Tree Surgeon Buried in a Tree – Carthage, Arkansas - Atlas Obscura

Tree Surgeon Buried in a Tree

Carthage, Arkansas

Local legend says that someone is buried in the trunk. 


At the entrance to the Hampton Springs Cemetery in Carthage, Arkansas, there is a tree. Now, there are lots of trees, in this cemetery and in many others - almost every other, probably. But this tree is special. This tree has a gap in the base of its trunk that has been bricked up. The bricks, according to local legend, are hiding a corpse inside of the trunk.

It’s just legend, an old wives’ tale, but it’s a captivating one that has kept many interested for many years.

The real explanation, according to the commenters at Roadside America who have visited the town and asked around, speaking to anybody they could find with some insight, is that the tree was diseased and starting to rot away when the townspeople noticed. A couple scraped out the rotten part of the tree and filled it with concrete in an attempt to keep the tree from falling down and damaging the tombstones in the cemetery.

The tree survived the disease and has, over time, slowly covered up most of the bricks that were stuffed inside of it.

Know Before You Go

Drive east of Carthage, Arkansas, on Highway 48 for about 3.5 miles. Turn right (south) onto Dallas 426 for a quarter-mile, then left onto Dallas 427, which you can take all the way to the cemetery. The tree is at the cemetery entrance.

Community Contributors

July 19, 2011

Make an Edit Add Photos
From Around the Web