January 3, 2013
Devil’s Playground (Part 2)
I recently wrote about areas around the world that are claimed to be possessed or inhabited by the Devil. Legends or tales from local residents are told from generation to generation, and with each new explanation of the legend a new version is generated. Every legend has an origin and no matter how far fetched the latest tale seems, some truth is mixed within them and it began with an actual event. Some places have an eerie feeling about them, others have had vicious incidents occur, and some, just the look can make your hair stand up.
Today I am continuing with the topic, with some more eerie, evil, and Devil occupied areas of the world.
The Devil’s tree is located in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. This eerie looking tree is claimed to be cursed from the vicious and unwarranted lynching’s that were carried out on the branches of this ancient oak. Basking Ridge was one of New Jersey’s head quarters for the KKK (Klu Klux Klan) and this tree was used for their racial hangings.
As for the legend, this tree is cursed and if anyone tries to cut it down they will also be cursed. By the markings on the tree many have tried but the tree still stands. Tools used like saws and axes have broke while attempting to chop down this tree according to witnesses. People have claimed to see figures hanging from the branches buy ropes, and others have heard screams coming from inside the tree’s trunk. Because the Devil is claimed to be associated with this evil oak, snow never sticks to the branches or on the ground around it. This is a perfect example of actual events being exploited into a Devilish legend, or is it.
There could be hundreds of bridges around the world, mostly in Europe, that are named The Devil’s Bridge, 49 in France alone. Each bridge has its own legend of how it acquired its name and how it relates to the Devil. Some because of the adversities involved in their construction, some the builder made a deal with the Devil, and others built by the Devil himself. Most of them are arch bridges built out of masonry or stone from the medieval era 1000 – 1600 AD. It is said in Roman legend that most of these bridges were built beyond human capabilities, so they must have been built by the Devil.
One legend from Switzerland is one of the three bridges over the Schöllenen Gorge was built by the Devil. The first bridge was wooden and built in the year 1230 and rebuilt in 1799 with stone, but because of the difficult terrain, the Devil agreed to build the bridge on the condition that the first one to cross the bridge would lose their soul to him. After completion of the bridge the townspeople chased a goat across and the Devil was so angry that he had been tricked he picked up a boulder to smash the bridge, but an elderly woman carrying a cross chased him away. The boulder the Devil used is called The Devil’s Stone and weighs 220 ton. The majority of legends in naming The Devil’s Bridges are similar to this one.
This area was formed millions of years ago by an underground frost heave and was used by snipers on the second day of fighting in the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.The name for this area didn’t come from the Devil or any evil occurrence, but was named after an eight foot black snake called “The Devil” which lived in the immediate area from 1855 – 1881. It was first thought to be 15 feet but as most tales go it was an exaggeration. As we all know serpents, AKA snakes, are spawned by the Devil, in essence Devil’s Den did get its name from the unholy one.
Image Credit: Fotokostic / Shutterstock