Mobile, Alabama is a pretty historic place. The WWII- era USS Alabama battleship could be found here because it is anchored at the Battleship Memorial Park. This is also the place where you will find the Mobile Carnival Museum and there are floats, costumes, and a lot of photos that would show you the Mardi Gras tradition in the area. The 1850 Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is also a gem found in Mobile, Alabama because of the intricate German stained glass installed there.
A photo of downtown Mobile, Alabama. (Link: https://countryroadsmagazine.com/travel/getaways/there-s-more-to-mobile/)
For the scary part, Mobile, Alabama is where the supposed haunted Boyington Oak is located. There is a folklore that goes with the haunted tree and if you want to know more about it, continue reading below.
Boyington Oak in Mobile, Alabama. (Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boyington_Oak)
The History Of The Boyington Oak
The Boyington Oak has a very interesting story. Accordingly, it grew near a cemetery because one man wanted to prove his innocence.
The folklore surrounding the haunted Boyington Oak goes like this: A man named Charles R.S. Boyington arrived at Connecticut in 1833. He became known as a gambler and he allegedly lent some money to an acquaintance. That acquaintance was later identified as Nathaniel Frost. On May 11, 1834, the pair was seen on their way to Church Street Graveyard. Later, Frost was found stabbed to death and his money was missing. Obviously, the number one suspect was Boyington so he was charged with murder and later adjudged to be guilty of the crime.
The entrace of Church Street Graveyard where the Boyington Oak is located. (Link: https://www.mlbullock.com/haunted-case-files/ml-bullocks-haunted-case-files-the-church-street-graveyard)
Boyington was executed on February 20, 1835. He was buried in the northwestern corner of Church Street Graveyard and before he was hanged, he reportedly said that a mighty oak tree would spring form his heart to prove that he had nothing to do with the death of Frost. Eventually, an oak tree grew from his grave that is why it was named as the Boyington Oak.
Another version of the story claims that Boyington and Frost were friends. Boyington lost his job because he daydreamed so much about a woman named Rose that it cost him his job. Allegedly, Frost was the one who paid for Boyington’s board and lodging expenses as well as other necessities until he could find a job again. However, Boyington felt embarrassed about this so he just said that he wanted to learn how to carve wood, which was the expertise of Frost. They then went to the cemetery to make a heart carved from wood so Boyington could give it to Rose. Boyington went back to their place but Frost was no longer with him. It is believed that he took Frost’s money because he had some money stashed in a chest in his room and that he stabbed Frost in the cemetery. In this version of the story, Frost was found also stabbed in the cemetery and the crime was pinned to Boyington.
The story has become viral and has been featured a number of times in many shows like Kathryn Tucker Windham’s “Jeffrey’s Latest 13: More Alabama Ghosts,” John S. Sledge’s “Cities of Silence,” Nelson and Nelson’s “A History of Church Street Graveyard,” and many more.
The Ghost Stories Surrounding Boyington Oak
Locals and visitors claim that aside from the interesting story of Boyington Oak, haunted happenings could be felt and seen in the area.
Some claim that they hear cries and whispers that emanate from the tree. Others say that whenever the wind blows through the tree’s branches, you can hear Boyington’s voice still saying that he is innocent and did not kill Frost.
Other visitors have also said that when they visited the Boyington Oak during hot summer days, they felt a sudden cold chill when they went near the tree.
The parishioners of Mobile’s AME Zion Church also reported that they saw the ghost of Boyington sitting beneath the oak tree. None of the parishioners, who have their establishment located just across the street from Boyington’s grave, had contact with Boyington’s ghost when they spotted it. Another group claimed that they saw the ghost of Boyington wandering through Washington Square, which is said to be the approximate location where Boyington was hanged.
A photo of Washington Square where Boyington was supposedly hanged. (Link: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Washington_Square_01.JPG)
So, do you think Boyington is innocent?