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The Crying Tree


This is a story my great Grandmother often told.

When Grandma was young her family moved to a little town in Lincoln County, Missouri. The house they moved in to, unbeknownst to them was rumored to be haunted by the cries of an infant.

They moved in and the first night as they lay down to go to sleep they heard crying coming from outside the house. Grandma's mother, Granny J told the kids it was just the neighbor's child and to go back to sleep. The children, grandma included all fell back into their slumbers while listening to the crying baby.

The next morning Granny J went next door to meet the neighbors and mentioned to the lady of the house that she must have had her hands full last night with the baby. The lady told her she doesn't have a baby that all her children were of working age. She also added that the family should start looking for another home. She said no one lives there longer than 3 months before moving again. She finished the conversation by saying that place is haunted.

Later that night my grandmother remembers listening to her mother (Granny) talking to her father about her conversation with the neighbor lady. She stayed quiet, she didn't want the other kids to know and be scared.

The crying continued, not every night but often enough for the memory of it to not fade away. Where was this baby? Why was it crying so often? About a month later they had some friends spend the night that happened to be traveling through. The adults stayed up late into the night playing spoons and other card games. There was a nasty storm moving through. Grandma remembers hearing wind howling and the crash of thunder every once in a while. All of a sudden the family heard a loud crash in the back yard followed by the loudest thunder roll they had ever heard. The sound shook the entire house. Her father looked into the back yard and the large oak tree had fallen over.

The next morning her father had a few of the neighborhood men help cut the tree up, remember this was a time before chainsaws. As they started cutting up the tree one of the men spotted a box near the root system and called out for him to come check it out. He inspected the small box and decided to open it and investigate what it held. The lid was tough but no match for a man determined to get it open. Once open he found a small skeleton of an infant wrapped in an old cloth wearing an aged once white dress.

Granny after seeing what the men had found sent her oldest son down to the sheriff. He came down to the house and was puzzled the child had to of been there at least 50 years from the looks of it. He told everyone that the only thing to do was give the child a proper burial in the city cemetery. So the neighborhood gathered so this small child that no one knew could have a proper funeral. The mothers cooked and sent the children to collect flowers while a few of the men went to dig the hole.

Grandma said after that there was no more crying, no weird feelings in the home and everything was perfectly normal. It was a few years until the family moved and the only reason for the move was so grandpa could have a better job in the city of St. Louis.

Granny told everyone that, that poor baby just wanted them to know it was there. And boy did they ever.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

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, nfw1993, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

CuriousNEwoman (14 posts)
6 years ago (2018-06-16)
That started out a bit scary... But it ended with love. And maybe that's all that baby needed... Was to be loved.
AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
6 years ago (2018-02-23)
I think things happen at night because there is less going on. That means less interference - making it easier for people to notice when something happens and possibly making it easier for entities to manifest. Could well be that more goes on during the day than we notice- there's just too much else going on around us.
L_Mak (9 posts)
6 years ago (2018-02-23)
I don't mean to be rude but why does it all happen at night. In every truthful story!
AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
6 years ago (2018-02-17)
Sadly, I don't really know anything else about the boy. My mother swore she never heard him but from the look on her face when I asked her about it, I don't entirely believe it. It was a nice neighborhood and a relatively old one. At the time, we lived outside Hilton Village in Brandon Heights (c.1920) in Newport News, Va. We don't live there anymore but the neighborhood is Google-able. My mother lived in the neighborhood since she was very young - she did loose a young friend or two in childhood games (one disappeared when they were swimming in the local reservoir and only found when they dredged the area) - but none that I know of in the neighborhood... But there were a LOT of kids in the neighborhood then and certainly those she didn't know and those that came before and after. Hilton Village was constructed between 1918 and 1919 as housing for the ship yard (Brandon Heights situated right next door came immediately thereafter for men who had become established at the yard) and before that the area had been agricultural land since the late 1600s. The boy I heard spoke English with no discernable accent and seemed to be between 10 and 13... Possibly as young as 9.
LuciaJacinta (8 stories) (291 posts)
6 years ago (2018-02-14)
Enjoyed reading this. Question... Was it an infant in the 0-12 range category or was it more like a miscarried infant below 9 months gestation, do you know? Maybe the baby just wanted to be placed in holy ground or near a family member in the local cemetary.
RCRuskin (9 stories) (829 posts)
6 years ago (2018-02-14)
NFW, such a sad story, with a kind of happy ending I suppose.

Given that your grandmother was young, I would imagine probably about 10 at the time of this event, and that the girl was buried circa 50 years before that, no one is around to ask for more details.

One of the first ghost legends I recall reading involved a certain kind of ghost, that of an unbaptized infant that died, and now comes back for revenge since it cannot pass onto the afterlife (Heaven, or whatever.) I think it was called an utbold. Something tells me, my gut feeling probably, that this young child was loved.

Augusta, I'd like to hear more about the boy you mentioned, sil vous plait.
AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
6 years ago (2018-02-14)
I often wondered if something like this had happened in my old neighborhood. Whenever there were high winds or a storm, I could hear a little boy crying out desperately for his daddy. I know for certain it wasn't the wind or tree branches rubbing themselves together. It was so clear that I could place the boy's age by its timbre to between ten and thirteen.

Too bad no one will ever know the infant's story. I hope its passing was peaceful and that its spirit has found peace. It was a very good thing that neighborhood did ❤

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