Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Post #2 - How I Learned About the Jersey Devil

When I was a child, I grew up in Clementon, NJ, your normal Camden County suburb. Behind my house, there was a large batch of woods I used to play in with my siblings and neighborhood friends. Around age 8, my dad took me to an even larger set of woods about a half hour away, which I later learned to be the Pine Barrens. I expressed interest in playing in this new set of unexplored woods, and Dad pulled over and stopped the car. He looked me dead in the eyes and told me a different tale than that told to me by this class's slideshow.
"These woods are haunted by a monster, with the head of a deer, body of a horse, but standing on its rear legs like a human. This creature takes young children like you and possess you, turning you into lure to bring your friends to it. There's been tales of whole groups of children being found inside out, and others simply dry skeletons within a single day of them being gone missing. This is not a place you want to play in!"
For the next few months, I deeply believed this tale, and refused to play games like hide and seek in the woods, even back home where the Jersey Devil shouldn't be. Now I know the Jersey Devil just to be a local legend, but back then, it seemed real enough to keep me from straying far from home. This tale shows how legends that mostly spread by word of mouth can change drastically in an effort to scare younger children into acting good. As a whole, I now go with a more "see it to believe it" mindset rather than just believing what I hear the first time around. 
Just your normal drive through the Pine Barrens... nothing to see here...

1 comment:

  1. I lived right in the middle of the pine barrens so my whole life there's been lots of talk about the Jersey Devil. They used to set up a "Jersey Devil Hunt" in the trails behind my house and as a kid you and your friends all ran around the woods at night with flashlights trying to find him. Adults would jump out and scare you and kids would all claim that they saw him, it was nothing more than a weird but fun event. However, I've lived here all my life and never had a run in with him luckily so I'm a little skepitcal but I can't say weirder things haven't happened then him being real.