Tuesday, August 3, 2021

The Jersey Devil Is A Hoax

 I want to revisit the Jersey Devil subject after reading some of the other posts here on this site.  As I sit here typing this, I’m in the middle of the Pine Barrens which is the supposed home to the Jersey Devil.  The Pine Barrens, or The Pinelands National Preserve, is an all encompassing 1.1 million square acres which was designated as such by Congress in 1978.  This makes up over 22% of New Jersey.  I have spent countless hours and days at the Tracker School, here among the pines, immersed in learning the ways of our Native American ancestors.  Numerous tales have been told of this mythical creature which, as folk lore tells it, is a spawn of the devil himself. Born as the thirteenth child of Mrs. Leeds, a resident of Estellville, NJ , the Jersey Devil myth has plagued South Jersey for nearly 300 years.  It is said that after learning of her pregnancy, Mother Leads proclaimed “Let this one be the devil!”.   Since then, numerous sightings have occurred throughout the region, some of them made by prominent officials.  What is curious though, in my research, no mention of the Jersey Devil can be found in the traditional stories of the Lenape people who were the Native Americans inhabiting this land long before the white settlers came. I can’t say that I have ever seen the Jersey Devil here in this place, but I have experienced the peculiarities of the Piney people; those who have lived here their whole life and frequent the area quite often.

It is my belief that those who can’t or don’t understand the ways of Mother Nature can often take certain experiences as supernatural phenomenon.  Most of the people that come here to this area of the pines are boozed fueled individuals looking for a good time, lacking reverence for the actual beauty which is present. The animals that inhabit this place include: sand hill cranes, white tail deer, great horned owls, pine snakes, and the gray fox.  The Jersey Devil has been described as a hooved animal with long legs, bat like wings, the head of a dog, and donned with antlers or horns.  It has also been described as having a blood curdling, high pitch screech.  All of these descriptions resemble the combinations and characteristics of all these animals mentioned.  It is my belief that the tale of the Jersey Devil is based out of ignorance.  If you spend some time here among the Pines with a sober mind, you will come to know its hidden treasures of natural awe. By doing this, there will be no room left for doubt or superstitions.

Sandhill Crane
White Tail Buck (Male)
Great Horned Owl
Pine Snake

Gray Fox

Calls of the Great Horned Owl:  https://youtu.be/kqcmukhiGs0

Please enjoy these pictures and sounds of the many animals which inhabit this vast land.  After doing so, come to your own conclusion as to whether or not these animals could be mistaken as the Jersey Devil.


  1. Chris, this post was thoroughly beautiful and informative. I am in full accord with you, as I also do not believe in this "Jersey Devil" nonsense. The Jersey Devil is nothing more than a mere hoax, and I absolutely agree that any (sober) mind should be able to decipher that. I also particularly enjoyed how you threw in some lovely photos of the wildlife that encompasses the vast land - nice touch.

  2. Hi chris, I have to agree with you and andrew on this one. I never paid much mind to these myths, we both wrote similar blogs, about how this is all in a person mind. if you are able to read mine, itll tell you about the baader phenomenon.

  3. Chris, I completely agree that the Jersey Devil is nothing more than a myth and that most sightings are the result of people mistaking animals for something they are not. Seeing a great horned owl fly through the night is a magnificent sight, but for those who are not familiar with the animal it is easy to see how it could be mistaken for something supernatural. In addition I have heard that White-Tailed deer bucks have a tendency to rear up and stand on their hind legs and this can look rather unnatural so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of jersey devil sightings were just people seeing a deer do this and not knowing what to make of it.

  4. I agree with you that the Jersey Devil is nothing more than a hoax. I live on the edge of the Pine Barrens as well and spend a lot of times outdoors and in the woods for various reasons. Day time, night time, does not matter. Never once have a seen or heard of anyone who has seen the Jersey Devil. Parvins State Park, a place that I sometimes visit to fish, is the most well known area of the Pine Barrens in my general area. There are more reports saying that the park is haunted than sightings of the Jersey Devil! Very informative post and great job.