The New Jersey devil
The New Jersey devil is said to be living in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, he is also said to be haunting the Pine Barrens for the past 260 years. Some, people in New Jersey blame the Jersey Devil for many things. They say, that the Devil has caused fruits and vegetables to die, that he has also brought on droughts. Some say that the beat of his wings can knock off the tops of trees. People in New Jersey also say that he has caused water to boil. It is rumored that the Devil has also caused cows to stop giving milk and has killed animals. Some people think that the Jersey Devil also a warning of war. They say , it has been seen before every war since the American Revolution. People in Hawaii say it was seen just hours before Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941!
They say that he was born on a dark and stormy night in 1735, and something terrible happened in the Pine Barrens near Leeds Point. The thunder boomed, and the wind blasted outside. Inside a small house, Mother Leeds was giving birth to her 13th baby. No one knew exactly what happened, but people had lots of ideas.
One tale said that, Mother Leeds said she wanted the baby to be the devil! it was also said that the baby was born normal, but then it changed. It grew a tail, and it's feet changed to hooves and then it flew up the chimney.
That night, or so it was said, the Jersey Devil was born.
This is one of the most popular stories about how the New Jersey Devil was born, but there are many others.
A different story says that a town put a curse on a young patriot girl who fell in love with a British soldier during the Revolutionary War. When she gave birth, it was to the Jersey Devil.
Another story says a gypsy cursed a girl because she didn't give the gypsy food. The curse caused her to become pregnant and give birth to the Jersey Devil.
Locals in the Pine Barrens call it the Leeds Devil. They say it has a horse's head, long legs with hooves, two short front legs, and a bat's wings. No one knows how tall it is. Some people think its six feet tall, others think it's only three or four feet tall. The Devil has glowing red eyes and makes loud screeching sounds. It's very ugly, and people are terrified after seeing it. During the day the Devil lives in the wetlands. At night it comes out to scare anyone it meets.
Others say that a girl married the Devil and lived in the Pine Barrens. So that when she had the baby it was called the New Jersey Devil. After it was born she thought, it was the ugliest thing in the world! After that remark the New Jersey Devil flew out of the window and the Devil disappeared. The next day the girl put up posters to look for, what she called the New Jersey devil, or her baby. When the people didnít try to find him the Devil came back and told people not to go into the Pine Barrens or the New Jersey Devil (his son) would kill them.
Over the years many people have said that they saw the Jersey Devil. It has been seen all over New Jersey, not just in the Pine Barrens where it was born. The people of New Jersey often see the Devil flying and screeching. People also see the Devil's hoof prints, which look like footprints of anything else in the world.
In the early 1800s, Joseph Bonaparte, a former King of Spain, saw the Devil in the woods while he was hunting.
In another sighting, a group of men chased the Devil to the edge of the woods in Clayton, but they were too afraid to follow him longer.
Commodore Stephen Decatur was testing cannon balls when he saw the Jersey Devil fly above him. He fired a cannon and the ball hit the New Jersey Devil, but the it did not get hurt and kept flying on.
The Devil was also seen with a ghost! Captain Kidd buried his treasure in Barnegat Bay and beheaded one of his crew so that the man's ghost would stay there to watch it. People have seen the headless pirate and the Jersey Devil walking on the beach and marshes. They said to also have seen the Jersey Devil swimming with a mermaid.
The most sightings of the Jersey Devil happened during one week in January, 1909. Over 1,000 people in New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania saw the New Jersey Devil. Early Sunday morning, people in Burlington started to see the Devil on the street and flying through the air. They later found strange hoof prints in the snow.
Other people began to find hoof prints from the Devil on trees, roofs, and in the middle of the road. A group of men tried to find the Devil, but their dogs were too scared to follow the hoof prints. Later in the week the Devil was seen in Trenton and New Brunswick. Guards with guns rode on the trolleys to watch for the Jersey Devil.
By the end of the week the newspapers had written many stories about the Devil, and people were scared. Schools and factories were closed in Gloucester because no one would come in. Eventually, people saw less of the Devil, and life began to get back to normal.
Since that week in 1909, people have continued to see the Jersey Devil, though not as much. People still find strange hoof prints and hear screeching coming from nearby woods. Some say there are as many sightings of the Jersey Devil as before. They say people just don't report the sightings because they don't want to appear crazy.
So is the New Jersey devil real? People have only caught glimpses of the Jersey Devil, and there is little actual proof that it exists. In the early 1900s, a superintendent of the Philadelphia Zoo offered $10,000 for the Devil's capture. The reward was never claimed. DON'T EVEN TRY TO CAPTURE IT, YOU COULD DIE!
Over the years, people have had many different ideas about what the Jersey Devil really is. Some people have thought it might be a prehistoric creature like a dinosaur. But scientists haven't found any record of an animal that looked like the Devil. Other people think it might be a sandy hill crane, a large crane with a wingspan of nearly seven feet and a fierce scream. This kind of crane will also attack people.
Another idea is that Mother Leeds gave birth to a deformed baby. During the eighteenth century, people sometimes thought a woman who gave birth to a deformed baby was a witch. Maybe Mother Leeds hid the baby so she wouldn't be called a witch. Then one day it escaped from the house, and neighbors who saw it thought it was a devil. After then, when people saw something strange or frightening, they blamed it on the Jersey Devil.
Whatever the Jersey Devil is, no one knows how to kill it. People have seen the Devil electrocuted, exorcised, shot, and burned, but it has not died. So, the next time you hear a screeching cry in the middle of the night, be careful, because it might be..............................................................................................
THE NEW JERSEY DEVIL COMING TO SCARE
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