Axis Video and Pine Barren Films have joined forces in creating a documentary film "THE SEARCH FOR THE JERSEY DEVIL". We will be interviewing many people that have seen this mysterious beast and others that research this creature.
Help preserve one of New Jersey's curious creatures by contributing to this documentary film.
If you have a story to tell or have information to share about this New Jersey legend please feel free to contact us and we can set an interview up.
The Jersey Devil is a legendary creature or cryptid said to inhabit the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey. The creature is often described as a flying biped with hooves, but there are many variations. The Jersey Devil has worked its way into the pop culture of the area, even lending its name to New Jersey's team in the National Hockey League.
Legends and reported encounters:
Most accounts of the Jersey Devil legend attribute the creature to a "Mother Leeds", a supposed whore although the tale has many variations. According to one version, she invoked the devil by saying "let it be the devil" while giving birth to her 13th child, and when the baby was born, it either immediately or soon afterward transformed into a devil like creature and flew off into the surrounding pines. The child was born with horns, a tail, wings, and a horse-like head. The creature revisited Mrs. Leeds every day. She stood at her door and told it to leave. After awhile, the creature got the hint and never returned.
According to legend, while visiting the Hanover Mill Works to inspect his cannonballs being forged, Commodore Stephen Decatur sighted a flying creature flapping its wings and fired a cannonball directly upon it to no effect. Joseph Bonaparte, eldest brother of Emperor Napoleon, is also said to have witnessed the Jersey Devil while hunting on his Bordentown, New Jersey estate around 1820. Throughout the 19th century, the Jersey Devil was blamed for livestock killings, strange tracks, and reported sounds. In the early 20th century, a number of people in New Jersey and neighboring states claimed to witness the Jersey Devil or see its tracks. Claims of a corpse matching the Jersey Devil's description arose in 1957. In 1960, the merchants around Camden offered a $10,000 reward for the capture of the Jersey Devil, even offering to build a private zoo to house the creature if captured.
There are many other versions of the legend. The legends say it was the 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, or 13th child, It was born normal or deformed, and the mother confined it to the cellar or the attic. Although there are many discrepancies in all of these stories, there are 3 pieces of evidence that tie all of the legends of the Jersey Devil's origin together. From the pre 1909 era, few documented records of sightings still exist. The ones that do, confirm the existence of the devil.