8 of the Creepiest Trees on Earth

Creepy tree that appears to have a screaming face
Photo: Rudy Bagozzi/Shutterstock

Trees can be described as "regal" or "majestic." But they can also be some of the spookiest vegetation on the planet. Who hasn’t stared at a gnarled oak outside the bedroom window in a dark night and wondered if it was going to bust through? (See 1980's horror classic "Poltergeist.") In honor of all the trees out there, take a look at some of the creepiest and coolest plants destined to scare your pants off — or crash through your bedroom window.

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Anthropomorphic tree

Photo: Mike DelGaudio/Flickr

Anthropomorphism is the recognition of people-like characteristics in animals, plants or non-living things. This tree can be found in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. During the time of slavery in the South, slave ships were often unable to make it through the Outer Banks because of the treacherous landscapes. The skeletal branches are a reminder of those lost along the way.

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Demented apple tree

Photo: mriggen/Flickr

This creepy apple tree is in Montreal. It looks like a person with arms outstretched — it's as if this tree was stomped upon by some mythical god. In Norse mythology, apple trees were the key to eternal youth. (No word on what would happen to a goddess if she snacked on one of these demented apples.)

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Mermaid tail

Photo: joka2000/Flickr

Sakisima-suonoki trees grow in sub-tropical regions, but they look like they would be more at home in the middle of the sea. It seems like the roots of this tree have compensated for extreme moisture and lack of sunlight by reaching out of the soil toward the sky.

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Cemetery sentinel

Photo: j4yx0r/Flickr

This creepy tree is in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It sends an almost biblical message, seemingly posing as a giant cross over the cemetery. New England's cemeteries are home to many early American luminaries such as Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and John Hancock. Founded in 1831, this cemetery has witnessed some history.

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The owl

Photo: Pedro Ribeiro Simões/Flickr

Ever feel like you’re being watched? It's probably this tree. Found in Parque das Nações, Lisbon, Portugal, it brings to mind a demonic owl or angry alligator. In reality, it's a birch tree. Birch trees are characterized by lenticels, which are pore-like structures on the tree that allow it to breathe. Clearly, this tree gives off a creepy vibe.

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Joshua trees

Photo: Joshua Tree National Park/Flickr

Joshua trees are native to the North American Southwest. They are most common in the Mojave Desert — that long, hot stretch of sand where temperatures often soar to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. These would have been some of the first trees pioneers encountered as they rolled into the West. Can you imagine seeing these weird trees after traveling 2,000-plus miles through death and strife? They wouldn't have provided much comfort to the new arrivals.

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The choker

Photo: nadbasher/Flickr

These two trees appear to be entwined in a dance of dominance in the front lawn of an innocuous suburb. It brings to mind a gigantic Bonsai tree, trees that are pruned, defoliated, potted and grafted to create perfect miniature versions of regular-sized trees.

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Into the mist

Photo: Sonti Malonti/Flickr

Trees are majestic and can represent all that nature has to offer. But sometimes, they look like they're going to kill you. These trees are located in Monschau, Germany, but the blue mist adds an air of alternative time or dimension. It's exactly the kind of scene that might feature a chainsaw killer emerging from the mist. (How's that tree outside your window looking?)