If a Tree Falls is a scary episode of the TV series Night Visions. The story is about three friends who survive a fatal accident and discover that as long as their bodies remain hidden, they can stay alive.
Three college students named Devin, Bethany and Seth are driving along a lonely mountain road, when all of a sudden, they hit a rock. The car swerves off the edge of a cliff and they plunge into a lake.
When they all emerge from the water, they breathe a sigh of relief, happy to still be alive.
However, when they look around, they are horrified to see their own bodies, still trapped in the sinking car.
Stunned, the three friends swim to the shore and try to figure out what happened.
“I know what I saw,” Bethany says. “Those were our bodies in the car.”
“When it hit the water, I felt my neck snap,” Devin says. “The next thing I remember, we were in the water.”
“I don’t remember getting out of the car either,” says Seth.
“We must have died in the wreck,” says Devin. “You guys… I think we’re ghosts.”
Just then, a truck comes speeding down the road and almost hits them.
“Get out of the road, you morons!” the driver shouts.
“He saw us!” says Seth. “That guy saw us, so we can’t be dead!”
“We are dead,” Devin insists. “We saw our bodies.”
“But how could we die and still be alive?” Seth asks.
“Nobody witnessed the accident,” says Bethany. “If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a sound? Maybe the reason we’re still alive is that we’re the only ones who know that we’re dead…”
The three of them go back to college and try to act like nothing happened.
“Cheer up,” Seth laughs. “This is the first day of the rest of our lives.”
Devin is still haunted by the fact that he has cheated death. He feels like it’s a sin.
“When I think of myself down in that car,” he says, “I feel like I belong there.”
Devin is very religious and he needs advice, so he goes to see a priest for confession.
“Bless me father for I have sinned,” he says. “I was in a car crash. Two of my friends were killed. No one saw it happen. No one knows.”
“You haven’t told the police?” the priest asks, “or your friends’ families?”
“No,” Devin replies.
“Let me help,” says the priest. “I can break the news to your friends’ loved ones. What are their names?”
Devin takes a deep breath.
“Seth Moran,” he whispers.
All of a sudden, Seth disappears.
“Bethany Daniels,” he whispers.
Bethany suddenly disappears as well.
“There was one more,” Devin whispers. “Me. I died in the crash.”
The priest doesn’t believe a word of it.
“Devin this is absurd,” he says. “You’re talking nonsense.”
Bethany and Seth reappear, just as suddenly as they vanished, coughing and choking and throwing up water.
Back in their campus dorm, Bethany and Seth are desperate to stay alive. They’re worried that Devin is going to ruin everything.
“If he can’t keep his mouth shut, we’re all going to die,” says Seth.
“The car is only 10 feet down,” says Bethany. “Sooner or later, someone is going to find the car… and us.”
“We’ve got to get our bodies out of there,” says Seth. “We can bury them in the woods.”
“Deep,” Bethany agrees. “As deep as we can.”
Devin still can’t come to terms with what happened. He thinks his salvation depends on his body being found, so he goes back to the lake. When Bethany and Seth realize what he is up to, they race back to the lake to stop him.
Devin dives into the water and swims down to the car which is perched precariously on a narrow outcropping.
Peering through the window, Devin can see his own dead body…
…and Seth’s body…
…and Bethany’s body.
He can’t open the car door, so he pulls back the canopy. He tries to pull his own body out, but it’s wedged between the steering wheel and the seat. no matter how hard he tries, he can’t budge it.
However, as he pulls and tugs, he accidentally frees the bodies of Seth and Bethany and they float up towards the surface.
Devin is horrified when the car tips over and plunges down into the depths, taking his body with it.
Bethany and Seth arrive just in time to see their own corpses floating in the water.
A passing fisherman spots the dead bodies and rows his boat closer to take a look.
Devin swims back up to the surface and as he watches in horror Bethany and Seth disappear.
“Oh God no!” he screams. “It was supposed to be me, not them! It was supposed to be me!”
Devin is doomed to wander the Earth for all eternity. His body will never be found. He will never be able to die. He will never be at peace.