There is an Oak tree not like any other in Bernards Township, New Jersey. In the Summer time, it's a sight of beauty. Winter, however, brings out its more sinister side. The Devil's Tree has many legends attached to its branches.
Travel back throughout the years to a time when the KKK's power dominated many parts of the United States. The Devil's Tree sat in an isolated part of the woods. As per the KKK's ritual, many men and women were lynched on a single branch almost parallel to the ground. Years before they met their fates, rebellious slaves hung by their necks in colonial times from that tree. Another legend states a man killed his entire family. Then, he walked to that tree and hung himself. These alleged deaths are believed to not be the only murders/suicides that have occurred at the branches of this tree.
Some believe the Devil's Tree is cursed, responsible for all the souls who died by its wooden tendrils. Others consider it the property of the Devil and acts as a gateway to Hell. No matter how cold the outside temperature is the tree always remains warm and free from snow.
The Devil's Tree may or may not have seen its share of death, but local legends state you must show it the utmost respect. If you damage it in any way or make disparaging remarks with in earshot, you open yourself up to harm, often in the form of a car accident. Some have reported being chased away at nighttime by a black phantom vehicle thought to be driven by the Devil himself. As you approach a major road, it mysteriously disappears in to the night.
We may never know if the stories surrounding The Devil's Tree are merely myths or just a representation of the evils of men. If you want to see this legend up close, you must ask for permission. Otherwise, you risk being arrested for trespassing.
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