The Jersey Devil for Blogophilia week 43.6


One version of Jersey Devil

A storm raged the night in 1735 when Mrs. Leeds gave birth to what would be known as the Jersey Devil. The creature is often described as a flying biped with hooves, but there are many different variations. The common description is that of a kangaroo-like creature with the head of a goat, leathery bat-like wings, horns, small arms with clawed hands, cloven hooves and a forked tail. It has been reported to move quickly and often is described as emitting a “blood-curdling scream.”

Perhaps if ultrasound had been invented back then the poor woman would have known what she was birthing

While the legend of the Jersey Devil was born in 1735 the area around Pine Barrens had always carried a mystique. The Native American folklore stemming from the LENNI LENAPE tribes called the area POPUESSING meaning place of the dragon Dutch explorers later named it Drake Kill Drake being a word for dragon and kill meaning channel or arm of the sea such as river stream.

The Jersey Devil, the supposed mythical creature of the New Jersey Pinelands, has haunted New Jersey and the surrounding areas for the past 280 years. Without a doubt, New Jersey’s oldest, most enduring, and important pieces of folklore. This entity has been seen by over 2,000 witnesses over this period. It has terrorized towns and caused factories and schools to close down, yet many people believe that the Jersey Devil is a legend, a mythical beast that originated from the folklore of the New Jersey Pine Barrens

Mrs. Leeds was surrounded by midwives and servants, all nervously muttering prayers. There were twelve Leeds children already, and Mrs. Leeds wanted no more. In the midst of her pains she cried out that the child could go to the devil, thus cursing the child forever.

The creature savagely attacked its own mother, killing her, then turned its attention to the rest of the horrified onlookers who witnessed its transformation. It flew at them, clawing and biting, voicing unearthly shrieks the entire time. It tore the midwives limb from limb, maiming some and killing others.

Those who survived to tell the tale then watched in horror as the beast sprinted to the chimney and flew up it, destroying it on the way and leaving a pile of rubble in its wake. . It circled the villages and headed toward the pines The creature then made good its escape into the darkness and desolation of the Pine Barrens, where it has lived ever since. To this day the creature, known varyingly as the Leeds Devil and the Jersey Devil, claims the Pines as its own, and terrorizes any who are unfortunate enough to encounter it.

There have been many sightings and occurrences allegedly involving the Jersey Devil.

In the 18th and 19th centuries the Jersey Devil was spotted sporadically throughout the Pine Barrens region, frightening local residents and any of those brave enough to traverse the vast undeveloped expanses of New Jersey’s southern reaches.

The most infamous of these incidents occurred during the week of January 16 through 23.1909 During this week, the devil would leave his tracks all over South Jersey and Philadelphia. He was seen by over 1,000 people. This was his largest appearance ever

The Monster of Leeds, or the Jersey Devil as he was later called, still haunts the pines of New Jersey, wrecking havoc upon farmer’s crops and livestock, poisoning pools and creeks.

Only a small amount of the sightings and footprints could be hoaxes. The Jersey Devil has been seen by reliable people such as police, government officials, postmasters, businessman, and other people whose “integrity is beyond question.” As for the hoof prints, even if some were hoaxes, There is still no way to explain most of the tracks, especially the ones on roof tops and tracks that ended abruptly as if the creature took wing.

One New Jersey group called the “Devil Hunters” refer to themselves as “official researchers of the Jersey Devil”, and devote time to collecting reports, visiting historic sites, and going on nocturnal hunts in the Pine Barrens in order to “find proof that the Jersey Devil does in fact exist.”

Perhaps someone is just having fun and games with the good citizens of New Jersey. Or perhaps they are just California dreaming.

 

EDIT

I don’t write horror. This was taken from a presentation I gave for my class on myths and legends

Written for
blogophilia week 43.6 Topic – Fun & Games
Bonus Points:
(hard, 2 points) include an invention from the future
(easy, 1 point) incorporate California Dreams
 
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24 Responses to The Jersey Devil for Blogophilia week 43.6

  1. Irene says:

    Firsties!

  2. Marvin says:

    Oh my! This Jersey Devil does sound like the most frightening thing to encounter in the woods! I will stay away from the Jersey Barrens at all costs! He could wreak havoc on my space ship! 8 horrific points Earthling! 🙂

  3. Irene says:

    I will read later….when I am not rushed.

  4. Tyler/Chuck says:

    When we lived in Jersey we lived at 8A, which is pretty far removed from the pines. I heard some of those stories, but never felt the need to go find the creature myself…..

  5. I met a guy from Atlantic City who swore the creature was real. Apparently, he got lost out there on his way to Baltimore while drunk and saw something.

  6. Mae Clair says:

    Love your take on the Jersey Devil, Sue. Cool post bringing this horrific creature to life. Blogophilia looks like a lot of fun!

  7. Josh says:

    The idea of ultrasounds used on monsters like that is awesome 🙂
    “Wait, you invented time travel for THIS?”

  8. Bettie says:

    Dark and deep be the story/tale here .. Great

  9. blue fool says:

    Fascinating! I have never heard of the Jersey Devil before. Your writing here is phenomenal!

  10. BarbaraK aka fiddlbarb says:

    You’re so very creative. Such a joy to read your pieces each week. I love this! Awesome storytelling and Blogophilia 43.6! ~barb k~

  11. J.A. Beard says:

    The first time I ever heard of the Jersey Devil was on X-Files and their take on the creature was rather mundane, which, I guess, is a type of surprise in of itself.

  12. 47ToddC says:

    Chilling tale Sassy…I have always loved these “tales” of the Jersey Devil! Very entertaining post and I look forward to reading more of yours 🙂

  13. Oh, yes. I read about this once. I became fascinated with American Urban Legends that I stumbled upon this. Great post! 🙂

    ~~DJ

  14. Irene says:

    Spooky! But I love it!!

  15. trev says:

    blimey… Very Christmassy Sue…. ahahahha…
    so the Jersey Devil really exists huh?…
    I bet he goes swimming in loch ness too.. LOL..
    If such a creature really did exist in New Jersey I am pretty sure he would have been tracked down by the powers that bee for all his back taxes… I know how the IRS works… *tapping nose* … 🙂
    I love your description Sue.. I have said this so many times.. but there is no getting away from in girl… your story telling ability is amazing girl… loved it.. 🙂 xxx

  16. Lori says:

    this was interesting. i’ve been to jersey. to me, it’s just didn’t seem the kind of place to have such a haunting legend. jersey will never look the same to me now 😉

  17. very interesting! I just watched FaceOff last night where a pair of contestants had to make a Jersey Devil makeup and had planned to look it up today. now I don’t have to 🙂

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