The Shoe Tree is a scary legend about a serial killer in Walled Lake, Michigan. They call him The Walled Lake Child Killer.
Years ago, in Walled Lake, Michigan, there was a young boy who was bullied at school. Every day, on his way home from school, he had to pass by a gnarled tree that was around 70 feet tall. The local bullies would be lying in wait for him every day. They would stop him and take his shoes. They threw the shoes up in the tree so that they were left hanging from a branch. The poor boy would have to climb up the tree to get them back.
One day, the boy was found dead in a swamp behind the tree. His shoes were still hanging from a branch. The police figured that he had fallen off the tree while climbing and landed in the swamp. The theory was that he must have become stuck in the mud and, unable to free himself, he finally suffocated. They ruled it an accident and didn’t think anything more of it.
What the police did not know was that there was a serial killer on the loose. He would later become known as the infamous Walled Lake Child Killer.
A quarter of a mile from Walled Lake, was an old amusement park. The serial killer kidnapped children from the amusement park and drove them out to the old shoe tree. There, he murdered them and buried their bodies in the swamp.
He threw their shoes up into the tree and left them dangling there as he made his escape. They don’t know exactly how many children he killed and his crimes went undetected for years. Finally, local people became suspicious of all the missing kids and all the dangling children’s shoes in the tree. The police were called and when they came to investigate, they began digging in the mud around the shoe tree. There, they unearthed the dead bodies of all of the missing children. There was a pair of shoes in the tree for every corpse they dug up.
The Walled Lake Child Killer was never caught and to this day, he remains on the loose. The amusement park was later closed down. The land was developed within the past couple of years but the shoe tree still stands on the same spot. Every now and then, they find another pair of children’s shoes dangling from its branches.
Just walking by the shoe tree today would make your hair stand on end. People who go there during the daytime report hearing very distinct, audible cries. The cries are not distant but seem to be coming from just a few feet away. As you walk towards where the cries are coming from, they seem to move around – sometimes back to where you were just standing.
They say that if you walk past the shoe tree at night, you will witness many strange things. You will see dark shadows around the tree and if you stop and listen for a few minutes, you will hear the children`s footsteps all around you and see their footprints in the mud. You can see the clumps of tall grass moving back and forth and you can hear the children crying for their mothers. Some are desperately trying to run away and some are screaming and pleading for help.