Watch the skies and listen…
Halloween is my favorite time of year! And the reason is not only the numerous showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The primary reason these days is the Jersey Devil, who makes (made) his home in the NJ Pine Barrens!
Never heard of him? Well he’s also known as the Leeds Devil, and is rumored to be the 13th child born to old Mother Leeds.
The story goes like this…
Mother Leeds had 12 children and after giving life to the dozen, she said if she had another it would be the Devil.
In 1735, her friends gathered round as a storm rolled in and Mother Leeds went into labor for the 13th time. The child was born normal, but then changed form.
It changed from a normal baby to a creature with hooves, a horses head, bat wings and a forked tail. It growled and screamed, some say it killed the midwife, before flying up the chimney. The Devil then circled the village and headed toward into the pines.
Those who’ve seen the Jersey Devil almost all say the devil has a long neck, wings and hooves. The creature is often said to have the head of a horse and a tail. Its reported height varies from about three feet to more than seven feet. Most say the creature has glowing red eyes, and that it utters a high-pitched, humanlike scream.
In 1740, a minister exorcized the devil for 100 years. There were no more reports of the Jersey Devil until 1890.
But it was in January, 1909 that pandemonium broke out in and around the New Jersey Pinelands. Thousands of people claimed to witness the Jersey Devil during the week of January 16 – 23, 1909. Eyewitness accounts were published in newspapers nationwide. And the reports continue to this day!
So if you’re traveling the back roads of southern Ocean or northern Atlantic counties, do not be surprised if you see a shadowy figure flying above your car, or hear a bone chilling scream…it’s just the Jersey Devil.
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