It was alleged to have been born to “Mother Leeds” on a night that would live in infamy after she reportedly cursed it by saying, “Let it be the devil.” But one of the details of the story that has long been overlooked may shed some light on the creature’s ability to at one moment evade detection and the next be involved in an incredible and theatrical horrifying display. And that detail was revealed only in the first few moments of its life and soon lost to history.
The legend of the Jersey Devil has long frightened residents around the
Pine Barrens of New Jersey where it has grown to cult status after
terrorizing locals for decades. The creature is generally depicted as a
figure with the head of a horse, a long neck, and relatively small bat
wings that nonetheless allow the creature the power of flight.
The creature, according to the legends and accounts at the time began as a human being but soon afterward transformed into the horrifying creature we all know as the Jersey Devil. Its original form, was actually quite mundane and human. Thinking back on the story of a paranormal child living a cursed existence conjurs up images of the legendary Japanese Yurei which occasionally manifested as a child crying in the woods which would attack travellers that would be summoned by its cries.
The Jersey Devil would appear several times over the next few years and even attack a trolley car with dozens of frightened passengers in 1909. He was seen and even shot at by Joseph Bonaparte, the brother of the Emperor Napoleon. And if it seems the Jersey Devil has disappeared for good, sightings have continued to this day – albeit sporadically. So why is it when it comes to footage of the Jersey Devil there is so little? A number of hoaxes have arisen but there are actually very few photos of the creature. It seems once cameras became more mainstream, it stopped appearing quite as much.
But how is this possible? How might a seven to nine foot tall creature that has become such an iconic creature of folklore once again evade detection after being spotted so many times in its early days? The answer may actually be connected once again to the story of the Jersey Devil’s origins. Remember the detail about the creature starting out looking like a human and then later transforming into the horrific creature it would eventually become?
What if the transformation that took place that day wasn’t a single anomalous event, but rather the manifestation of an ability that would be in the creature’s arsenal throughout its future? Perhaps the creature we are looking for is not simply a monster lurking in the woods but rather something that could then return to civilization and live among people? Of course it’s purely speculation based on a legend, but it’s still interesting food for thought.