Is There Only One Jersey Devil?

The idea of the Jersey Devil has been around for hundreds of years haunting the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey.  While the creature is generally seen alone, and even then only on rare occasions, there have been a few reported cases where multiple creatures fitting the Jersey Devil’s description have been spotted in a short period of time close to one another.  There have even been reports of “nests” of the creatures all living together.  So is the Jersey Devil a single creature living by itself over a long period of time, or could there possibly be more than one out in the woods of New Jersey?

The Jersey Devil is a creature reported to have the head of a horse, a strange thin body, and small wings far too small to realistically support its weight in flight.  Despite this, the sheer number of sightings of this disturbing creature walking around on its hind legs has been staggering since the days of its origin story, being birthed by a woman named “Mother Leeds” who had been cursed by an unknown black magic.  The creature since then has taken to the sky flying out of the woods and striking terror in the hearts of those witnessing it.  But how far do these legends stray from pure fiction?  One of the interesting things about the Jersey Devil isn’t just the number of people who have witnessed it, but the weight of the names who have seen it.

Everyone from Stephen Decatur to Joseph Bonaparte have added their names to the legend, claiming to have spotted this mysterious figure as it races through the Pine Barrens and stalks visitors and locals indiscriminately.  There have been multiple sighting sprees where dozens of witnesses have come forward in a very short period of time, each claiming to have seen at least one creature.  But there are a few sightings that suggest there could be more than one of the creatures.  And if there were only one, it would suggest an incredible age to this single entity.

One hunting party assembled to hunt the creature down during the 1909 sighting spree reported that they spotted the creature lurking deep within the mouth of an old abandoned mine shaft.  As they drew near, one of the men in the party reported seeing the larger creature being followed by a much smaller one of a similar description.  This seems to suggest there could be a population of the monsters, somehow eluding the public eye except on rare occasions when they choose to be seen.

Some have speculated that these creatures could be completely intangible, only appearing temporarily on our world while residing most of the time in a sort of parallel reality or dimension just beyond our perception.  This level of reality, itself largely the stuff of legend, would allow the creature refuge except when it strayed nearer to our level of existence.  At least that’s one of the theories.  Similar theories have been proposed for such cryptids as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster as well.  But if we’re proposing an entirely new dimension of being for these creatures, it seems possible that the multiple Jersey Devils may really belong to a single entity that simply does not play by the established rules of physics.  Such a creature could, in theory, bi-locate or appear in multiple locations at the same time.

Once upon a time, the idea of Bigfoot was originally attributed to a single being.  It wasn’t until several witnesses came forward describing encounters with multiple beings fitting its description that the idea of “Bigfoot” as a type of creature became popularized.  Will we soon be referring to “the Jersey Devil” as simply “a Jersey Devil?”