This ancient Oak Tree near the village of Alton, Staffordshire, England is undoubtedly one of the scariest looking trees you’ll ever look at. Covered in huge, rusted chains, it looks as though the tree may have once roamed around the forest, picking off wanderers who dared disturb its arboreal realm before the villagers captured it and chained it to his current spot.
The ‘real’ legend is just as frightening. Legend has it that the Earl of Shrewsbury who lived at the grand estate of Alton Towers (now a pretty decent theme park) was travelling back home one evening when his carriage was stopped by a lone beggar woman. The grubby old lady asked the Earl for a penny and, when he rudely dismissed her, cursed the Earl, stating that for every branch that fell from the old oak tree, a member of his family would perish.
That night, a great storm ripped one of the limbs from the tree and, by the morning, one of the Earl’s family members had passed away horribly. The frightened nobleman then ordered that the Oak be bound in chains so that no more branches could fall.