One of the most haunted places in New Jersey is in a park in Somerset County, NJ. There sits an oak tree locals call the Devil's Tree that some people swear is a tree from hell. The Devil's Tree curses are said to come from a local legend that the Ku Klux Klan of New Jersey had its headquarters nearby. As the tree was in a remote part of the county, the Klan lynched black people there to spread their reign of terror. Allegedly this cursed the tree and led to some of the creepier occurrences people have reported there, including seeing ghostly figures hanging from its branches.
Still, another theory states that the tree is cursed because a farmer who was suffering from depression took his family on a picnic under the tree around 1900. He had more in mind that just a nice afternoon lunch though and killed his entire family as well as himself. As evidence for the tree's supposed demonic nature, people say it feels warm to the touch and that snow that has fallen nearby will melt, leaving a ring around it when the rest of the area is covered in snow.
These are just a few of the creepy tales involving the Devil's Tree. Read on and at the end ask yourself - would you dare to get up close with the Devil's Tree?
The Devil's Tree has inspired a lot of fear over time and not all of it is supernatural. According to local beliefs, the tree was used by the KKK who was active extensively in Bernards Township. According to Rob S.:
"The evil energy around the tree comes from the souls of dead men and women who were killed by this vile organization. If you look at the tree you can see the left most branch extends almost parallel to the ground. This was the hanging branch."
Climbing trees might not be an activity recommended to visitors stopping by the Devil's Tree. According to Steve K., the tree will actually throw people from it in a horrifying cacophony. He describes one time that he climbed the tree ending poorly saying,
"As we sat on the branch, we began to hear noises coming from inside the tree. When these noises grew even louder, a big bang sounded and a burst of energy came from the tree sending myself and my friend flying into the air. When I crashed to the ground, I landed on my ankle, breaking it in 2 places."
One story of the Devil's Tree involves someone desecrating the haunted oak and paying the price for it. Teenagers are typically bored, full of bravado, and - perhaps most dangerous - mobile thanks to being able to drive at a young age. These things mixed in a story about a teen who doubted that the tree was haunted. In order to prove that he wasn't scared, he stopped his car while driving past it with his friends in the car, walked up to the tree and urinated on it. The tree apparently took revenge immediately, his car became uncontrollable and even accelerated on its own, hitting another tree down the road. Nobody was seriously injured, but the Devil's Tree demonstrated that it wasn't to be messed with.
One of the more commonly held beliefs about the legend of the Devil's Tree involves a black Ford F-150 pickup truck. According to locals, the truck shows up, supposedly sent from hell, to ward off anyone who comes too close to the tree. After pursuing people who come too close to the tree, the truck just vanishes as if it was never there.