Tag: jersey devil

Jersey Devil

Courtesy of:  http://www.gods-and-monsters.com/

jdevilOne of my favorite modern American myths, the Jersey Devil has been seen by several people over the course of many years all along the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

The Jersey Devil is described as having a face shaped like a horse, with a small goat-like body and bat-wings. It has a high-pitched scream and is said to have eaten hundreds of farm animals in the South New Jersey region over the years. The image below is an artist’s rendering featured in the Philadelphia Post in 1909. As you can see, it’s a rather impractical creature that doesn’t seem that it would be able to get off the ground, let alone move with the speed it is described as having.

In a way this impracticality only makes this myth all the more interesting. Several unrelated witnesses reported seeing the same creature in a short period of time. For them to all describe a creature that doesn’t seem to make much physical sense only makes me wonder why, if it were all a hoax, the witnesses would choose to describe a creature that sounds too illogical and fantastic to be real?

The Jersey Devil myth differs from those of other cryptids in that this particular creature seems to have a dark backstory that several long-time residents of the area seem to believe.

As with many myths that become popularized as urban legends, there are many variations on this myth that revolve around similar details. Rather than list them all, I have put together what appears to be the most likely scenario based on historical data and evidence.

While she is commonly known as “Mother Leeds”, the alleged mother of the Jersey Devil was most likely named Mrs. Shourds (not “Shrouds” as is commonly misspelled) and lived in Leeds Point, New Jersey (USA). She was a solitary woman who had 12 children with her husband, believed to be named Samuel Shourds. In 1735 the Shourds moved to New Jersey from an unknown place of origin. Mrs. Shourds was pregnant and ready to give birth to the 13th and final child. It is thought that the 13th Shourds child was not fathered by Samuel but the Devil himself. (The number 13 is widely considered an unlucky number in many regions around the world. Even to this day some hotel floors and airline seating rows even skip directly from 12 to 14.) Many believe Mrs. Shourds to have been involved in witchcraft or demonic worship and intentionally hoped that this 13th child would bear the mark and power of his true father. Almost all variations of the legend have her stating aloud “I hope it is a devil”. She got her wish. The deformed child that she bore became none other than the Jersey Devil, the beast that haunts the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Regardless of the legend behind the beast, it is hard to ignore the number of sightings of the creature in the Southern New Jersey area in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Even the brother of French Emperor Napolean Bonaparte reported seeing this creature while hunting in the Pine Barrens in the 1820’s. By 1904 the Jersey Devil was thought to be extinct. Most residents of the area believed it to be a local myth and no more sightings were reported for the next few years. In 1909, however, all of that changed.

In January of 1909, over one thousand residents of Southern New Jersey reported seeing a flying creature with a horse’s head. This was by far the boldest outing that the Devil had ever had. For one week beginning Sunday, January 16th, 1909 several people reported seeing a strange creature in towns in Pennsylvania and New Jersey along the Delaware River. Was this the infamous Jersey Devil or was there some other explanation?

While each sighting may individually be criticized by skeptics, it is hard to deny over one thousand people who claim to have seen, heard, and even encountered the same strange creature. Why did the Jersey Devil choose this time to come out in public? No one knows.

But soon after, the sightings went back to being rare. One question that naturally arises over these timelines is how long does this creature live?

If this was merely one creature, then it must have a lifespan of hundreds of years, at minimum. Is it possible that the creature was able to reproduce? Is there just one Devil or are there many? Can the creature even die, or is it of supernatural origin?

These days most people assume that the Jersey Devil is nothing more than a local legend. The thought of such a fantastic creature seems nonsensical and silly to the masses. Still, residents of the New Jersey Pine Barrens have an interesting tendency to stay in after dark.

Source:

http://www.gods-and-monsters.com/jersey-devil.html

Northeast Cryptids

Ted Milam

Ted Milam

Ted grew up in Maryland and spent his early years near Antietam Battlefield, where he witnessed a few unexplained things as a young kid. When Ted graduated high school, he joined the United States Marine Corps, and spent 10 years on active duty traveling the United States and quite a few Countries along the way. After a paranormal experience while serving in Japan, Ted knew he had to find out some answers. After leaving the Marines in 2002, Ted was hired as a Firefighter in the San Diego area, where he spent the next 6 years. In 2008, he went to Iraq as a contractor for a year, then in 2009, moved to Georgia where he works today as a Firefighter in the Savannah area. Ted founded Ghost Watchers Paranormal Investigations – Savannah, in 2010. Ted’s goal is to find some common answers in the paranormal field.
Ted Milam

Latest posts by Ted Milam (see all)

Ohio Grassman

The Ohio Grassman, like its name suggests, is found in the farming fields of Ohio. Is it a Sasquatch, Neanderthal, or giant Gorilla? I think it cover all three theories, smaller than a Sasquatch (6ft to 7ft tall), has facial features of a Gorilla and social norms of a Neanderthal. It is thought that they live in small communities of 5 to 6 individuals including their young. The Grassman also have a social hierarchy, much like a pack of wolves, with an alpha male as the leader. The alpha male is extremely aggressive and it is thought that several human deaths were caused by the alpha male Grassman.

It is widely understood to be a herbivore, although it can be an omnivore, the creature is often spotted near cornfields. It is not quite understood if the Grassman is feeding on the corn or stalking deer that come to the corn fields to feed.

More information:

http://www.bigfootencounters.com/creatures/grassman.htm

 

Jersey Devil

From the Pine Barons of Southern New Jersey is the legend of the Jersey Devil. Was it a mistake? A boo boo? There are several thoughts about origin the Jersey Devil, but the description is universal…candid like upper torso and head, bat like wings and deer like lower body with hooves. It stands under 6ft with a wingspan in flight of about 10ft.

Is it a harbinger of death or tragedy? Much like the Mothman, it is spotted shortly before or after tragic events. Several large deadly fires have occurred in the Pine Barons of New Jersey and the Jersey Devil has been spotted a short time before these events. Is it directly responsible for the tragedies? It is up for debate but caution should be used when the Jersey Devil is spotted.

One theory about the origin of the Jersey Devil is the mother practiced witchcraft in the 17th century. She “immaculately” conceived a child, the town folk found out and hunted down the mother…much like the Salem witch trials in New England. Before she was burned at a stake, she put a curse on the area and child…making the Jersey Devil.

More information:

http://weirdnj.com/stories/jersey-devil/

Ted Milam

Ted Milam

Ted grew up in Maryland and spent his early years near Antietam Battlefield, where he witnessed a few unexplained things as a young kid. When Ted graduated high school, he joined the United States Marine Corps, and spent 10 years on active duty traveling the United States and quite a few Countries along the way. After a paranormal experience while serving in Japan, Ted knew he had to find out some answers. After leaving the Marines in 2002, Ted was hired as a Firefighter in the San Diego area, where he spent the next 6 years. In 2008, he went to Iraq as a contractor for a year, then in 2009, moved to Georgia where he works today as a Firefighter in the Savannah area. Ted founded Ghost Watchers Paranormal Investigations – Savannah, in 2010. Ted’s goal is to find some common answers in the paranormal field.
Ted Milam

Latest posts by Ted Milam (see all)

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