Jersey Devil: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jersey Devil
(Leeds Devil)
Jersey Devil Philadelphia Post 1909.jpg
The Jersey Devil,
Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, January 1909.
Grouping Cryptid
Sub grouping Hominid
First reported 1735
Country United States
Region Pine Barrens (New Jersey) State flag

The Jersey Devil, sometimes called the Leeds Devil, is a legendary creature or cryptid said to inhabit the Pine Barrens in southern New Jersey. The creature is often described as a flying biped with hooves, but there are many variations.[1] The Jersey Devil has worked its way into the pop culture of the area, even lending its name to New Jersey's team in the National Hockey League.


Legends and reported encounters

Most accounts of the Jersey Devil legend attribute the creature to a "Mother Leeds", a supposed witch of whom it is said that after giving birth to her 12th child, stated that if she had another, the devil could take it. According to the story her wish was granted, and upon the birth of her 13th child, the grotesque offspring flew off into the surrounding pines.[2]

According to legend, while visiting the Hanover Mill Works to inspect his cannonballs being forged, Commodore Stephen Decatur sighted a flying creature flapping its wings and fired a cannonball directly upon it to no effect. Joseph Bonaparte, eldest brother of Emperor Napoleon, is also said to have witnessed the Jersey Devil while hunting on his Bordentown, New Jersey estate around 1820.[3] Throughout the 1800s, the Jersey Devil was blamed for livestock killings, strange tracks, and reported sounds. In the early 1900s, a number of people in New Jersey and neighboring states claimed to witness the Jersey Devil or see its tracks. Claims of a corpse matching the Jersey Devil's description arose in 1957.[4] In 1960, the merchants around Camden offered a $10,000 reward for the capture of the Jersey Devil, even offering to build a private zoo to house the creature if captured.[5]


The Jersey Devil is usually described as a deformed horse, with bat-like wings and goat-like horns. Its wingspan is reported to be from 2 to even 8 feet. Some witnesses of the Jersey Devil claim that all four of its legs have cloven hooves while others say it has hands with long claws. The Jersey Devil's hind legs are also sometimes said to be skinny. The Jersey Devil apparently also has a tail of disputed appearance; some witnesses say its tail has a three point spike, and others tell that its tail ends in a furry tuft.

In entertainment

  • The Jersey Devil appeared in the X-Files TV Show (episode 5). The X-Files version of the devil showed it as a beast woman.
  • In TMNT, the Jersey Devil is a small impish creature that fights Raphael aka Nightwatcher in a diner. He/it is one of the 13 monsters (which is based on monster folklore) released from another dimension unwittingly by Max Winters.
  • American professional wrestler Jason Danvers portrays a character called "The Jersey Devil", a psychopathic member of a stable called "The Asylum". His outfit consists of a black and white wrestling singlet, long tights, and boots. He also wears full facepaint of a white face covering with black makeup over it that gives him horns and a "Joker"-esque evil smile. He wrestles for WAW wrestling in Manchester, NH.
  • Episode 15 "The Jersey Devil Made Me Do It" of the Extreme Ghostbusters cast the Jersey Devil as a creature who entered the world by being forged in a furnace. Eddie Albert and his son Edward Albert voiced the parts of the curator of a museum and the town sheriff.
  • Sony published a video game called "Jersey Devil" for the Playstation in 1998. You play as the Jersey Devil which looks like a horned and winged cartoonish person wearing a purple outfit.
  • The video game Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia features an enemy named "Jersey Devil." This version flies and spits fire. Its description once a picture of it is taken reads, "Out of the pine barrens and straight to your neck of the woods."
  • On October 31, 2008 Bruce Springsteen released a music video and free audio download single titled, "A Night with the Jersey Devil" on his website, with the note, "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"
  • November 1st, 2008 Darren Deicide released his 3rd CD, "The Jersey Devil is Here" at a "Day of the Dead" CD release party at the Lamp Post Bar and Grille in Jersey City, NJ.
  • The film The Last Broadcast has a four-men group going into the Pine Barrens in search of the Jersey Devil.
  • The 2009 film Carny features the Jersey Devil wreaking havoc on a small town.[6]
  • The Jersey Devil inspired the name of the Jersey Shore Death Metal band "The Son of Leeds".
  • In 2008, the History Channel program MonsterQuest filmed an episode in and around the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, centered on several recent sightings of the mythical creature, and suggesting that the creature may be a great horned owl or other known predatory bird.
  • The Jersey Devil appears in the 2009 Nintendo DS game Scribblenauts as an enemy that will attack the nearest creature in sight.
  • The television show Paranormal State recently featured the Jersey Devil in one of it's episodes.[7]


See also

External links

Further reading

  • Weird NJ: Your Travel Guide to New Jersey's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets by Mark Sceurman and Mark Moran, Barnes & Noble ISBN 0-7607397-9-X
  • The Jersey Devil, by James F. McCloy and Ray Miller, Jr., Middle Atlantic Press. ISBN 0-912608-11-0
  • Tales of the Jersey Devil, by Geoffrey Girard., Middle Atlantic Press. ISBN 0-9754419-2-2
  • A Natural History of Trees of Eastern and Central North America, by Donald Culross Peattie, pp. 20–23.
  • The Tracker, by Tom Brown, Jr.

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address