The Hanging Tree: A Novella

The Hanging Tree: A Novella

by Michael Phillip Cash


$5.99 View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, October 18


Enter a world where spirits roam the earth in Michael Phillip Cash's haunting new novella, The Hanging Tree. Set amid the eerie backdrop of Long Island, an area famously steeped in old legend, two young would-be lovers contemplate their future while visits from those who have come before them reveal the lure of fate...and the power of free will.At seventeen years old, Arielle's relationship with her parents is slowly deteriorating. Angry and defiant, she is at a loss on how to cope with the tumultuous situation in which she finds herself. Arielle's only comfort is Chad, an eighteen-year-old young man who seems to truly understand her struggles.Arielle and Chad meet beneath the low-hanging branches of what the local community has nick-named the "Hanging Tree". An ancient and majestic landmark, it has long been rumored that the tree is haunted by ghosts. These ghosts span various centuries and vary wildly in age, but each one of them has one thing in common: their deaths are all somehow connected to the tree itself.As Arielle and Chad commiserate over their current situation and their precarious nature of their future, the spectral inhabitants of the Hanging Tree witness their conversation. One by one,the ghosts begin reminiscing about their own lives-and deaths- as they examine the inner demons with which their human forms long struggled.An eerie meditation on the oft-overlooked power of choice, Cash's The Hanging Tree will stay with readers long after they turn out the light.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492274513
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 10/15/2013
Pages: 90
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.22(d)

About the Author

Michael Phillip Cash 's first book Brood X- A Firsthand Account of the Great Cicada Invasion is presently under consideration for a film adaptation. His well received second novel, Stillwell- A Haunting on Long Island, has stayed on the top of Amazon's "100 Best Seller" in it's genre since its release earlier this year. He is currently working on another ghost story. He lives on Long Island with his wife and children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Hanging Tree: A Novella 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Robin Goodfellow for Readers' Favorite The Hanging Tree by Michael Phillip Cash is a haunting novella about a curse that has lasted generations upon generations, and how, against all odds, one girl managed to break it. Goody Bennett was a old wise woman who helped Salem village with her skills as a healer and a midwife. Claire, on the other hand, was a woman who dreamed of luxury and pleasure. Things take a turn for the worse when Claire engages in an intimate affair with the Reverend Harmond, who then later ostracizes the two women. When Claire is found dead, Goody Bennett curses Revered Harmond and his descendants, just before she is killed. Years later, Arielle and her boyfriend, Cash, arrive at a lone spot in the middle of the night, hoping to spend some time with each other. Mysterious entities watch over them as they wait for another tragedy to befall an eerie place known as The Hanging Tree. While Arielle and Cash weren’t particularly compelling characters, I did find the ghosts resting near the hanging tree interesting. They were humorous, and not at all what I was expecting for a couple of restless spirits tied to that one tree. I especially liked reading about Martin and Arthur, two unfortunate lovers who were caught up in the curse. To be honest, while I did understand Goody Bennett’s reasoning for taking her vengeance on Reverend Harmond, I was annoyed when she took her anger out on his children. If anything, I’d rather her ghost haunted the Reverend instead, sadistically torturing him until he could no longer tell reality from imagination. Claire was also a tragedy; it took her dying to force her to mature. Personally, it was like reading a couple of fractured fairy tales come to life, but without the happy ending. The concept of the book was unique. Generations of spirits and tragedies were centered around that single tree, one that had claimed the lives of innocents. Decade after decade of death, until finally someone managed to break the curse. It’s a romantic idea, and one that was woven nicely into the plot. Though I did find the action of breaking the curse a bit anti-climactic, I felt it wrapped up the story nicely.
PennyMindingMom More than 1 year ago
I love a great haunting story. Walking around town there are several landmarks that people swear are haunted. I love to read about the history of these places and learn more about the actual events that occurred there. Each one has a special story that just wants to be told. “The Hanging Tree” by Michael Phillip Cash is one such story about a haunted tree in Long Island. “The Hanging Tree” is a haunting story of a five spirits, forever tied to the infamous Hanging Tree. When Arielle tests the boundaries of her father’s love she begins to date Chad, a boy her father despises. The two would-be lovers meet under the Hanging Tree. They don’t know it, but their entire destiny is connected to the spirits haunting the tree. As the ghosts witness the events that are unfolding between Arielle and Chad, they begin to share their own stories of their lives and deaths.  Will Arielle’s future be determined by past events or will her choices forever alter the course of her life? The author, Michael Phillip Cash, writes a story about life choices. Just like Arielle we must decide if past events will dictate our future. Many people believe that once they become a victim they must forever play that part, that life has dealt them these cards and they must play it out. As the story unfolds the authors makes you question who is really in control, events of the past or can we determine our own future by the choices we make. The author skillfully deals with hard topics like family dynamics, sexuality, prejudice and heart-break.  The author brings to light how we are all connected, even if we don’t immediately see it. Our history helps define us, but it doesn’t make us and it is up to us to move beyond hurt and heartbreak and even joy and triumph to become our own person. “The Hanging Tree” is Mr. Cash’s first novella. It’s longer than a short story, but shorter than a novel. The story isn’t sacrificed any by the story’s short length. It’s a complete story that will leave you feeling like you have read a complete novel. I really enjoyed reading about the ghost’s stories, especially Goody Bennett. I would love to read more about her life in another book. “The Hanging Tree” is ultimately a story about family and how our choices affect not only us, but those around us.   *Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of “The Hanging Tree” in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own.
Holly More than 1 year ago
The Hanging Tree is about a cursed tree that has haunted people since 1649. In present day 2013, two teenagers Arielle & Chad are making out under a old tree called The Hanging Tree when Chad is pressuring Arielle to go further than she wants to. As five spirits in the tree are watching this, their tale on why they are cursed and bound to the tree unfolds and why Arielle may the one that can finally break the curse! This book is a very short read but it's full of suspense and mystery, everything you need on a dark rainy night to get you scared! I love how Michael was able to take a real tree in Long Island called The Hanging Tree and make it come to life, perfect for thrill seeker like myself!! Thank You to Michael Phillip Cash for writing a perfect tale to read around Halloween time! I received this book from the Author in exchange for a honest review.
lauralovesreviewingLT More than 1 year ago
A scary good tale. The location, Long Island. The setting, beneath the legendary Hanging Tree. The characters. Arielle, a seventeen year old girl. Frustrated and angry at her parents, she sneaks off to the tr to meet Chad. Chad, one year older than Arielle, is there for her. Understands her. Cares about her. He meets her under the tree. The tree. A local legend and truly haunted. The inhabitants of the tree. Spirits, young and old, angry and sad, despairing and hopeful. And one more thing. Watch out for the cat! This was a short story but so well written. The characters, alive and dead, were so captivating. Arielle and Chad had me feeling their pain, their hope. And the spirits in the tress. Well, most of them really creeped me out. How the author presents the spirits and their ties to the Hanging Tree is quite creative and eerie. Now I look twice when I see one of the massive Live Oaks that grow everywhere in the south. Their twisted branches, some growing right along ground are how I pictured the Hanging Tree. I wonder if they have spirits lingering, attaching to those branches, just waiting for someone to come along. I still think about this story. About choices I’ve made. About choices I will make in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The souls of a cursed family are tied to a tree, The Hanging Tree, is another masterful tale from the mind of Michael Phillip Cash.  When people didn’t understand the power of healing a couple of hundred years ago, they declared these women as witches.  The witch cursed her accuser’s family, for they also had their own skeletons in the closet.  Through the generations, descendants were added to the tree.  They didn’t know why they were attached to the tree, but the witch knew. Fast forward to present day, a young teen girl is being asked to do things she doesn’t want to do by her boyfriend.  The Dad’s radar tells him the boy is no good and he is on a mission to find his missing daughter.  The story ends at The Hanging Tree, where it began.  The souls are released from the tree, but why?  That’s where you get to read this thought provoking novella to find out. I’m becoming a big fan of Mr. Cash’s writing, the stories are certainly entertaining and suspenseful, but also have an edge, that make me stop and think about life and the things people do that make this world go around.
quibecca More than 1 year ago
I think this book was suppose to be scary, but that is not what I got from it.  I found it very entertaining.  I guess I was in the mood for a Ghost story, and this one was short and interesting, but not scary.  The idea of the "Hanging Tree" is creepy, but the book itself was not. I found it a fun read though.  There were some fun characters introduced, but I think my favorite would have to be Goody Bennett.  She was one of the ghosts that was "trapped" in the hanging tree.  She was out for revenge for things done to her and her family in the past.  I think she was suppose to be creepy but I found her kind of funny. Arielle and her boyfriend went to the the hanging tree to "hang out".  Arielle's boyfriend thinks that this is the day she is going to give into him.  When Arielle decides she is not ready, Chad's characters changes into a horrible human.  Men!  The ghosts in the tree watch as things unfold between Arielle and Chad, and while doing so each shares their story of death. I realized why they shared, as the ending came near.  Each death was tragic, and avoidable.  I think in that aspect it was a little sad, but scary. No. The thought of sitting under a tree haunted with ghosts is creepy, but it never felt like they were there to harm Arielle. This was an interesting read, but if scary is what the author was going for, it didn't quite do that for me.  I did however really enjoy reading the book.  I liked the characters, and it was just a fun book to sit down with and get through quickly.  Something to take me out of the world for just a minute.
Chrissy_W More than 1 year ago
DNF - 0 stars Where I stopped reading: Page two. Why I stopped reading: I have grammatical standards. “Disenchanted with her father, she is testing the boundaries of his trust by dating someone he does not approve.”  (Back Cover.  Not completely horrifying, but wrong enough to make me wary) “Crickets chirped nearby, and they watched traffic pick up on the road to the left of them.”  ( Page 2. Really?  Crickets are paying attention to traffic these days?) “The silence stretched before them, anxiety building in her tight chest.”  (Page 2.  So, grammatically speaking, The Silence is a stretchy sort of gal with a tight chest?)   Three strikes and you’re out, Mr. Cash.  You rushed this one . . . you need to spend more time editing.  Please. As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Books.  Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.
clahain1 More than 1 year ago
Out to annoy her father, a rebellious young woman goes on a date with an unworthy guy unaware that  she's in danger of becoming the latest victim of a three-hundred-year-old family curse. This is a quick, entertaining story. Cash manages to pack a lot of action and characterization into a short piece. He also has quite a few historical jumps. These work because they all center on a limited number of characters, the spirits inhabiting a tree known locally as The Hanging Tree. It's been the scene of tragedies going back centuries--all the result of the vicious behavior of colonial-era Reverend Harmond toward a healer named Goody Bennett and her granddaughter Claire. It was a little difficult keeping track of the spirits at first. The book description says there are five in total.  Looking back, that's correct, but it seems there's more at first. Probably because Cash has them interact with one another a while before actually naming all of them. So it isn't apparent that the "sullen,  angry" spirit who rarely reveals herself is actually Claire. Or that the young girl spirit and the "Gibson Girl" are one and the same.  There's also a cat named Remedy, who proves vital to the resolution of the plot.  As with other of Cash's work, the reader here needs to be comfortable with the author's tendency to "tell" via summation and back story rather than to show everything in full scenes. Luckily, there's enough going on so that this habit of compression doesn't tip into under-development.  THE HANGING TREE isn't scary, but it is fun and full of atmosphere.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be charming – and by being a Novella it was so fast to read you just couldn’t not enjoy it! I liked the old customs mixed in with the new – the people and the story being based on a hanging tree in Norwich. And the ending made me happy, good read! What goes around, comes around?
eternalised More than 1 year ago
he Hanging Tree had decent enough prose, but the story itself was too familiar for me, it lacked originality. A couple of teenagers find themselves beneath a haunted tree, and are being watched by the specters occupying The Hanging Tree. While the teens face difficult decisions, the ghosts talk about their own lives and perils, and the reader finds out more about the origins of the tree, and the specters. The ghost’s stories were a tad predictable, but at least they were more original than the overall premise. The old woman was my favorite ghost. She had an intriguing story to tell, and she had a fiesty personality. I enjoyed finding out more about the tree, and only figured out why the tree was cursed toward the end, although the reason was not very surprising. The writing was okay, and the story was decent enough. I would’ve liked to see more original elements, but all in all it was an enjoyable read. Not scary though, so don’t go in expecting a chilling horror story. It does involve ghosts, but it’s rather tame. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
The story starts with Arielle and Chad under the “Hanging Tree” in the evening. Chad is pushing Arielle to have sex with him and she is hesitant. Arielle has had a rough home life recently with the loss of her mother and her father finding someone else to be with. So, she is trying to fight his control by going out with Chad. But this is no ordinary tree. In it are ghosts from several generations that have been trapped by a witch that was killed on the same spot years prior. Goodie Bennett was assumed to be a witch during the puritan times because of her knowledge. He son died and she is supposed to take care of her grand daughter. But the grand daughter has fallen in love with the preacher and is trying to set Goodie Bennett up to be tested as a witch. This has lasting effects throughout time. This is a good concept for a story. A woman is accused of being a witch for her knowledge and vows revenge. I liked how you got a teaser about the other souls in the tree. The one thing that got to me was how the story jumps around. It took me a little bit to figure out what was going on and when that part of the story was taking place. I did like the story. It’s a quick little thriller. This is one that I recommend others read. You might like it too.
bernie-12 More than 1 year ago
Best selling author Michael Phillip Cash has done it again by providing a stimulating paranormal novella. Seventeen year old Arielle is under the "Hanging Tree," in 2013, with a macho boy with a cool Camaro. He is trying to convince her to have sex with him. The "Haunted Tree" spirits attached to the tree get involved. The novella travels back to 1649 when Rev. Hammon desires Clair who is fifteen. He turns her against her grandmother who is a suspected witch. Clair is now pregnant, and the grandmother turns against Hammon. He responds by hanging her from the lowest limb of the tree. The grandmother curses his children and his decendants to eternity. Are we victims of past events or do we have the abiliy to control our own destiny? It's a five star intriguing read.
Asand More than 1 year ago
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest opinion of it. The Hanging Tree is a novella that centers around a curse that was started in the 1600's  and has claimed many victims throughout the years leading up to the present day.  That is where the story starts for us; two teenagers left to consider their choices as they progress through the night.  These two characters make us believe the story is focused on them but I feel like they are really background noise for the more interesting characters: the spirits that live in the Hanging Tree.  Of course this is one of those stories that seem to come full circle and for that it does need the help of Arielle, the female teen there.  I loved the pretense of the story.  There are so many major factors that play a part in the story including revenge, love, and forgiveness.  And when we combine those emotions with ghosts, curses, and witchcraft it does make for a fun and enticing read!  I think my most enjoyable parts were the histories of the different ghost's pasts, as well as how they ended up in the Hanging Tree.    While I understood the necessity of understanding Arielle's life; I truly enjoyed reading about Goody Bennett and Martin and Arthur.  I would have liked to have even more of the spirits explained.  I really wasn't ready for that area to end.  Perhaps, the author could go back and give us some more back stories on other spirits; like prequels.  Who knows? While I praise Cash's imagination in creating the different characters and the plot, I felt like the resolution of the curse could have been more substanstial.  I just wanted a little more umph in the ending.  Although, I do understand the concept behind the ending and can perceive why Cash chose to use it this way.  I did feel there could have been a tad more editing done before the book was published.  There isn't much and I tend not to focus on that area too much.   We all make mistakes and if it doesn't take away from the flow of the story I don't want to point out every single detail.  All in all, The Hanging Tree is a short story that has some eerie moments mixed in with lessons to be learned that actually offers up a great intriguing plot.  I would love for Mr. Cash to perhaps branch out (no pun intended) and maybe come up with some more of  back stories for other inhabitants of the Hanging Tree.  I would be first in line for that! I gave The Hanging Tree: 4 hearts!
Kissablysweetone More than 1 year ago
  In Oyster Bay there is a huge old tree known as the hanging tree.  Many haunted this old tree and welcomed new people when they came to the other side.  From 1649 to 2013 strange occurrences happened near this tree.  Some say it's bewitched. Some say it's just a legend. You decide.      Eerie, mind blowing and terrific, this book is one to read! It's written in such a style you'll learn all about the tree and it's "family".  I found each story to be sad and tragic, but couldn't understand why these people were treated as badly as they were.  Mr. Cash pulls you in and keeps you right in your seat until you are finished.      I found no issues.      I gave this one 5 cheers out of 5 because it's a perfect spooky read.   ~Copy of book provided by author in exchange for a fair review
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
In a deserted spot under the legendary Hanging Tree, Arielle and Chad are at odds with whether or not they are about to “take their relationship to the next level.” Are they truly alone or are spirits from the past, all somehow related to the Hanging Tree, keeping an interested watch over the living. Perched in the tree, they discuss what is happening between these teens and share the tale of their lives, long ago. What is the curse that has kept them imprisoned in the tree? Will the events between Chad and Arielle have an impact on the spirits’ eternities? Can an act of kindness release the pain of the past? Their reflections are told in great detail, as they remember their past lives and how they ended up sitting in the hanging tree. They made choices, their paths to their destinies are varied, yet the results were the same. Meanwhile the living teens below the tree are also reflecting on how they got where they are right now. Family problems, a need to belong, feel “grown up,” the intense curiosity of youth, will they both give in to temptation? Or will they come to understand they do not have to? The Hanging Tree by Michael Cash is a quick read, not too dark, filled with some surprisingly captivating characters and a tale that is part history lesson, part fantasy and completely engrossing to the end.In just a short time, you will have gone back in time and returned to the present! I received a copy of The Hanging Tree from the author in exchange for my honest review.