Legend or Truth?

The Jersey Devil

Where did the Legend Come From?

There are different stories about how the J.D. came to be, the most famous one is that a woman named Mother Leeds had found out she was pregnant with her 13th child. Finding this out she then cried out " Let this one be the devil!". When the child was finally born, it changed in to a creature that had a reptilian body, a horse's head, bat wings, and a long forked tail.

What it's known for

It was said that the men where too scared to venture out at night. The J.D. was known to have carried off geese, large dogs, cats, small livestock, and even children during the night. There were many occurrences with the J.D. Men and some women of higher power had said that they have seen the J.D. or have accounted it face to face before. There was no reason for people not to believe them. Soon people started to see evidence around the town that the J.D. was real.

Home of the Jersey Devil

It is said that the J.D. was born near the Pine Barrens, in New Jersey, U.S.. It prowls the Southern marshes of New Jersey, and periodically emerges to rampage through towns and cities. It's lived there for a little over two hundred years. It's also been spotted on the Pennsylvania border.

Legend or Truth?

There are many skeptics out there that think it's just a legend that the people are keeping alive. One man even thought about how it could even live for over two hundred years. He thinks it was maybe a deformed child that was kept hidden from people back in the 1700's. Which eventually mated with some feral animal and that it kept mating with other things throughout the years. It was also said that Ben Franklin himself started that legend. Titan Leeds, (notice it's the same last name as the J.D.'s birth mother), was the son of Daniel Leeds, who started an almanac that went against Quaker belief. When Titan had kept it up, he was having a rivalry with Franklin. When Titan died, Franklin thought that he was rising from the dead and haunting them, which happened to be around the same time as the birth of the Jersey Devil. Yet, people are still having strange sightings of "something" as they are driving down the Garden State Parkway or the Atlantic City Expressway.

The Logical Truth

The more logical truth is that it is really just a legend. That it was all just made up. Yet, how do you explain the occurring sightings of "it". It may just be a legend that the people are keeping alive. Until there is real evidence that it is real, it is just known as a legend and nothing more. It's just a legend, and not all legend are true.


“The Jersey Devil Legend or Truth?” Prairie Ghosts. 2002. Unexplained America

Taylor 2002 <http://www.prairieghosts.com/jerseydevil.html>.

“The Jersey Devil: The Real Story.” The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. 2013. CSI

Brian Regal. Nov./Dec. 2013 <http://www.csicop.org/si/show/the_jersey_devil_the_real_story>.

“Jersey Devil.” American Folklore. 2014. American Folklore

S.E. Schlosser. 10 Apr. 2014 <http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/jersey-devil/>.

“The Jersey Devil & Folklore”. Pinelands Preservation Alliance. 2014 P.P.A.

P.P.A. 2014 <http://www.pinelandsalliance.org/history/devil/>.