The Jersey Devil is a cryptid that is said to live in the Pine Barrens of south Jersey. The description of this mysterious creature can sometimes vary but is most often described as a flying kangaroo-like creature. It apparently has the head of a goat, hooves, bat-like wings, horns, small arms with claws, and a tail. It has also been “reported” to be a swift creature with a vicious scream.
A popular origin of this story came about around 1735 and began with a witch named Mother Leeds that had 12 children, but after discovering that a 13th was on the way, stated that it would become the Devil. After the creature was born it supposedly killed the mother and fled into the Pine Barrens and haunted the surrounding communities for years. Over the years the legend continued with people reporting encounters with the Devil but lacked evidence. However, the legend became so popular that in 1960 merchants offered a $10,000 reward to anyone that could capture it. It is also rumored that the Philadelphia Zoo also offered $10,000 just to provide the creature’s feces!
As with many legends or cryptid stories, there always seems to be a lack of true evidence to prove the creature actually exists. Many skeptics believe this is just an old folk tale created to keep children entertained. On a more interesting note, it is believed that the state has accepted the devil as an icon of the state, and even the professional hockey team, the New Jersey Devils, have adopted the nickname.