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The Chained Oak


Living in the UK, and a lover of theme parks, I am a frequent customer of a place in the midlands called Alton Towers. It's a HUGE amusement park, built on the grounds of an old stately home called... Alton Towers. A few years back, they opened a new attraction, a ride called Hex. All it is, is a bit of 'supernatural' history about the people who once lived at Alton Towers, and the curse that surrounded them... Mixed with a topsy-turvy assault on the senses (makes you think you're upside down, to eerie and LOUD music...). On going a few times after the attraction opened, my husband and I were very intrigued to find out more information about the story of the curse. The story goes like this:

"On an autumn night in 1821, The Earl of Shrewsbury was returning to his home, Alton Towers, when, mysteriously an old man appeared in the road.

The coach stopped to find why he was there, and the man begged for the charity of a coin.

The Earl cruelly dismissed him, so the old man placed a curse on him. The old man croaked: "For every branch on the Old Oak Tree here that falls... a member of the Earl's family will die..."

The Earl dismissed him and carried on his way...

But that night, a storm brewed up, and a single branch from the old oak tree broke and fell.

Later that very same night, a member of the Earl's family suddenly, and mysteriously died.

The next day, the Earl ordered his servants to chain every branch together to prevent other branches from falling..."

So, bearing in mind the legend, and determined to find the tree, we started asking people at the park if they knew where it was. One said that they weren't really supposed to say, because it's a bit off the beaten path, and it's on private property... Although it isn't on the site of the amusement park, it's actually near a Bed and Breakfast called 'The Chained Oak'. Making our way, myself, my husband, my brother-in-law, and his girlfriend, her friend, and her boyfriend, we set off to find the tree.

The day had been kind of off and on rain, but as we left the park to find the tree, it had cleared up, and the sun came out. We drove to the Bed and Breakfast, and they pointed us in the direction of the tree. They said be careful though... And we asked if it was because it was off the beaten path, and required a walk through some woods. The lady at reception just smirked, and said "Yeah, something like that..."

We followed the path the lady sent us on, and sure enough, there in front of us, in a large clearing with stone steps leading up one side of the tree, was this ENORMOUS tree, with large heavy chains around the larger branches. As soon as we arrived, the rain was back, in thick drops, and quite hard, and the sky had gone particularly dark. We decided to make our trip to the tree short because we'd left all our umbrellas in the car, and the walk there wasn't a short one, so we couldn't just pop back to the cars to get them.

On closer inspection, the tree had actually grown AROUND the chains... Proving that it wasn't just a scam set up for curious people from Alton Towers, or the local town. We popped out our camera, and started taking some pictures of the tree, and us near the tree. I posed for a picture with my brother-in-laws girlfriend in one. Touching the tree, it had a vibration, and it was so WARM. The chains were strong, as my brother-in-law proved, by swinging himself off one, just to see if it held his weight.

The temperature had dropped significantly since we'd arrived in the clearing, and on discussion later, we all confirmed quite a ominous feeling while we were there. We had all described similar feelings, like the sense of being watched, the sense of being unwanted... But at the same time, a very calm feeling.

We had two cars, so my husband and myself got into ours, and the four of them piled into theirs, and we set off for our hotel. On the way there, I looked at the pictures on the digital cam, and was quite surprised at some of them. In the picture where I was posed with my brother-in-law's girlfriend, there was a dark spot in between us (we were shoulder to shoulder, and very close), like a missing part of the picture. Another interesting thing, was that although it had been dark and rainy while we were there, you can see in the pictures the SUN shining through the leaves of the tree. As far as I can remember, once back home and on a computer screen, there were quite a few orbs in the pictures as well.

I will check with my husband if we still have them, because shortly after the trip we had a large falling out with my brother-in-law, and my husband, being impulsive might have deleted some of them. I hope he didn't though, because I would love to share them with you.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, S_wolfmoon, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

laus (3 stories) (26 posts)
15 years ago (2008-12-27)
😲 I went there this year and I went on the ride hex, you see the branch in the middle of the room! I actually didn't realise it was a true story! I thought it was a made up thing for the ride! Wow! I would really like to see the pictures if you still have them. All the best Laus x ❤
lilblackpom (13 stories) (218 posts)
15 years ago (2008-08-27)
Good story and of a haunted place in the UK. Thanks for sharing it, p.s. Sorry I'm late reading this 😳
chunkygut1 (13 stories) (73 posts)
17 years ago (2007-07-10)
Wow I'm going to alton towers next year with school I'll see if I can check it out whilst I'm there 😊
S_wolfmoon (3 stories) (10 posts)
17 years ago (2007-07-10)
Hehe, I know, I'm moving back to New Mexico to live with my parents, and I've been looking up info on old ghost towns in the area. I think that once my husband and I get some money saved up, I'd like to just travel all around the US and do some ghost hunting.
Shane (13 stories) (1258 posts)
17 years ago (2007-07-10)
Looking forward to getting to see these images you capture. Don't forget we yanks have plenty of haunted places also. Take care.

Peace, Love, and Luck be with you.
S_wolfmoon (3 stories) (10 posts)
17 years ago (2007-07-10)
It angers me to no end to tell you this, but my husband did in fact delete the entire collection from that day. I appreciated that some of them had his brother in them, but did he have to delete the whole bloody lot? Sorry...although, if you go to and type in 'chained oak', the picture they have there, actually has an orb in it, in the top right corner. I'm also going to make sure that from now on, I'm in charge of the cam and it's contents, because we are moving from England to America in the next few months, and I want to go to lots of 'haunted' places before we do, and I'd love to share the pics I get with you all.
Cheers! 😉
Shane (13 stories) (1258 posts)
17 years ago (2007-07-10)
Yes please do share those photos if you are able to locate them. I am always interested in seeing the images captured by others.
Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Peace, Love, and Luck be with you.

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