Most areas of the world have their own supernatural mythology. We all know about the Sasquatch or "bigfoot" of the rainy NorthWest and most people are familiar in passing with the Yeti of the Himalaya mountains, but what of the home grown monsters that lurk in woods close by?
The Jersey Devil has several origin stories. The most popular comes from the Leeds Family of Atlantic County. "Mother Leeds", generally thought to be a Mrs. Deborah Leeds, wife of Japhet Leeds, cursed her 13th child when she found she was pregnant with him. Crying out that he "would be the Devil" and on a stormy night in 1735 she gave birth to a normal looking child who soon turned grotesque with leathery wings, horns, and cloven hooves before killing the midwife and disappearing up the chimney.
Of course, there are more mundane explanations that involved local intrigue, politics, and of course, religion, but giving birth to a literal devil child makes for exciting drama in any family. While nobody has claimed to see The Jersey Devil in quite some years, his legacy lives on in sporting teams (The New Jersey Devils Hockey Team), the Military (Air Force Fighter Squadron 177 is known as the "Jersey Devils" and on Television and in several Video Games. There simply is no getting around his larger than life persona in and around the stunted pines of Southern New Jersey.
So, while I was walking about Birch Grove Park earlier, I found myself with a Jersey Devil Sighting of sorts. The Local kids had tacked up warning posters for all to see.