In the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey there is said to be something lurking. This is said to be the home of the legendary cryptid called the “New Jersey Devil” also known to many as the “Leeds Devil“. This creature has been part of legends and myths in the area for centuries and is a popular subject to many in the are of cryptozoology. This creature is also a part of the pop culture lending its name to the local NHL team the New Jersey Devils.
The Jersey Devil has roots going all the way back to stories from the native americans of the area in there folklore. A local tribe called Lenni Lenape called the area of the Pine Barrens “Popuessing” which means “place of the dragon”. There were also mentions of the creature from swedish explorers and they named the area “Drake Kill” , the swedish word “drake” that translates to dragon and “kill” which means arm of the sea. But the Jersey locals have a much more interesting story of the creatures origins. They tell the story of “Mother Leed’s” a witch woman who had 11 children and then said that if she was to have a 12th child it would be a devil. It was said that she was a witch and the childs father himself a devil , and on a stormy night mother leeds went into labor with her friends gathered around her. The child was said to be born normal but then changed form into the creature. Its then said the creature existed until 1740 when a clergy exorcised the devil and it went unseen for over 100 years when it appeared again in 1890. This story perhaphs was given a little credence from the fact that “Mother Leeds” was identified as Deborah Leeds as her husband Japhet wrote his will and named 12 children in it and the couple lived in Leeds Point which is the location of the Jersey Devil story.
There have been many documented sightings and reports of the creature from various sources. One report of the creature was made by Joseph Bonaparte which was the elder brother of Emperor Napoleon , he witnessed the creature while hunting on his Bordentown estate in Jersey in 1820. Many other reports throughout the years continued to be reported all the way to modern times. In 1991 a pizza delivery driver reported an encounter with the creature in Edison, New Jersey. Then in 2008 the Jersey Devil was once again spotted by a local resident in Litchfield, Pennsylvania as it came barreling out of the roof of his barn.
The creature is described as a flying biped which has hooves although there have been some varying reports. Some of the common details in many of the descriptions is that the creature has a horse’s head , a forked tail , bat like wings, and cloven hooves. The Devil also has been said to produce a blood-curdling scream which many hear from time to time. The creature is said to be able to fly and is often reported as being seen flying around the Pine Barrens area.
There are many people who simply believe that the Jersey Devil is simply a myth or a creative manifestation by old english settlers who made up the creature to keep people away from the Pine Barrens which was a place of refuge for some that did not want to be found. There are also some who believe the devil could be a yet to be classified species which avoids humans whenever possible. The idea of the creature being a species lends to the fact that it would take a species to span over the serveral hundred years of sightings and not simply one single creature. Some people believe the creature is simply misidentified Sandhill Cranes which are often seen in the area and fit the overall description of the creature somewhat as these cranes have a wingspan of 7 feet. Many of the creature descriptions also are said to be consistent with a species of Pterosaur like the Dimorphodon.
As reports continue to come in on the Jersey Devil maybe some solid evidence to prove the creature exist will soon be found. One thing is for sure Crypto zoology will continue to search for more facts and information on this creature.
The Search Continues – CryPtoReports