• AP Magazine

    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

  • 1
Alternate Perceptions Magazine, June 2024

Tree Spirit or something else? - Northern Ontario

by: Susan Demeter

I received the following high strangeness report in 2009. The event as described below occurred near the Township of Morley, (Stratton) Ontario, Canada in October 2007. The location is rural, isolated and known for its majestic forests and clear fresh water lakes. The witness writes:

"I have a property in north-western Ontario and no-one has lived on it for about 40 years. When my mother passed away, I told my family that, if it were possible, I would like to go and take a look at the property. My husband and two daughters were working, and it would be difficult to get the time off, and my other daughter was home with a small toddler, and expecting another child. My oldest daughter’s husband said he would like to see just what sort of a mess the place was in too, and offered to go with me.

It's about a 12 hour drive with just the two of us, and minimal stops, so it was late when we got to the road that leads to the half-section of the property. Much of the ground is low and the road had not been kept up, so we decided that we would have some sleep, and proceed down the line road in daylight.

The best area for stopping is on a sort of turnabout. The parking place is sandy and is on the highest part of the line road. Underlying the sand is rock. We stopped in this lay-by, had a bite to eat, tended to bathroom, and got ready to sleep. My son-in-law took the front seat and I curled up in the back.

As we lay there both our heads were faced towards the passenger side of the car. It was a bright night, and we were admiring the stars as you don't get that kind of a night sky in the city where we live.

It was then I noticed a tree right outside the car window - right in front of our faces, you could say. “I hadn't noticed that we were that close to the trees” I said. My son-in-law replied that he hadn’t noticed either and we must have missed seeing it earlier. It wasn't all that big. It looked like a birch tree that was shedding its bark. I didn't notice that it was windy, but the tree bark was waving. I then said, "Look at the stars in the branches.” And then realized they were in pairs. “Look, I said, “it has pairs of lights and down near the ground and they're red!"

We both watched this thing for a few seconds and then Jer (my son-in-law) said "I'm not looking at that thing anymore," and covered his head with the blanket. I watched it for a long while - or it seemed like quite a while.

It looked like a tangly birch tree, with long white strips hanging from it. What I first took to be stars through the branches were on a longer inspection IN the branches and in pairs. There were pairs of these bright little lights near the ground, but red. It fluttered about 3 ft. from the side of the car.

Needless to say, we had locked the car doors. I finally fell asleep watching this thing.

In the morning we looked for the tree. The nearest trees were much farther away, at least 15 ft and on the sandy ground by the passenger side of the car, apart from the tire tracks (ours, one set) there were no marks at all. It had been a beautiful night, with a bit of moonlight, and no wind to speak of. My son-in-law said that he had been too tired to find another safe place to park the night before or he would have looked for one, and then would not speculate on what we had seen. We had intended to sort of camp out for a day or so, and maybe make our way into the property, but we wound up just doing a short look-around, then going home.

What on earth could it have been? And why?"

I asked the witness for more details and the following is her reply:

"If you could get dimes to glow brightly in pairs about 3 inches to 6 inches apart, you would have an idea of their size. Some would be bright quarters, maybe 8 inches apart. Near the base (roots?) the redder ones were smaller and closer together. They don't look anything like fireflies- I have bottled those guys in my time, and they have a softer glow.

This was north-east of Stratton, Ontario near heavy woods, very quiet and a fairly bright night. I have looked and looked, and asked questions, but no-one seems to know anything about a thing like this, or even what it might be called. I hear lots of stories (I was a complete skeptic) about ghosts and such-which I don't believe in, but this thing has me absolutely baffled. If it were raining, it could be reflections from somewhere. If there were marks near where we parked, I would say someone was playing tricks.

You are a last resort- It bothers me that there was something like this, and I don't even know what you call it. We did watch it for at least 20 minutes (my son-in-law) to 40 minutes (me) before we gave up." I thanked the witness for her courage in reaching out to me. My initial reaction was to think this is some odd, perhaps very rare natural phenomenon. The red lights are only part of what is being reported as the "tree" that the lights were surrounding was neither located, nor visible in the daylight either. This may have been a tree spirit or some other guardian of the woods.  If anyone has had a similar experience, heard of something similar, or would like to take a good guess at what they saw please contact me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via my website here: https://susandemeter.wordpress.com/ 

This report was originally published to Paranormal Studies and Inquiry Canada here:

Sunday, July 14, 2024