This unfortunately will not be that big or scary of a story as my past two, but I think it's worth telling.
The last two stories were of the last significant events of our group, so this one kind of rewinds the clock and is actually the first event that formed our group and gave us all the bug to investigate local happenings.
As a kid I grew up in Amherstburg Ontario and loved investigating all the local hot spots for paranormal activities. Amherstburg was full of activity with a rich history in war and odd happenings. Many events proved to be just rumours but a handful of them were not. It was these few events that impressed on me and convinced me that there is more to these places than rumours.
My whole rollercoaster ride within the paranormal world started in the first few months of grade 9. I was new in High school and was making friends and learning the ropes. I made a good friend in my history class and we decided to volunteer our time to the local Haunted house. I loved the idea of designing and working in a place where you scared the crap out of people all night. It was the early 90s, a time where the slasher films were the summer blockbusters and hanging out late at night and crawling all over the town getting into trouble was the main entertainment. This is the fertile grounds in which our group was formed. Working in the haunted house and having a good history teacher that was also very involved in the haunted house made it only a matter of time before we started hearing about all the town's vicious history and rumours of all the local "hotspots"
At this time our group only consisted of me and my friend; intrigued with all the stories we immediately started plans to prove them out to see if there was any truth to them. So we decided to go and see what the truth was about a known cursed tree just on the outskirts of town. This was one of those old dead creepy trees. I do not know what kind of tree it once was, but it no longer appeared to be of this earth. It was tall and mostly bleached wood in colour. No bark and no smaller branches. It was once a big tree but the main trunk and major branches were all that was left of it. It was probably about 50 ft. Tall and twisted with large humped /swollen areas on the larger branches.
The tree was on the outskirts of town. This specific area was an old shallow ravine that ran across the backside of town. Being low ground it was often flooded in the rainy seasons. The main road passed over the shallow ravine with a small land bridge. On one side of the main road was a forest on the other was a small dirt road. The dirt road was very prone to be washed out and was not well kept.
The tree was located on the side of this dirt road only about an eighth mile from the main road. On the opposite side of the dirt road from the tree was the old part of the Amherstburg graveyard. Behind the tree was a grass field with a stream cutting through it. Past the stream was a hill and on top of the hill were several old farm houses. This was once a larger farming establishment from back in the 1800s. The houses were close together and facing each other. They were smaller houses except for one and they were in bad disrepair. The local lore was that the family that lived there had several murders take place within the family and left the place abandoned. On the hilltop and around the houses and surrounding the grass field was forest.
The cursed tree was at the edge of the grass field very near the dirt road. The tree stood out by itself and was a scary sight even from some distance. The tree had several holes in the trunk and they would often bleed black sap. The ground around the tree was bare. Nothing grew under or around the tree. People would say the tree was cursed and anyone who touched the tree would be cursed. Often dead animals would be found lying under the tree. It was also rumoured to be the location where the ghost of one of the murdered family members of the nearby farm stead dwelled. With the history of this tree you can see why we were so interested in investigating it.
It was just after the haunted house had finished; in the first couple days of November, we set out to visit this tree. It was not hard to find. But it was definitely an eerie sight. The tree looked as it was described with the little holes in the trunk and everything. Under the holes were brown rusty stains where the sap had dried. It was definitely a creepy tree, but we quickly got bored. There was nothing really interesting happening. We looked around; the ground where nothing grew was as described and we could see the houses on the hill through the autumn trees. It was all eerie but nothing too unusual. We quickly turned to the graveyard on the other side of the road and started to walk and read the grave stones. There were a lot of very old graves. Many of the stones were weathered white sandstone. I remember wanting to get a rubbing of some of the older ones. After a couple of hours it was starting to get late. The sun was low in the sky and we were about to leave, but decided to take one more look at the tree before we left.
Walking from the graveyard placed the tree perfectly in front of the old farm houses on the hill, it was quiet the image. (Perfect for a horror movie.) As we approached the tree I was looking towards the old houses. At first I thought I saw a deer moving along the tree line. But as the image moved closer to the houses I could get a better look and it seemed to be a person. I could tell it was a girl in a light coloured summer dress. I told my friend and he saw her too. We thought she was a local girl and being young men we thought we should go introduce ourselves. The houses were not that far away from us, we only had to pass the tree and cross the field. But as we passed the tree my friend noticed that the tree had started to bleed. It was very true about that tree. It did bleed! It was not a thick molasses like sap that I expected it to be. It was thin like black watery oil. It ran down the tree like tears. It was very odd. I was surprised on the amount of black sap that it was bleeding. Within minutes all the holes had running sap and the sap had trickled to the base of the tree. With the weird tree bleeding thing we lost track of the girl. Regardless we decided to cross the field and see the old houses. It did not take long, a few minutes' worth of a hike and we were there.
Immediately the area struck me a strange. The houses and the old farm seemed lost to time. Everything was left were it was last used and just left for what looked like decades. Farming tools were left leaning on the side walls of the barn. The barn was left open, even an axe was left stuck into a rotted old stump. Everything was overgrown with weeds and it was all rotted and rusted. The house porch was so rickety that my foot broke through the wood when I tried to walk on it. I found it so hard to believe that this place was so intact. Every kid in town knew of this place and I assumed had visited it. But the place looked undisturbed.
We looked around, but we could not see any sign of anyone being there recently, even the girl we just saw. She was nowhere to be found. We looked over the homestead and moved into the woods around. We found some very odd things, like an old pair of leather boots covered in the leaves and a couple of old wooden rain barrels. All these odd things led us a little deeper into the woods on the far side of the house from the tree. Just before the trees broke open into another farm field, there was a small pile of rocks. It was scary; it looked like an old grave. It also had been there for a long time. We looked the place over and decided it was best to leave before it got dark. We definitely did not want to be there when it was dark.
On the way back we could see the cursed tree past the houses and nearby trees. For a brief moment we both saw the girl under the tree. She disappeared as we lost sight of her as we moved past the houses and the trees. We stopped for a second once we broke into the field between the farm houses and the cursed tree. It was a long country road and the tree was out in the open. The girl had nowhere to hide and yet she was gone. We both quickly realized that we had seen a ghost.
On the walk back home (we were without transportation in those days) surprisingly all we talked about was the tree. The fact that the ghost was seen did not seem to frighten us as much as the fact that she had been under that tree. We came to the conclusion that the tree must bleed when she is around. I can remember that that brief image of seeing her standing under the tree through the woods stayed with me for a long time.
Alone this event was not very scary. But there was some events that happened that I think greatly adds to the legacy of this tree.
The next year, 2 senior kids had a horrific event happen just meters from the tree. The papers reported that the two kids had been drinking and were walking home in the middle of the night and for some strange reason they both decided to stop and sleep in the middle of the road. A truck came by and hit them. The accident killed one of the kids and seriously injured the other. The event saddened the whole community. The story never sat right with me. It did not seem right even through alcohol was involved. It also bothered me that it happened so close to the tree.
The other event happened a couple years after I was out of high school. A guy driving home late at night swerved off the road and crashed into the tree. The tree fell on the car and killed the driver. The passenger lived and made a statement that they had seen a girl standing in the middle of the road and swerved to miss her. I often wonder if it was the same girl I saw years ago.
I still pass that area every now and then. It looks a lot different today. The tree is gone and the road is now built up and paved. The subdivisions have expanded and filled the old farm land behind the grave yard and pretty much taken up all the area on that side of the street. The old farm houses were bought and cleaned up and are now lived in. But no matter what they do to this area, I can still remember what it looked like and it still gives me Goosebumps thinking about it when I pass the area at night.