Unresolved: Cryptids - The Jersey Devil

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Alongside Bigfoot, Nessie and the Chupacabra, the Jersey Devil is one of the most famous cryptids out there. Said to live in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, reports of a bat-winged, horse-headed, snake-tailed, hooved beast (supposedly resembling a kangaroo) began over 300 years ago.

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Illustration, www.nj.com

Also known as the Leeds Devil, origins of the Jersey Devil began with Pine Barrens local Jane Leeds (Mother Leeds) who became frustrated when she found she was pregnant with her 13th child. She cursed it and dubbed it the devil. Story goes that in 1735, she went into labor on a stormy night with her friends at her side. The baby came out normal but then turned into a creature with the head of a goat, hooves, bat wings and a forked tail. The creature growled, screamed and harmed everyone there with its tail before flying up the chimney to the outside and into the pines. Another version of the story states that Jane was a witch and the father of the child was the devil himself. Another version says that there was even an attempt to exorcise the creature from the Pine Barrens.

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Jane Leeds home, www.wikipedia.org

In 1909, during the week of January 16th-23rd, newspapers published hundreds of reports of the Jersey Devil from all over the state. These reports claimed that the creature attacked a trolley car in Haddon Heights and a club in Camden. The Camden and Bristol (Pennsylvania) Police claimed to have shot at the beast but it didn't affect it. Some reports stated there were unidentified tracks in the snow and soon enough, sightings of a creature that supposedly resembled the Jersey Devil were being reported all over South Jersey and even in Western Maryland and Delaware. Panic in Delaware rose and schools closed and workers were told to stay home. There were rumors that the Philadelphia Zoo posted a reward of 10k for the creature's poo. Yes, its poo. However, this led to many people creating fakes, including a kangaroo with artificial wings.

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Most famous photo of the Jersey Devil, caught on a forest camera, www.cryptidz.fandom.com

In 1934 near Southern Pittsburg, Tennessee, a "kangaroo-like beast" was reported by many people over five days. It apparently killed and ate several animals including geese, ducks and dogs. One witness claimed to have seen a large kangaroo-looking animal running and leaping across a field. A search team allegedly followed the creatures footprints to a mountainside cave. The footprints stopped there.

In July of 1937, an unidentified creature with red eyes was seen by locals of Downingtown, Pennsylvania. It was compared to the Jersey Devil by a reporter for the Pennsylvania Bulletin. In 1951 in Gibbstown, New Jersey, a group of boys claimed to have seen a creature that looked like the Jersey Devil. Claims of a corpse matching the beast arose in 1957. Three years later, footprints and noises were heard near Mays Landing, claiming to be from the beast.

Napoleon Bonaparte's brother, Joseph claimed to have seen the creature while he was hunting in New Jersey in 1820. In 1840, the Jersey Devil was the blame for many killings of livestock, as well as a similar report made a year later. In Greenwich in 1925, a farmer claimed to have shot and photographed an unknown animal who was trying to take his chickens. I unfortunately couldn't find this apparent photo.

Skeptics believe that the creature is nothing more than a story created by bored residents of Pine Barren in order to tell the children and just a byproduct of the history of the Leeds family.

A man named Jeff Brunner of the Humane Society of New Jersey (I don't believe he works there anymore) believes that the sandhill crane is the basis of the stories. He said he doesn't believe it exists because there is no evidence, photographs or bones and no explanation for its supernatural origins.

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Sandhill crane, www.erwinrecords.net

I seriously have no idea what to make of this one. The Jersey Devil has always been the one cryptid that has baffled me the most. If this creature were to truly exist, it would be frightening. A lot of people deem the photo below is fake but many believe it to be genuine.

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Full photo of the one a couple above, www.pinterest.com

If many of the reports that have been made for the last 300 years are true whether it's the Jersey Devil or just some unidentified animal, these people are claiming to have seen something weird, something unknown to the humans. If people are indeed seeing a strange looking animal out there, it could be a hybrid of some sort, maybe it's an animal that happens to be deformed. Deformed from hybridism? Or maybe people just want the legend of the Jersey Devil to live on? What do you think of the beast?

Anyway, thanks for coming by! Don't forget to follow!

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