The Jersey Devil is a strange creature that has haunted the New Jersey Pine Barrens for the past 260 years. They say it has terrorized nearby towns and caused factories and schools to close down.
According to legend, an evil old witch named Mrs. Shrouds lived in Leeds Point, NJ. She made a wish that if she ever had another child, she wanted it to be a devil. Her next child was born misshapen and deformed. It had hooves instead of feet, a horses head, and a forked tail. She called it the Jersey Devil and kept it locked up in her house, so the curious couldn’t see it. One stormy night, the child flapped it’s arms, and they turned into wings. It escaped out the chimney and was never seen by the old witch again.
In the early 19th century, Commodore Stephen Decatur, a naval hero, was testing cannon balls on the firing range when he saw a strange creature flying across the sky. He fired and hit the creature but it kept right on flying across the field. Joseph Bonaparte, former king of Spain and brother of Napoleon, saw the Jersey Devil in Bordentown, NJ, between 1816 and 1839 while he was hunting. In 1840-41 many sheep and chickens were killed by a creature with a piercing scream and strange tracks. In 1859-94, the Jersey Devil was seen and numerous times and reportedly carried off anything that moved in Haddonfield, Bridgeton, Smithville, Long Branch, Brigantine, and Leeds Point. W.F. Mayer of New York noticed while visiting the Pine Barrens, most of the locals would not venture out after dark. The devil was sighted by George Saarosy, A prominent business man, at the NJ/NY border. This was the last reported sighting before the turn of the century.