Suicide Tree


We haven’t been able to get over to see the tree yet. Do you have any photo of it? Sounds like agreat weird attraction!! Thanks for the tip!

In a message dated 5/24/11 6:43:57 PM, lynchs15@yahoo.com writes:

I live in a small town in South Jersey called Oaklyn that harbors an unusual tree standing alone on the edge of a peninsula. Coming from the White Horse Pike you make a right on Manor Ave and drive until you reach the dead end where the VFW is located, to the left of the VFW is an open field that is elevated and juts into Newton Lake. Walk to the end of the field and pass around a thicket of bushes using either the left or right path, then you will find a tree standing apart from the others. The tree is marked with a swastika in red graffiti that has been there ever since I was a child. I’ve heard about three people killing themselves there since I’ve lived here, and in 2006 I witnessed the police and EMT take away a corpse found hanging there on that lonely tree. I saw an article online mentioning the incident- http://articles.philly.com/2006-01-22/news/25410893_1_forensic-artist-composite-drawings-jackson-last-spring/2

The article states that the man was unidentified for “two or three days”, but if my memory serves me correctly, it was longer than that, perhaps even weeks. A couple of years before, a man hung himself on the same tree and wasn’t even identified. He had no friends or family, and no one claimed to recognize him.
I’ve heard people say that up to seven, nine, and a dozen people have hung themselves on that tree in the past fifty years, and it’s not surprising in a practical sense because the tree is easy to climb, and it has sturdy branches.
If you venture to the isolated peninsula by yourself after midnight, around two or three in the morning, some weird stuff happens. Four of my friends, and several acquaintances, have told me that they saw a thin line dangling from the upper branches when looking down at the tree from the right side of the field, only to see nothing there when they got closer. I only witnessed this once, when I noticed a long cord hanging from the middle branch swinging back and forth, even though there was no wind blowing. I ran as fast as I could back through the field after I saw that. When I came back later that morning in the daylight there was no rope to be found.
I’ve been to this tree dozens and dozens of times and I only saw the rope apparition once, but then again, I’ve never ventured there again by myself at three in the morning. Even if you aren’t by yourself, you can still experience a distinct feeling of solemnity when near this tree. It’s an eerie, practically inexplicable feeling. There is a strange sense of fear mixed with peace in this place, as if the people who killed themselves there are calling out to you. The best way I can describe the emotion that overcomes myself every time I’m there is one of uneasy, painful tranquility. There is something about this seemingly oxymoronic feeling that is unique in that it persuades you to accept the isolation. I know that the first time I ever had serious suicidal thoughts was at this tree, and I was only eleven. I don’t know if anyone has ever sent Weird NJ something about this tree before; I don’t think the stories about it extend much beyond Oaklyn. What I do know is this tree is definitely worth looking into, it’s ten times scarier and infinitely stranger than the Atco ghost if you go by yourself at the right time, see for yourself.


About Sean William Lynch
Sean William Lynch is a poet from New Jersey who was born in 1992. Lynch's first book of poems "the city of your mind" was published in 2013 by Whirlwind Press. Frank Sherlock, the poet laureate of Philadelphia, called Lynch's debut poetry book "visionary." CA Conrad claimed that the book was "marvelous!" S.W. Lynch's writing has been featured in numerous publications online and in print, including Milkfist, Poetry Quarterly, and Tincture Journal.

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