'White Lady' Seen in Wind-damaged Tree

News 8 in Rochester's John Kucko visiting the tree. (Image credit: rochesterfirst.com)

News 8 in Rochester's John Kucko visiting the tree. (Image credit: rochesterfirst.com)

A fierce windstorm recently damaged a tree in Rochester, New York, revealing what some believe to be an image of the area's most famous ghostly inhabitant.  The tree is in Durand-Eastman park, which is known for its very own version of the popular White Lady ghost story.

According to legend, an unnamed 19th century woman lived on the same land as the park with her daughter.  One day, her daughter disappeared, and the woman became hysterical, certain something dreadful had befallen her.  She searched the land with the aid of her German Shepherds, but was unable to find any trace of her missing daughter.  Despondent, she committed suicide by leaping off of a cliff into Lake Ontario.

It's said that ever since then her ghost roams the area, still searching for her missing daughter; sometimes with the aid of her dogs, and sometimes not.  She is not a particularly friendly spirit, and is especially malevolent towards men, as she believes a man is responsible for taking her daughter.  Some people claim that she has chased men into the lake, shaken their cars, or otherwise frightened them out of the park.  

Response from the community has been largely positive, with commenters posting on John Kucko of News 8's Facebook live video in support of the legend.

"Isn't this the coolest thing?!!" wrote one poster.

"We used to go looking for her when we were teenagers. Glad to see she has been found," wrote another.

Others have even used the event to come forward with their own supernatural experiences at the park.

"Unfortunately I had an uneasy experience there even my phone started acting funny," commented someone who claimed to have had an unusual experience at the park.

It is likely that the 'White Lady' in this tree is simply a naturally occurring simulacrum--an image or representation of something that can occur in nature--but there is no denying that her appearance has breathed new life into an old legend.

Tobias Wayland