The story is told that many years ago, a woman -- perhaps her name was Mother Leeds -- had 12 children. The family, poor rural people, lived deep in the woods of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Mother Leeds was tired, and she had so many children already. She wanted no more... "If I have another child, it'll be by the devil," she swore.
And yet, she became pregnant again.
She worried and worried during the nine long months of her pregnancy.
One night, on the night of a full moon, her labor pains started. The midwife came and delivered what seemed to be a perfectly healthy, normal child; and yet, as everyone watched, the infant changed. He transformed... his face and limbs grew long... a tail uncurled... wings unfurled... he transformed into the devil! And with an unearthly shriek, the demon flew up the chimney and out of the house! And so was born the Jersey Devil.
You might say that this isn't a scary story, for it was many, many years ago, and so the poor creature must be gone by now. And yet, as the years go by, there are still sightings of the Jersey Devil. More than a few people -- in fact, thousands have seen this creature over the course of the last two centuries, including sightings reported in current times. And the descriptions of what they see and hear are always similar.
Some professors have theorized that the Jersey Devil is some kind of animal... possibly a sand crane, or some kind of new, previously undiscovered species. Some have even suggested that the description resembles that of a dinosaur of some kind, perhaps a pocket of which have been preserved deep in the woods of the Pine Barrens.
Other people feel that the Jersey Devil may be the embodiment of evil; sightings of the Jersey Devil seem to increase dramatically before wars, and at other times when evil is afoot... Could this be true? Could the Jersey Devil really be the thirteenth child of Mother Leeds, born of the devil?
Who knows for sure????