Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Revolutionary Spy and a Cursed-Hanging Tree, Part ll

As Mary Post was hanged for being a British spy during the Revolutionary War in 1777 she placed a curse on the tree used to hang her. Before she died, she stated if anyone harmed this tree, they would suffer.

More about Mary’s story is shared in Part l, here.

Camp Glen Gray in the Ramapo
Mountains in northeastern NJ.
The curse placed on this tree was first documented after a Boy Scout camp was built in 1917 on the site where Mary Post was hanged. The ancient maple tree still stood on the camp property.

Are the following stories truth or legend?

In 1935, a scoutmaster wishing to stamp down belief in this curse cut a limb off the tree to prove the curse did not exist. Three days later he and his family perished in a house fire.

Sixteen years later a camp official attempted to chop down the tree, again to put an end to the legend. As he fiercely swung an ax at the trunk, it flew back and sliced his throat. He later died from this wound.

A camper that knew nothing about the curse unwittingly carved his initials in the tree in 1940. Everything was normal until he fell asleep in his tent that night. When he awoke the next morning he felt severe pain, he discovered one of his legs had a compound fracture.

Camp Glen Gray
Fifteen years later a camp worker decided to defy the curse. He chopped off pieces of the Mary Post tree to sell as souvenirs. Soon after he started to have horrible nightmares—they continued until he went insane. This man lived the rest of his life in an asylum.

By 1969, this tree was so diseased New Jersey officials decided to have it chopped down. Two men were sent to do this job. The first professed he did not believe in the curse—the night before they were slated to cut down the tree he died of a brain hemorrhage. His partner left quickly.

Another six years passed and the tree still stood, but by this time it was dead. Some believed the curse would now end, but they were wrong.

In 1980 on Friday the 13th a group of 13 men including 3 scouts decided to tempt the old curse. With chainsaws, they succeeded in felling the tree.

A portion of this tree can still, be seen at Park Headquarters. When the boy scout camp closed in 2001, Bergen County turned the old camp into a public campground.

So what happened to the 13 who finally felled the tree?

One was killed in a car accident two weeks after the tree came down. A second man perished in a ski accident, and the third died of liver disease—he started to drink after he participated in the felling.

The other 10 participants did not escape misfortune all suffered bad injuries within 12 months after the tree came down.

The locals now believed that the evil that surrounded this maple had finally come to an end but something else unusual began to happen.

Lake Vreeland
Witnesses reported seeing Mary Post’s ghost near where she was executed. Then others came forward to state they saw her at Lake Vreeland near where her inn once stood.

Her ghost is seen floating above the water unusually late at night in the autumn months. Her apparition has also been spotted in the nearby-untouched forest.

In Part l of A Revolutionary Spy and a Cursed-HangingTree how Mary Post betrayed the American Patriots is shared.

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