We all know Bigfoot – Nessie – Moth Man – but I grew up in the Pine Barrens of NJ and that brings a whole different mythical creature… The Jersey Devil. 

My first real experience with this monster was at my elementary school library. Our class would venture down the hall once a week to pick out a few books to bring home. One day while thumbing through “Where the Sidewalk Ends” I noticed this picture hanging in the corner and my brain almost exploded.

I’d heard whispers of such a creature prior to that fateful day but never quite registered it until seeing the beast with my own eyes. 
There he stood, wanted for … well I wasn’t quite sure what he was wanted for. All I knew was he was obviously a danger to us all! 

Once becoming awoken to this wooded menace you instantly  became part of the entire experience. 

Me and my friends would share stories we heard from the elders. How the creature was the result of a pregnant mother (Mrs. Leeds) cursing her 13th born child. That the child was born with bat wings, killed its whole family, then flew out into the night to hunt for fresh kids blood. (yes, that’s what we called it – fresh kids blood.)

Heck yeah – there’s even action figures.

And of course these stories built to a thunderous head in the fall, heading into Halloween. Stores would hang Jersey Devil signs up in their windows and strange ungodly shrieks could be heard echoing through the pine barrens at night while you slept. 

Def the Jersey Devils house.

 We even designated a certain old house in our neighborhood the “Jersey Devil House” and would dare each other to go up to the door while trick or treating. None of us ever had the guts – and those who did never came back! 


There are many other stories of The Jersey Devil – many I wasn’t even aware of.  It seems every part of the Pine Barrens has their own little version of the myth.

These links will help you on your way to becoming a real ‘piney’ and knowing the history of The Jersey Devil.

And if you ever see glowing red eyes while driving down The Parkway to Atlantic City it surely must be THE JERSEY DEVIL waiting for your car to break down, so it can drink your fresh kids blood! 

The New Jersey Historical Society
The Shadow Lands
Weird NJ

Nerd Out With Me

14 thoughts on “The Jersey Devil”

  1. Aw man, I didn't know there were action figures!

    I was born in Neptune, and graduated high school in Wall. The only Jersey Devil story I know is the Mother Leeds one, actually (though I think Weird NJ or maybe Wikipedia says Napoloeon's brother saw it once?)

  2. The Jersey Devil is a good cryptid. I remember first reading about him in a book called Monsters You Never Heard of: Read about them…if you dare! That book really spooked me, especially my state's contribution, The Dover Demon.

  3. That sounds like a book I would like to read. And holy moley… I just read about the Dover Demon. That's real creepy since the only sightings took place over a 25 hour period. Makes it a bit more real.

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