Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Jersey Devil

     The Jersey Devil has fastinated many New Jersians for nearly three hundred years. While I enjoy a good ghost story, we also must be a realist and take the time to consider the facts---be a fairminded thinker. The story of the Jersey Devil is definitely intriguing and terrifying. There are many reports of "I-Witness" cases of people claimed to have come in contact with this beast. However, we must examine the authentication of their story. What makes the verification of a witness' story challenging, is because much of their stories fall into the category of "Pseudoscience." A common pattern that I seen in all "I-Witness" tales is that there are extraordinary claims  that have no evidence to support their case. This is a common feature in pseudoscience.
     Additionally, whatever evidence the witness may claim to have are not verifiable. For example, one man reported that he was camping and believed he heard the sound of hooves circling his tent at night, but in the morning, the man saw no palpable evidence of any creature there---no hoof prints existed. Other people also claim that they too heard the sound of hooves lurking in the brush near them, but once again, this is rather replication---people find similar details others have and use that as their "solid" evidence. Pseudoscience also bares the characteristic of not appealing to science and authority but rather just maintaining a bias; looking for evidence that only supports your claims.
   But the underlining question that arises is, why we and have been so fascinated by this dark tale in New Jersey history? The answer isn't easy, but the most reasonable is because the unknown and mystery that surrounds the Jersey Devil intrigues people---defying laws, biological theories and/or physic concepts.



                     Image source: http://thuglifevideos.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Jersey-Devil.jpg

2 comments:

  1. I believe the reason that the myth of The Jersey Devil exists mainly for two reasons:
    1.) I think it serves as a scare tactic from parents to keep their children from playing in the woods- especially at night. I know for me personally, from a young age my parents told me the tale and purchased different books for me about it. I was scared to death of the Jersey Devil when I was little, and I never went anywhere near the woods. While I don't believe in it anymore, I'm still wary of the woods at night.
    2.) The other reason I believe that the Jersey Devil maintains relevancy is because it is a big tourist draw for the area. Many people love spooky things and go out if their way to seek them out. Many people that believe in the paranormal make the trek to the pine barrens to try and "catch a glimpse" of the Jersey Devil... all while staying in nearby hotels, eating at local restaurants and helping the Jersey economy.

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  2. Hi Kaela,

    I really liked your explanation of the pseudoscience behind the Jersey Devil. I absolutely agree with you when you say that people are always looking for evidence to support their claims even when there is none. This confirmation bias is probably one of the main reasons why the story of the Jersey Devil still exists today among stories of other cryptid creatures. I think it would be interesting to see if there is a correlation in how people explain stories of one local folklore to another to see if there is something that can further explain why these stories continue to be told and held as being true.

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