In the middle of the woods in Oak Hammock Park in Port St. Lucie stands a mysterious tree. Legend has it that this oak tree is owned by the Devil himself, and is impossible to cut it down. Why is it called the Devil's Tree? Why do the locals tell their children not to get near this tree?
Unlike most urban legends, this tree has a very real story behind it. On January 8, 1971 a cop by the name of Gerard John Schaefer finds two teenagers hitchhiking the town. He shows his badge and puts them in the back of his car. Now, this guy brings them to this very spot, binds them, tortures them and hangs them both on one of the branches and kills them. Why on this tree? Because right next to this tree, was his home, you can still see the foundation.
After killing them, he decapitates them, and then starts having sex with their decaying bodies for the next 10 days. Let’s read a piece of this news from Ocala Star-banner: ”The headless bodies were found, and all women were believed to have been sexually assaulted after they were slain.”
|The spirits of these poor victims are said to haunt the Devil's Tree|
In his house, police found a notebook where he explains how he kills these women. “I asked her to put on a blindfold, she was nervous. Tied her hands behind her and put a noose over the head that I had put up in the previous afternoon. I would pull the rope up occasionally to hear her beg.”
This deputy sheriff, killed about 34 people before getting caught, and the headless skeletons of these two girls, Collette Goodenough and Barbara Ann Wilcox were discovered right underneath here. He had left two ropes hanging from one of the branches to remember this incident.
While he is in Jail, this tree becomes famous, or infamous. Devil worshipers and supporters of this guy, start performing satanic rituals on this tree. People who were walking around were chased away. Now remember we are talking 1970s, and this was not a park back then.
In 1985 a young couple came running out of this trail, half naked claiming there were 2 hooded peeping toms watching them have fun.
In 1992, a group of school boys were chased through the woods by the same hooded figures.
In 1993, a local pastor erected a cross and performed exorcism on this tree; 9 months later the cross was pulled out and placed upside down as the devil’s cross. The legend of the devil’s tree is now spreading like wildfire.
In the year 2000, this place was turned into a park. Authorities had had enough of these ghost stories, so they decided to cut down the tree. Two men came in with chainsaws and as soon as they began, both the chainsaws malfunctioned. They got into their trucks and were driving to get more chainsaws, when they had a fatal accident. The driver had a piece of the tree’s bark in his pocket. This incident has created the legend that if you want to jinx someone, take a piece of the devil’s tree and put it in their car. They will have an accident within the next 21 days.
All these cut marks, are from people
who come in with knives and take a piece of devil’s tree. But be careful,
because in 2004, one woman who took a piece of it to put it in her quote on
quote “friend’s” car had an accident as soon as she drove out of the parking
lot. So, don’t ever drive if you take a piece of it.
|People cut a piece of the Devil's Tree to jinx their enemies|
In 2009, a girl called the cops because she heard screaming inside the girl’s bathroom. Many people believe the 2 girls who died at the devil’s tree haunt this bathroom.
If you visit this place after dark, you might see the apparitions of those girls hanging from trees. If you want to visit this place, walk by the big river and don’t take the Oak trail. Take the 2nd left and you will reach the Devil’s tree right away.
Florida is way too haunted for you to handle! Do you know about Robert the Haunted Doll? How about the creepiest love story ever?