The Jersey Devil

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Jersey-devil 9945.jpg

Ram's head, forked tail, clove hoof, love's my trail
I sup on your body, sip on your blood like wine

Out world theirs, this world mine
Bruce Springsteen, "A Night with the Jersey Devil"

No, not the hockey team (though, the team is named after the creature.)

A cryptid which was supposedly first spotted in the 1700s in the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey, the Jersey Devil is often described as a horned, hooved and bipedal Mix-and-Match Critter possessing bat-like wings and an inconsistent origin. The most common version of the creature's tale is that it is the thirteenth child of Mother Leeds, a whore and/or witch who, while giving birth, yelled out "let it be the devil!" for varying reasons, such as preferring to birth the spawn of Satan instead of another one of her husband's children. Either immediately or shortly after being born, the child transformed into a monster, and fled into the wilderness, subsequently becoming "an East Coast Bigfoot".

Some have noted that the Jersey Devil, the Dover Demon and the Moth Man may be one and the same. Also see Chupacabra, Wendigo and Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti. May or may not be friends with fellow backwoods Joisey ghoul Jason Voorhees.

Examples of The Jersey Devil include:

Comic Books[edit | hide | hide all]

  • The Hack Slash and Living Corpse crossover (titled The Legend of the Jersey Devil) reveals that the creature is harmless, and puts up a fierce façade to scare off intruders who might encounter its psychotic mother. Unfortunately, Cassie and Vlad learn this only after killing it and pissing off Mother Leeds.
  • The "Pine Barrens" story-arc of Marvel Knights 4 had the Fantastic Four discover that Jersey Devils are actually hungry aliens.
  • In Jack of Fables, the Jersey Devil is an inmate of the Golden Boughs Retirement Community.
  • One appears in the first Perhapanauts annual.
  • There was once a comic called The Jersey Devil, though it was little more than a rip-off of The Crow.

Film[edit | hide]

  • 13th Child, which for some reason reimagines the Devil as the immortal, shapeshifting son of a Native American shaman.
  • In Syfy's Carny, a dingy little carnival acquires a captive Jersey Devil as a sideshow attraction. When it inevitably escapes, mayhem ensues.
  • The Jersey Devil, which shakes things up a bit by being an origin story.
  • The Last Broadcast has a group of amateur filmmakers set off into the wilderness in search of the Jersey Devil, planning on becoming famous by capturing it on film. Everybody Dies, though not at the claws of the Devil, which never even appears.
  • Leeds Point, where it soon becomes apparent that a series of vicious murders are not the work of a serial killer, but the cryptid.
  • In Satan's Playground, the Jersey Devil is He Who Must Not Be Seen or just plain invisible, with its family (and some random Satanists, because why the Hell not?) being the main antagonists.
  • A version of Bigfoot obviously based on the Jersey Devil shows up in the 1980 Video Nasty Night of the Demon.
  • The Barrens, another Horrible Camping Trip example.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • The short story The Barrens by F. Paul Wilson deals with two people who go into the Pine Barrens to look for the Jersey Devil. However, it turns out that the leader is not in fact looking for the Devil at all, but for something far more sinister.
  • Robert Dunbar's The Pines and The Shore, which present the theory that Jersey Devils are created by a lycanthropy-like disorder.
  • End of Mae, featuring an Intrepid Reporter searching for a vampiric take on the Devil.
  • 1976's The Jersey Devil.
  • In the Repairman Jack novel All the Rage, a humanoid monster called a rakosh retreats into the Pine Barrens, with the narration stating that if there isn't a real Jersey Devil, there is now.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In The X-Files episode The Jersey Devil, the Devils are discovered to be type of primitive humans, speculated to be the missing link. A male and female are killed, but the end of the episode reveals they had a young child.
    • The Jersey Devil was admittedly barely a framing device, and it's clear that the show, filmed in Canada, knew next to nothing about the actual Jersey Devil, describing it as an 'East Coast Bigfoot' rather than the much more unique legend behind it. A pity, cause they were usually so on the ball about this kind of thing...
  • The Lost Tapes episode Jersey Devil had a lost family being terrorized by the creature, whose dwelling appeared to be an old house filled with Satanic imagery.
  • Various paranormal investigation shows, such as Paranormal State, Scariest Places on Earth, Monster Quest and Destination Truth, have had episodes focusing on the Jersey Devil.
  • The guys on Cake Boss once made a Jersey Devil cake. It was pretty awesome.
  • A series of backwoods maulings in the Supernatural episode How to Win Friends And Influence Monsters are suspected to be the work of the Jersey Devil, though it turns out a man, driven insane by the Leviathans' latest scheme involving drugged food, is responsible.

Music[edit | hide]

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Jersey Devils, described as "a flying monster with a horse's head and a bat's body", appear as enemies who attack by swooping or breathing fire in Argila Swamp in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia.
  • In Jersey Devil, the main character is a horned, winged and costumed humanoid off to stop Mad Scientist Doctor Knarf. It was about as In Name Only as you can get.
  • In Poptropica, the Jersey Devil is one of four monsters whose existence must be proven by finding them on Cryptids Island.
  • Along with some other legends, the Jersey Devil appears as a fixture in the paranormal table in Zen Pinball.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The American Dragon: Jake Long episode The Long Weekend depicts the Jersey Devil as a flying moose with eagle wings and a lion's tail. The creature terrorizes a sprite village for seven days every one-hundred years, and is defeated when Jake's father sprays it with bear repellent (somehow mistaking it for a bear) and throws it off a cliff.
  • In the Extreme Ghostbusters episode The Jersey Devil Made Me Do It, the Jersey Devil is a spectral entity that attained its physical form, a reddish bat-like creature, through a forge's smelting process. It was shown to be capable of rusting metal, which it ate, with its breath.
  • in The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest episode The Spectre of the Pine Barrows, the Jersey Devil is embroiled in a centuries-long feud between descendants of Redcoats and Minutemen over the original manuscript of the Declaration of Independence.
  • One made some minor appearances in The Secret Saturdays episodes Cryptid vs. Cryptid and War of the Cryptids.
  • In 2007's TMNT, Raphael fights one in the kitchen of a diner.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Regardless of whether or not the Devil is real, people in New Jersey continually see something that they insist isn't a natural animal. Some experts say that the sightings are cases of mistaken identity, but when an artist designed a sculpture based on compiled descriptions from witnesses and showed it to several of said witnesses, they said it matched what they saw exactly.
  • To Jersey Devil experts January 16–23 of 1909 is known as phenomenal week. Over a hundred perfectly sane people who had never touched a drop of whiskey in their lives claimed to have seen the Devil. Livestock went missing, crops were raided, pets were killed, and tracks in the snow were everywhere. Hunters and trappers said they had never seen tracks like them, and when a hunting party tried to follow one of the trails the dogs refused to come. Some track ways went out into an open area and then disappeared. Experts stay skeptical but lots of New Jersey residents remain convinced that this thing exists and has for over two-hundred-seventy years.