The Jersey devil, aka the Leeds devil, is a creature said to live in the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey. The most common description is of a bipedal, almost kangaroo-like or wyvernesque creature with a horse or goat’s head, leathery wings – like a bat, horns, small arms with claws on its hands, cloven hoofed legs, and finally a forked tail. Is this creature too far fetched to be real or is it out there? You decide. Happy Halloween to all those out there who believe in cryptozoology and to those who don’t.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Jersicus devilidae
Now on to the Facts!
1.) Legend has it that the Jersey devil originated from a Pine Barrens resident named Jane Leeds, aka “Mother Leeds”.
2.) After her 12th child, Deborah Leeds discovered she was pregnant with her 13th child. Cursing the existence of said child, she then bore the infant, who started out as a normal-looking child. Things would change… fast.
3.) The child quickly transformed into the beast known as the Leeds devil, attacked several people, then escaped through the chimney and into the local Barrens.
4.) Another tale of the devil of Jersey stems from the story of Daniel Leeds.
5.) Fascinated with Christian occultism, Christian mysticism, cosmology, demonology and angelology, and natural magic, Leeds would later be mocked by English Quakers and even Benjamin Franklin himself, in the 17th century as being a heretic, Leeds published several almanacs about unfavorable topics.
But wait, there’s more on the Jersey devil!
6.) Benjamin Franklin made public jokes about Leeds and this further helped to cast him out as almost evil, a devil, or a ghost.
7.) After Daniel’s death in 1738, it was said that his spirit lurked in the Pine Barrens.
Did you know…?
Even though the Leeds devil legend started in the 18th century, it was standardized in the 20th century.
8.) A newspaper from 1887 described sightings of a winged creature, they called “the Devil of Leeds”. It was allegedly seen near the Pine Barrens and frequented the local area of Burlington County, New Jersey.
9.) In 1960, a $10,000 reward was offered for the capture of the beast. It was also stated that a special zoo would be erected to house the creature.
10.) Skeptics firmly believe the Jersey devil is nothing more than a creative manifestation from the imaginations of the early English settlers. Or is it?
Now a Short Jersey Devil Video!
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