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The Haunted Hanging Tree is a story that suggests that maybe children are superior to adults in their ability to hear or see what adults cannot.
Scooter Kane, aged ten, a self-proclaimed detective; and his accomplice, twelve-year-old sister, Mary, accidently learn that William Kayne, their great-great-great-grandfather, was hanged in Dry Gulch, California, for murdering the local sheriff in 1873. Kayne swore he was innocent as he stood on the hanging platform in front of the locals and announced his soul would never leave the town until his name was cleared.
Scooter and Mary leave their Iowa home to visit Uncle Armando and Cousin Carlos in the historic gold-rush country of Northern California, determined to learn the truth about their long-dead relative. Carlos and his friend, 3J, lead Scooter and Mary on horseback to the ‘Hanging Tree’, which Scooter soon believes is haunted by William Kayne’s spirit.