Seemingly ordinary and somewhat picturesque during the daytime, many of Massachusett's haunted places can be hard to spot at first. However, upon further investigation and attention to local legend, these areas suddenly tell a different story.
Hidden beneath its beautiful, shady trails and scenic paths, the Freetown Fall River State Forest is actually the site of some pretty intense haunted legends. It has long been a hotspot of terrifying murders and paranormal activity.
After taking a deeper dive into this forest's storied past, it's easy to see why this area has garnered such a dark reputation.
Over the past century, the Freetown Forest has been the site of numerous documented crimes and murders. In 1978, the corpse of Mary Lou Arruda was found tied to a tree in the woods here. She was a 15-year-old girl who had been recently kidnapped from the town of Raynham two months prior. Her abducted, James M. Kater was tried four times for the murder of Arruda and eventually convicted.
A few years later in 1980, police were called to investigate Satanic cult activity in the woods. Many people at the time believed that these reports were connected to the “Fall River Cult Killings." Suspicious clearings in the woods that were stained with animal blood were eventually found in the forest here. Oddly arranged carcasses of cattle were later discovered in the woods, proving the rumors of ritual sacrifice within the forest to be true.
The forest was also the site of 3 more murders. In 1987, a homeless man tragically died in the woods after being mistaken for an undercover police officer and killed in the forest. In 2001, two men were found mysteriously pierced with numerous bullets on Bell Rock Road, which winds through the forest.
There have also been other reports of disturbing and bizarre encounters in the Freetown Forest in more recent years. In 2006, reports of aggressive dogs plagued the area. In that same year, an escaped emu was spotted wandering through the forest and aggressively rushing towards visitors. In 2016, multiple wires were found hanging over frequently traveled paths. These wires were believed to serve a rather sinister purpose–to catch off-road riders across the neck, and likely decapitate them.
Whether you believe this forest is haunted or not, there is no arguing the fact that some of the most bizarre and twisted events have taken place in these woods. The Freetown State Forest remains one of the most fascinating state parks in the country that curious visitors still flock to.
Have you ever traveled through this haunted forest? Let us know in the comments section.