanging. People say that at least twelve men committed suicide under this tree within a period of only sixteen years. With such tragedy, its no wonder this tree is thought to be haunted.
Although no one famous from the Old Creole days committed suicide here (that's known of, at least), it is said that these men took their lives either by poisoning themselves or by shooting themselves. Though I suspect hangings might have been common, too. If one is to just visit this tree in real life, one can see how massive the Suicide Tree really is. Could this tree be a portal? A door to the other side of the veil? Perhaps if you are to visit at night, you might run into the ghost of one of the men who ended it all under the Suicide Tree's humongous branches.
Haunted Trees in the Carolinas
There are hair-raising legends surrounding more than one tree in the Carolinas. Supposedly a whole group of trees, known as the Haunted Woods, exists close by the town of Jamesville, North Carolina. But one tree in particular has a very violent and sordid past. Some call it the lynching tree, some call it the hangman's tree, but whatever you call it just don't find yourself there at night. Back in the time before lethal injection and before the courts were in complete control, many criminals were hanged as punishment for their crimes. One such criminal was said to have been a horse thief, punishable by death. The town's people hung him from this tree, and since then legend has it that you can see his ghost hanging from the tree's limbs on clearer nights.
Brave adventurers will walk to the Hangman's Tree at night, doubting that anything will actually happen...only to be surprised when the horse thief's transparent ghost shows itself hanging from the Hangman's Tree's long, sturdy limbs.
Another set of trees that is said to be haunted are located on the Redcliffe Plantation on Beech Island, South Carolina. This gorgeous and historic plantation was built in the mid 1800s by a politician by the name of James Hammond. It is James Hammond's ghost that is thought to haunt the home and the property, as he died at the plantation in 1864. There is a set of three trees in a triangular pattern on the property where people claim to have very weird paranormal experiences. One legend is that if you visit the three trees you will see a shadow man that is thought to be the ghost of James Hammond. But there have been other people to have died on the plantation, including James Hammond's descendants...so is it James Hammond or someone else haunting the trees on Redcliffe Property?
The Fairy Tree in Maryland
In ancient times, the Celtic people in Europe believed that spirits could be found almost anywhere in nature. This included the trees. In fact, the name of the Celtic priesthood known as the Druids is very close to the Greek word for tree spirits Dryads. They were called such because they were said to worship the trees. They believed trees were sacred, and so were the spirits who lived in them. Were these spirits actually what later people would call the wee folk? Could these spirits of the trees still be haunting the trees today?
The state of Maryland is filled with huge, majestic oak, maple, elm, and willow trees (among others). Some of these trees take on their own personalities with time. The oldest trees seem to be alive...in fact in Japanese lore, anything that survives one hundred years or more acquires a soul or a consciousness. Could this be the case with older trees? I know someone who had an old oak tree in her frontyard, where sometimes during the twilight hours you could see things moving in the tree. She described them as "little men with wings" that would move in and out of the branches. At one point, a local psychic medium asked her if she knew about the fairies that lived in the tree. She was shocked, and yet it explained what she had been seeing.
Have you ever seen little things moving in a tree? Are there more of these beings possibly living in the trees in your own backyard?
What do you think?
Which one is the creepiest haunted tree story?
© 2015 Nicole Canfield