These supernatural cases have scared people for generations. From the legend of Spring-Heeled Jack to a tree that reportedly belongs to the devil, the following scary supernatural cases have left investigators baffled.
4. Supernatural Cases – Spring-Heeled Jack
Once one of the most popular pieces of folklore around, stories of Spring-heeled Jack date back to 1830s Great Britain. Spawning multiple works of fiction centered around the elusive figure, the popularity of Spring-heeled Jack lead it to becoming one of the most mysterious supernatural cases that persevered through the early 1900s.
During this time, Spring-heeled Jack was such a source of fear among British citizens that nearly everyone was familiar with the tales surrounding the urban legend. Everything about the figure contributed to his legend, from his appearance to his odd behavior.
First sighted in England in 1837, Spring-heeled Jack would make a name for himself as a terror antagonizing young women of the time. Walking alone one night, servant girl Mary Stevens would be the first to come into contact with Spring-heeled Jack, marking the figure’s reign of terror on the imaginations of the time.
Mary reported the figure that would later be known as Spring-heeled Jack as leaping out toward her, gripping her arms tight and holding her in place. Reportedly grabbing at her flesh with cold claws, kissing her and ripping her clothes, Mary would have likely fallen victim to horrible treatment from the figure had she not called out.
The girl’s scream sent the figure flying and local residents on its trail, without luck. Spring-heeled Jack’s legacy would continue to perpetuate itself the very next day when the figure would be reported as leaping in front of an oncoming coach, causing it to crash.
Spring-heeled Jack would then hop a 9-foot wall, cackling a deviously threatening laugh on his way. Picking up on these two odd and menacing incidents, the media would soon give Spring-heeled Jack his nickname and begin to sensationalize the two events.
Months after the sightings, London’s Mayor Sir John Cowan would deliver an anonymous complaint from a resident of Peckham. The complaint was of course in regards to Spring-heeled Jack and was delivered by the mayor in hopes of weeding out anyone with any knowledge of the bizarre figure.
In the note, Spring-heeled Jack is described as having the ability to take the form of a bear, a ghost, and a devil, a tale which was then corroborated by many servant girls around Britain. The common thread of these tales being that Spring-heeled Jack frequently appeared to torture the young women covered in blue flames and attacking them with his claws.
After many women claimed to have suffered violent fits or lost their senses at the sight of the figure, authorities began to take the figure seriously. Whether the authorities were in search of an actual demonic figure or pranksters impersonating the figure, as had happened with similar cases in the past, it was clear that the perpetrator needed to be caught and stopped regardless.
Known for his horrific appearance and leaping ability, Spring-heeled Jack remained a popular figure of plays and literature through to his last sighting in 1904. Never to be caught or brought to justice, the ultimate fate of this horrific character remains uncertain.
3. The Infamous Cock Lane Ghost
Another ghost that would go on to inspire the imaginations of writers of the time, the supernatural cases surrounding the Cock Lane ghost have intricate origins.
William Kent of Norfolk would marry Elizabeth Lynes in the mid-1750s. The start of a loving relationship, the couple’s bliss was nevertheless short-lived. The direct result of Elizabeth’s difficult pregnancy was the arrival of her sister Fanny, who would capture Kent’s attention after Elizabeth’s untimely death during childbirth.
Having stayed on past Elizabeth’s passing, the couple would soon fall in love. However, a happy ending was not on the cards for the couple who were forbidden to marry due to church laws of the time.
In order to escape the constraints of their former lives and Fanny’s disapproving family, the couple would eventually take refuge in the home lent to them by one Richard Parsons of Cock Lane. Kent began their new life on Cock Lane by first lending Parsons a sum of 12 guineas, which would seemingly seal the couple’s fate.
As the couple could not be considered legitimate by society, Kent was forced to attend social functions without Fanny. While he was away, Parson’s own daughter Elizabeth would keep Fanny company.
During these nights, the two would hear an eerie scratching and knocking sounds on the walls. While visiting the home, a neighboring land owner by the name of James Franzen claims he saw a pale white figure ascent the stairs of the house.
Upon his return, Kent would attempt to get to the bottom of the odd noises, only to be convinced of the presence of a ghost nearby. The couple would continue to be plagued by the presence of the ghost through Fanny’s own unfortunate passing after what was initially thought to be a bout of smallpox.
After Fanny’s passing, a few key events would coincide with one another, leaving some room for doubt as to the actual origin of these events. The Cock Lane ghost would continue its haunting while Parsons would continue not to repay Kent, leading to a lawsuit. Some believe the spirit of Fanny also began haunting the house, banging on the walls and making noises in an attempt to reveal what really happened in her dying moments.
During this time, Parsons would enlist the help of a local preacher familiar with supernatural cases in order to communicate with what he believed to be the ghost of Elizabeth, Kent’s first wife. Through a series of knocks, the pair would soon believe the ghost to be that of Fanny instead, who had been poisoned by Kent, with the initial ghostly visit thought to be Elizabeth’s attempts to warn her.
What would follow would be a massive trial and seance upon learning the ghost followed Parson’s daughter Elizabeth. During this time, the ghost was judged to be a phony and an act on the part of Elizabeth in an attempt to harass Kent.
While the murder case against Kent would be dropped, the legacy of the Cock Lane ghost would go on to inspire the likes of Horace Walpole and Charles Dickens alike.
2. Supernatural Cases – The Mystery of Mary Reeser
The death of Florida resident Mary Reeser has continued to be one of the most bizarre and mysterious cases ever documented. One morning in the mid-1950s, Reeser would be found by her landlady in an attempt to deliver a telegram.
When the door to the home felt too hot to the touch, Reeser’s landlady instinctively called the police. What the police found in that home would go on to haunt many of them in the years to come.
Inside, the remains of Reeser’s body were found completely decimated. The clear outline of where Reeser’s body had been was easily identified by the pile of ashes replacing her and the chair in which she had been sitting. Identifiable only by her left foot, backbone, and skull, Reeser was nearly completely cremated.
However, aside from Reeser herself, there was very little evidence of any fire having taken place inside the home. In fact, only a few nearby items showed even a small amount of fire damage. Reeser’s body was nearly entirely cremated, which all medical professionals involved agreed would have required extremely high fire temperatures. However, Reeser’s home remained largely untouched.
What’s more, Reeser’s skull was proven to be extremely shrunken, an effect not typically the result of spontaneous human combustion. Eventually, after FBI involvement, it would be determined that Reeser met her end due to the rare “wick effect.”
As Reeser had been known to take sleeping pills, it was believed she had fallen asleep at an inopportune time, while smoking a cigarette. Having accidentally set herself or her clothes on fire, the flames would consume body fat until they became horribly destructive, leading to Reeser’s complete combustion.
However, other investigators would dispute the FBI’s claims, such as anthropologist Wilton M. Krogman. Asserting that the skull would have exploded rather than shrivel if the FBI’s version of events were actually true, Krogman could not let the case rest.
Citing the nearly pristine appearance of Reeser’s home, Krogman would explain the fear and chills thinking back on the case, stating, “were I living in the Middle Ages, I’d mutter something about black magic.”
Truly one of the creepiest paranormal events in history.
1. The Devil’s Tree
There’s an infamous tree in Florida’s Port Saint Lucie that locals believe harbours the spirits of murder victims. The site of a series of heinous crimes, Florida’s own Devil’s Tree seemingly remains haunted by the spirits of its victims to this day. The favorite site of serial killer Gerard Schaefer, the park where the Devil’s Tree is located saw a fair share of victims.
Schaefer reportedly frequently attempted to murder and violate pairs of teenage girls at the site. Eventually caught and murdered in prison, Schaefer would commit several horrific acts at the site and harm hordes of young women.
Seemingly tainted by the horrible acts it was a party to, the forest would go on to be a site for several odd occurrences over the years. In particular, the Devil’s Tree seemed to mark the spot where Schaefer would bury his doubles. Over the years, locals would attempt to remove the heinous reminder of the park’s past, to no avail. Chainsaw malfunctions, chipped handsaws, and broken axes were all the results of multiple attempts to remove the tree from the site.
One Reddit post by user tanukiteeth details several visits to the creepy site. Having reached the tree with a group of their friends, the stench of death would hit the group immediately. As though to assure the group that they were not alone in this, a large group of vultures descended on the spot, seemingly drawn in by the stench.
In order to rule out the possibility of another murder having been committed at the site, the group searched the woods for another possible body, to no avail. In the end, the group had no choice but to conclude the scent and dark aura had been given off by the Devil’s Tree itself as a reminder of the horrible acts it had been made a party to.
Interestingly, there’s another tree with similar folklore attached, also called the “The Devil’s Tree” and located in Somerset County, New Jersey. The origin of many horrible legends, such as the tree being the site of KKK lynchings and a farmer’s death, the results of the tree are all similar. Those who visit this Devil’s Tree are known to suffer horrible accidents after leaving.
Overall, it seems that there is a common thread of Devil’s Trees resulting in extreme supernatural cases throughout North America.