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True Ghost Stories: The Grave Under The Tree


 Shoshoni, Wyoming

By Jennifer G.

I swear this is true. It happened to ME. Not a friend of a friend, not a cousin, not some story I heard somewhere. This is my story, and I didn’t make it up.

My grandfather grew up on a ranch in Wyoming, on about 8500 acres of land, which he inherited when his father died. It’s an amazing place, and my brother and I spent every summer there growing up. We love it there, and we’d take horses and go riding as much of the land as we could, from the time we woke until the time we had to be back when the sun went down. It’s a place you’d see in the movies–a pond we’d swim in, loads of hills and valleys, trails, trees-heaven for a couple of kids out to explore. We had to make our own fun because the nearest house was miles away, so we really were one another’s only company.

One summer we decided to ride a little further than normal (we had become better riders by then), and about 3 hours into our ride came upon a tree in the middle of a clearing, many miles from anything, certainly hours and hours walking distance from the nearest road (we’re talking in the middle of nowhere).  Underneath this creepy, dead-looking tree, we see a cross, which is obviously a grave mark. We ride up to it, and get off the horses to go check it out. I swear, before we got to the cross, there wasn’t a breeze to be seen, but when we got to the cross, the wind starting blowing really cold, all around us. We walked up to the cross, but there weren’t any markings on it, just a wooden cross, stuck in the ground. Funny thing was that when we stood in front of the cross, like we were standing on a grave, we both had a really eerie feeling, almost to the point of nausea. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and my heart started racing–same thing for my brother. We decided to get the heck out of there immediately, but before we did, (being jerky kids) we kicked over the cross. When we got back to the horses and started riding away, we noticed that there was no more wind, no more cold. It had just been when we were at the gave.

When we got back to my grandfather’s house about 3 hours later, we excitedly told everyone what we found. My grandfather paled, and said, “that thing is still there?”. We all looked at him and asked him about it. He said he didn’t want to talk about it, and walked out of the room. Naturally, we were super curious as to the origin of the story, so later we cornered grandma and asked her what was up.

She looked pretty uncomfortable, and told us she didn’t know the whole story, but she would tell us what she knew if we promised not to bug grampa about it. We agreed, and she said that the only thing she knew was that when grampa was young, he had rode out and found that cross himself, and knocked the cross over because he was, as we were, a jerky kid. That night he had nightmares about a girl being buried alive under that cross, and when he woke up, he was so disturbed, he rode back out to the grave to make things right. When he got there—the cross was back sitting upright over the grave. He avoided that part of the land ever since, and never talked about it after that day.

Well, naturally we were freaked out, and naturally our plan was to go back out the following day to see what was up. That night I recall as being one of the worst nights I’ve ever had. I had nightmares every time I fell asleep, about the grave, and demons, and being buried alive. I couldn’t have been happier when the sun came up. My brother said he had the same kind of night. Ten minutes after dawn we jumped on the horses to go check out the gravesite. As we approached the tree, my heart just froze in my chest and I could feel my hands shaking as we both saw that the cross was again upright, as if it had never been tossed.

We made it home in record time that morning, and didn’t mention a word to the rest of the family, although from the look on grampa’s face, he knew. We never talked about it, except once in a while my brother and I check in with one another to say, “Did…that really happen?” The land is still in our family, and for all I know that grave is still there, though you won’t find me out there looking for it. I got the message the first time.