Monday, July 25, 2022

The Jersey Devil

 The Jersey Devil 

    The tale of the Jersey Devil is an important piece of New Jersey folklore that gives the Pines Barrens even more personality. As the legend goes, in 1735 Mrs. Leeds gave birth to her thirteenth child while living in unfortunate circumstances. In her frustration, she screamed “Let this one be the devil,” and the Jersey Devil was born. The story says that the baby metamorphosed into a devil-like creature right before the Leed family’s eyes. Mrs. Leeds, the midwife, and several others were killed by the Jersey Devil after its transformation was complete. The survivors then spread the news of what had happened; writing the infamous folklore of the New Jersey Devil (Weird NJ). 

    Throughout the 18th and 19th century, several sightings of the New Jersey Devil have been reported. Fear of the Jersey Devil was so influential in Southern New Jersey that some schools in areas near reported sightings suffered low attendance rates (Weird NJ). An interesting fact about Jersey Devil sightings is that it’s likely many of the individuals reporting seeing the Jersey Devil actually saw a deer standing on its back two legs. While it’s uncommon for deer to do this, when bucks don’t have antlers to fight with they stand on their hind legs to defend themselves with their hooves or show dominance in their herd (Kliff, 2013). This rare deer sighting ironically matches the infamous description of the Jersey Devil.  


The Jersey Devil. Weird NJ. 

Kliff, S. (2013). Deer are shockingly good at fighting on two legs. The Washington



  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post by you, it is short and to the point. I think the references definitely gave it a boost and were beneficial.

  2. The Jersey Devil was something that was joked about when I was younger. Someone would hear something in the woods and say "oh it must be the Jersey Devil." My parents told be about the creature but I was never taught about it in school. When I saw we had a topic on it in this class I was very interested in learned more about it. I do not believe it personally exists but the rumor still lives on to this day. I enjoyed reading your post!

  3. Hi Amy,

    I loved your opening sentence since it is so true. The pine barrens, or south jersey in general, is known for the folklore of the Jersey Devil. I find this subject really interesting since I currently reside in Galloway and always drive up and down Jimmie Leeds. At one point, I thought the creature was real until High School. It's crazy how the folktale still lives till this day after years have gone by.