Devil’s Tree frightens visitors to Port St. Lucie park

BY MADISON DEVER

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Trail at Oak Hammock Park

In Port St. Lucie, a park is home to a horrible legend that has terrorized parkgoers and hiking enthusiasts for 38 years.

In the middle of Oak Hammock Park.  In 1971, before the park was created, a serial killer sexually molested two helpless teenage girls and hung them on what today is  called the Devil’s Tree. Six years later, on the park’s fourth anniversary, two fisherman found what was believed to be their bones lying next to the old oak, alongside a decomposed rope.

The legend says that the two girls still haunt the park and their screams are still heard. There have also been sightings of hooded worshippers dancing around the 48 acres.

This haunted attraction is featured in multiple ghost-hunter groups such as Haunted USA and listed as a weird attraction in the book “Weird U.S.

Plans were made to cut down the tree but the chainsaws always malfunctioned. It’s been said that the teeth of the chainsaw actually fell out not even a centimeter into the tree.

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Chainsaw marks and outline of the old hole

Morgan Waddington, an IRSC student, went to the park after hours and she said she felt “a cool breeze out of nowhere. It sent chills up the spine.” Waddington also explained that there used to be a hole that carved from the hollows of the tree and inside was some kind of black wax.

The hooded worshippers used this wax to perform their rituals, according to legend. The hole has been filled with cement but the outline is still visible.

“I went by the tree but didn’t stay,” said Jaqueline Walker. “I was way too scared.”

 

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4 Responses to “Devil’s Tree frightens visitors to Port St. Lucie park”

  1. Yvonne Mason
    April 4, 2015 at 8:03 am #

    Sadly it is a place where two girls were tortured and murdered by Florida’s first serial killer Gerard Schaefer. However, they were not killed at that tree they were killed off the right pathway 50 yards in. I have been there several times as my book Silent Scream is about those girls and others that Schaefer killed. It is a very sad place. It was their final resting place. If you go it is possible that you will be followed by butterflies, I am every time I go.

  2. Kiersten powell
    April 4, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

    Iv had an exsperince here before some friends and my self

  3. Anonymous
    April 5, 2015 at 1:40 am #

    I think this haunted tree mumbo jumbo is balderdash. I practiced guitar under that tree for five years and never experienced anything remotely scary. I didn’t know the back story until I encountered this article. I would often practice from around 2 until dusk and the most treacherous thing I came across were mosquitos.

  4. Mara
    April 8, 2015 at 7:36 pm #

    So back in 2010 I did some research on this and spoke to many county officials in my search for answers. It was for my sons school project and we took it very seriously . Most of the “reports” of activity revolve around the bathrooms…

    I spoke to a St Lucie county sheriff that was there in person the day the tree was removed.. It was hauled out in pieces on a flatbed. They removed the tree out of respect for the families of the 2 girls. No chainsaws malfunctioned. I asked him where exactly the tree stood. He explained to me that the gazebo (the one to the left of the playground and bathrooms) was build over the location the original tree stood.

    There are many huge oaks down the trails and many people claim its this one or that one, the fact is … its gone.

    However, the location of the original tree definitely explains the activity in that bathroom/ gazebo area. We didn’t catch any the nights we were there, but one night we brought our friends dog because dogs tend to be sensitive. Again we didn’t catch anything with our video or audio, but when the dog started whining and crying , something he never does… we all really got spooked and left.

    I’m not saying the place doesn’t have activity. But these stories intrigued me to do the research it was fun. But it shows how these legends get twisted.

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