Friday, October 31, 2008
At Night with the Jersey Devil
Since it is Halloween night and since I was born and raised in the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey, I suppose it is high time for me to share my own spooky story.

Many different legends on the Jersey Devil folklore can be found all across the internet. However, here is the version on what the locals tend to believe where NJ's official state demon originated from.

Mr. and Mrs. Leeds were both very religious Quakers. It has been told that after Mrs. Leeds gave birth to her 12th child, she declared that if she had another - it would be the devil. In 1735 she gave birth to her 13th child who was born with some sort of deformity. They decided to quietly hide the child for years and not a soul outside of their home knew about him.

Until late one stormy evening on the child's 13th birthday, Mr. Leeds had answered a knock on the door to find 16 witches asking for the boy. That night Mr. Leeds drowned his son in a local cedar pond, only the boy came back! His deformities evolved to include black wings, hooves, a head like a horse and a long forked tail. Killing all of his siblings, his father and burning the old house down with his living Mother still alive in it.

In 1740 a Catholic priest exorcised the devil for 100 years and it wasn't seen again until 1890. Since then, strange sightings, noises and happening have been reported even as of this past August 18th, 2008!!

As a child growing up in the Pine Barrens I can attest to many summer nights when the forests were not quiet or still. In fact, it wasn't until the early morning hours when the sun started to rise and the birds began chirping when things became peaceful again. From the many crickets twirping in the moonlight to the screeches and screams of many unknown creatures all sure to send shivers down your spine.

However, nothing was so scary as being out alone late on a winter night. When the silence of a snowfall can make your heartbeat sound deafening while your boots crunch the newly fallen snow under your feet. Then suddenly the wind whips an eddy of flurries around you as it delivers the moaning howl of a young man in agony. Quickly to taper off as the wind carries the sound up and off into the pines only to leave you alone in perfect silence again.

It is surely an experience that may only be understood by a true South Jersey'ian but an experience that many can relate to while walking home on a late chilly night anywhere. Many have claimed to see this demon, but not I. No. Even though I promised myself to keep my eyes open whenever it happened again - I always found myself closing my eyes fearfully tight - attempting to wish it away.

And away it always went. For now.

Dear Friends and Fans, If you grew up in central or south Jersey, you grew up with the "Jersey Devil." Here's a little musical Halloween treat. Have fun! -Bruce Springsteen

A special thanks to Bruce Springsteen for the Halloween treat and shout out!
Stumble It! .......posted by Margaret @ 7:10 PM  
  • At 5:34 AM, Blogger Orhan Kahn said…

    Halloween stories <3

  • At 4:38 PM, Blogger Woozie said…

    I don't have any halloween stories :(

    But this is what creepypasta is for.

  • At 5:58 AM, Blogger Carlos said…

    I remember hearing about the Jersey Devil when I lived in South Jersey. Been forever since I've heard someone mention that!

  • At 5:54 PM, Blogger Dr.John said…

    Never heard the story before. We had no devilish folk lore in the UP.

  • At 5:46 AM, Blogger Lone Grey Squirrel said…

    Ooooo. Love horror stories. Thanks.

  • At 8:26 AM, Blogger R2K said…

    : )

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