The Hands-Down Tree

Deep in the woods behind our house– okay, technically less than half a mile in the woods behind our house– there grew the spookiest tree in the world. The moment I first laid on it, it gave me chills. Even just the memory of it today gives me the willies. If a tree could be haunted, this one was haunted. If a tree could be cursed, this one was cursed. If a tree could dance naked by the light of the full moon and then go cackling away on a broomstick… this tree surely did.

I found a satellite image of the ol’ woods this morning and was thrilled to find that the Hands-Down Tree still stands. Now, I realize this is a bit like looking at a stranger’s ultrasound photo, but for the benefit of my sisters and some childhood friends, here is the image:


Look! You can still see it! It stands to this day! I hope some other kids have found it and now it invades their nightmares. Um, I mean that in the tenderest way possible. I miss you, old Tree.













57 responses to “The Hands-Down Tree”

  1. dmdeluca17 Avatar

    Simply awesome!!

  2. talesfromthemotherland Avatar

    Whoa! The lightening kicks butt! Awesome! We had a really cool/creepy tree in the woods near us, called The Smokey Tree… to this day, I still dream about it. Fantastic Nicole!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      I’m glad there are other spooky trees that invade dreams. The Smokey Tree is a great name!

      1. talesfromthemotherland Avatar

        It is a great name, and an amazing place in my childhood. It had fallen and we could climb up along it’s trunk, or shelter underneath… such a special place!

  3. notquiteold Avatar

    Why does everyone want to improve on our imagination????

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Hahaha! I have to admit they are right, though. It did deserve a creepier name.

  4. Michael Cargill Avatar

    Oooh, it made my spine tingle just looking at it.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      I’d love to see this tree one more time…

  5. JackieP Avatar

    Now that’s a scary tree! I would be scared too and I’m not even a kid anymore.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      I bet that’s the real reason it still stands– who would dare take it down?

  6. silkpurseproductions Avatar

    You have certainly taken your work to a whole new level. I think I got goosebumps.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you! That means a lot to me!

  7. jltan7 Avatar

    you are an ARTIST. love it.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you :) This comment made me so happy

  8. on thehomefrontandbeyond Avatar

    love your stuff–perfection

  9. The Bumble Files Avatar

    I LOVE this! That is all.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you for letting me know! :D

  10. Baddest Mother Ever Avatar

    I got a shiver from the satellite photo! it’s like those creepy trees in the Wizard of Oz.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Yes! The tree seemed to breathe.

  11. Rae Avatar

    You’re so good it’s crazy! I love the header.

  12. muddledmom Avatar

    That is so cool. You can do that with a computer?? ;) What a great tree to find too.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      I love that tree. I’d love to pay it another visit.

  13. creative pixie Avatar
    creative pixie

    Brilliant lightening! I just love your work.

  14. nannus Avatar

    Lol! Uaaaaahahaha!
    The idea with the animated flashing picture is great!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you! I’m glad you like it!

  15. She's a Maineiac Avatar

    My daughter and I just LOVED this one! So well done, Nicole! How cool it still stands to this day.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks Darla! Maybe the next time I am in New England, I will risk trespassing charges to find it again and take a photo ;)

  16. The Waiting Avatar

    I bet the Blair Witch lives in that tree.

  17. Elyse Avatar

    Ooohhhhh, Spooky!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      It was just before Halloween that we found it, too. Ashley and I used to run past it as fast as we could.

  18. whatimeant2say Avatar

    Are you sure JK Rowling didn’t grow up next to you? That could have been the inspiration for her Whomping Willow!

    1. Shimona from the Palace Avatar

      EXACTLY what I was thinking :-)

  19. Le Clown Avatar
    Le Clown

    The Middlest Sister,
    You’ve changed your font again? asked Le Clown late to the party….
    Le Clown

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      I changed it months ago on the advice of a very brilliant lady. I like it– easy to read, but still a little messy and homemade-looking.

  20. bhbkidstyle Avatar

    Loooooove the lightning!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks! I like it, too. I watched it lightning for at least a full minute before publishing…

  21. Emily Avatar

    Wow, a tree that can make Chrissy concede to her sisters? It really must be possessed.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Hahaha! Excellent point!

  22. The Hook Avatar

    You can’t trust a tree.
    Didn’t you see “Evil Dead”?
    You’re lucky you walked away from that tree with your virtue intact….

  23. reneejohnsonwrites Avatar

    What fantastic artwork. Found you through Darla.

  24. bevchen Avatar

    WordPress recommended your blog to me and I’ve just spent ages going through the archives. I LOVE it!!
    One thing is confusing me though… if you are Nikki (the oldest) how are you the middlest sister? Isn’t Chrissy the one in the middle? Or have I misunderstood something?

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      No, you haven’t misunderstood :) I wanted Chrissy to sort of be the “star” since she was, after all, the middlest and tended to be overlooked. Thanks for reading, I’m so happy to hear that you like the comics! :)

  25. pegoleg Avatar

    Love the lightning – you so talented, girl!

  26. Firsts and Lasts with Nicole from The Middlest Sister | She's a Maineiac Avatar

    […] The Hands-Down Tree [editor's note: very cool-n-creepy story, the lightning panel she created is fantastic] […]

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