The Jersey Devil
The Jersey Devil is a popular myth local to the South Jersey pine barrens. For about 250 years people all throughout New Jersey have reported seeing a strange creature that looks like a horse with leathery wings and the ability of flight. The devil is said to be the thirteenth child of Mrs.Leeds, a resident of Estell Manor who lived sometime in the early eighteenth century. After learning that she was to have a thirteenth child, the pious Mrs.Leeds yelled "Let it be the devil!" At the end of an excruciating childbirth, Mrs.Leeds delivered an unholy abomination that spread wings and flew out the chimney with a screech. Sightings of devil began around this time with people describing a similar creature killing livestock and abducting babies. Belief was so widespread in the devil that some small towns in the pine barrens organized posses to capture and kill the devil. At one point a 100,000 bounty was even placed on the demon's head. Sightings persist to this day: just in the last few weeks a photo was produced by a Galloway resident who thinks he saw the Jersey Devil. Accompanying the photo is a hazy video of a clearing with a vaguely goat-like creature flying across view. Skeptics attribute most sightings to hoaxes and superstitious people who mistook a trick of the eye as something paranormal. While the sightings may not be conscious tricks, it's very possible that these sightings are nothing more than glimpses of shadows or strange noises misinterpreted. The prevalence of the myth in South Jersey culture could easily cause those with an active imagination to see things in the deep and foreboding pine barrens. The natural fear of darkness and the tendency of these sightings to be in deep woods is often cited as an explanation by skeptics for these stories. As with most sightings of the paranormal nature, photos and reports of the Jersey Devil tend to lack consistency. Photographic evidence can be easily tampered with and there has never been a time when the Devil was actually caught. The passage of 250 years has not deadened the power of this myth, and it looks like we're going to have more reported sightings in the future.