A lone old oak tree with some dead limbs is the subject of many frightening stories and local legend suggesting that the tree is the Devil’s Tree.
The Devil’s Tree stood for centuries in an isolated and undeveloped field on Mountain Road in the Martinsville section of Bernards Township in Somerset County, New Jersey. The gnarled oak earned its nickname not just because of its eerie appearance but also the stories enveloping the tree.
Legends held that Bernards Township was headquarter of Ku Klux Klan in New Jersey. It was said that the Klan carried out lynching of rebellious slaves using the left most branch of the oak tree because it was extended parallel to the ground. Another story claimed that a farmer murdered his whole family and then committed suicide through hanging himself from the tree.
The dark events circumscribing the old oak tree were absorbed thus conceiving a cursed sinister shrub. One curse is that anyone who attempt to cut down the tree would meet an untimely death or the hands would turn black. Stories also alleged that if any person would get closer to the tree, a black Ford pick-up truck would be chasing him until he will be out of the cursed place. The truck would simply disappear after.
Another mystery surrounding the Devil’s Tree is the unexplained heat from the ground. In the winter, snow does not pile up around. A nearby rock is said to be hot to touch and has been believed by some as a portal to hell.
Locals shared stories telling that Devil’s Tree gives out strange sounds similar to groans, wailing, screaming, and crying. Some even heard the sound of children’s hair-raising laughter or crackling noise from the inside.
Over the years, people tested the unexplained force of the Devil’s Tree by attempting to cut it down. Various scars from ax and other bladed tools are visible in its trunk. Despite such efforts, the tree is still standing firm holding its baffling secrets.