creepy {22/365}

I spent a few hours today, rummaging around on the interwebz trying to figure out the meaning behind a ‘shoe tree’.  No, not those cedar thingies you stick in your shoes (although I learned about those too along the way).

This …

shoe tree

Ummmm … make that shoe treeS – plural.  And well on the way to becoming a forest from the looks of things.

Over the years, I’ve driven past this spot too many times to count.  And always wondered about it.  Why in the world are all of these shoes nailed to the trees?  What does it mean?  Does it mean anything at all?

I haven’t got a clue.  And it’s not for lack of trying, believe me.

My fourteen year old tells me a young girl died there, and I found this a little ways in …

The black marker around the sides says “remember the ones you have lost” and it’s a picture of a smiling blond girl.  At the top, in type, it says “Hey bebe!”  It’s covered in plastic.

Searching around the ‘net, I found tales of demons who, should you have the stupidity to touch any given shoe tree, would yank you into the pits of hell and hang your shoes up for posterity.

And then there’s the serial killer theory.  You know, the shoes of the victims?  Yah.  Nice.


The majority of the stories I came across involved the shoes being tossed and left hanging from branches, all for one oddball reason or another – good luck for newlyweds; newlyweds fighting and the groom tossing the bride’s shoes into a tree so she couldn’t split; good luck for newborns and the subsequent yearly hanging of shoes for each year lived … you get the idea.   I also learned more than I ever needed to know about the meaning of shoes hanging from telephone wires, other than the requisite bored teenager tossing them.  Did you know that tennis shoes hanging from a power line meant you could buy crack nearby? No? Me neither.  It’s also used to (apparently) identify gang turfs.  Good to know!

At the end of it all though, I still have no clue what this little group of shoe trees here, in my town, means.

What I do know?  They creep me the hell out.  That’s some spooky stuff to me.  Honestly.  The whole atmosphere of it screams horror movie and makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up and take notice.

One weird creak of branches and I got a little uneasy.  Two weird creaks and I booked it the hell out of there.  Fast.

I really have to stop watching so much Ghost Whisperer.

More shoe tossing/nailing/flinging links (there’s a gazillion out there, omg):

If The Shoe Fits, Fling It –
The Straight Dope
THIS crazy BBC article followed up by more craziness

and an excerpt from this page cracked me right up:

“Not all people are supporters of these adorned trees, however. In fact, a popular shoe tree near Rice, CA was burned to the ground in 2004, leaving nothing but a sad, charred stump with melted shoes on top. Sadly, its neighbor, the underwear tree was soon after destroyed as well.”

The underwear tree!!! buahahahahaaa!


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  • Lexi
    Posted at 22:49h, 22 January Reply

    Definitely creepy.

  • Natasha
    Posted at 23:16h, 22 January Reply

    I knew about the crack/running shoe thing, but its an urban legend so they say. They’re all over Queen St. West.

    That shoe tree is amazing though, and I actually think the demon thing is pretty interesting. Email me that link would ya?
    .-= Natasha´s last blog ..Week End News. =-.

  • Elaine
    Posted at 01:10h, 23 January Reply

    That is seriously seriously creepy. it totally looks like a set for a Hollywood horror movie. The only thing I’ve seen that’s come close to that is bubblegum alley in San Luis Obispo, CA. It is this half mile alley with about a billion chewed up pieces of gum stuck on both sides of the building! You can’t even see the wall. Its not creepy, just disgusting, smells like fruit down that alley. and no, I did not know shoes on a wire meant you can get crack in that area! Damn – I’m not as ghetto as I thought. ;p

  • Donna
    Posted at 01:38h, 23 January Reply

    I’ll go with seriously freakin’ creepy too. That is just plain weird. Did you ask your kid about it beyond that girl who died? If you ever find out, I’m dying to know!

    Send me the link to the demon tree too. Sounds interesting. But that tree? I wouldn’t walk there. It’s scary.

  • janice
    Posted at 11:24h, 23 January Reply

    I added some links to the bottom of the post, but the demon angle was just a blurb from Indiana Hauntings and I haven’t come across it anywhere else.

    Hey Nat, maybe Dakota can use it as an idea in her next book! LOL! I want my name in the credits though heheheee …

    Donna – Can’t find out anything!!! You’d think there’d be more about it somewhere. I even put up a message in a town chat room, but all I got was ‘if you find out, I’d like to know too!’ kind of stuff.

    Elaine – You’re as ghetto as a preggers 4’5″ asian chick can get!!! *smooch

  • Michele
    Posted at 19:31h, 23 January Reply

    Wow, that IS creepy!!!
    .-= Michele´s last blog ..23/365 – Yahtzee =-.

  • Tug
    Posted at 23:42h, 24 January Reply

    I’ve never seen anything like this…wow. Would love to hear if you find more out on it!
    .-= Tug´s last blog ..Blue =-.

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 23:14h, 27 January Reply

    Holy crap! That’s one heck of a shoe tree. There’s one near Georgetown too. No idea why it’s there. Every year the town removes the shoes, and every year, more people throw them up there.

    It’s weird.

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