The General Journal

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The General Journal

The General Journal

Flying Through the Jersey Devil’s Tale

A review of the terrifying monster lurking in the Pine Barrens

Have you ever felt as though you were being watched while taking a walk? Maybe you saw something in the trees and assumed it was simply your imagination. But what if you were right? If you were right, would you even believe it? What if it was so bizarre that you couldn’t believe it?

The beginning of this tale starts with a mother. “Mother Leeds” as she was called by the people of the town, was pregnant with her 13th child. She was distraught when she learned the news of another child, she was pregnant. With hatred, Mother Leeds cried out a wish for the child to be a devil. Once the child was born, it was a horrifying creature. The baby was a horrible beast with a tail, wings, the head of a horse, and hooves. It grew at an unnaturally fast rate. The second it stood, the devil rushed over and attacked its mother, killing her within seconds. The beast, now known as the Jersey Devil, fought its way through the door of a bedroom and mauled the remaining family of Mother Leeds. It killed them within a similar time of the mother. The creature, now in a hurry, flew up and into the chimney of Mother Leeds home and out of the house. Since the birth of this devil, it has been said to roam for over 300 years. It’s speculated that it roams in the Pine Barrens and stalks the residents that live close by. It is known to terrorize anyone who may be in close vicinity of it. Since the day it was born, it has been spotted throughout the Pines, occasionally leaving the Pines to terrorizing local residents and towns. 

On January 16-23, 1909, a bizarre encounter took place. Local residents reported strange footprints around the town. The tracks went from under fences, backyards, and onto the rooftops and homes. These tracks even lead into bigger cities! As soon as the prints were found, panic began to break out. The concern and fear quickly grew when a bloodhound refused to follow the scent and trail out of fear. There were even more sightings of it in big cities like Bristol and Camden, Pennsylvania, police attempted to shoot it down, but failed. A few days after it arrived in Camden, it found its way to the meeting of a social club during a late night and attacked them. After its attack, it disappeared again, only to be found early in the day at Haddon Heights, a borough in Camden County. It yet again attacked another group of innocent people in a trolley car. Once done, it flew away again. Sightings only increased as more and more reports of it came in. It appeared on the roofs of homes. Firemen attempted to hose the beast, but this only angered it and caused another attack, before it leaped into the air once more. The entire week was terror for everyone, as it killed all livestock it found. 

Though the beast has not been spotted as frequently as that week in 1909, reports still tend to come in from time to time. Throughout New Jersey, the Devil is by all of its home. Many people who live there are convinced that the beast is real and still lurks in the Pine Barrens. It is so widely-known that a hockey team is named after it. Whether or not it is real, we may never know. Reports will continue to not only scare, but excite people who live in New Jersey. Until there is more evidence to prove or disprove the Jersey Devils existence, it is all up to our interpretation.

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About the Contributor
Emmah Carpenter
Emmah Carpenter, Staff Writer
Emmah Carpenter is a 14-year -old freshman at Heritage High School this year. This is Emmah’s first time in Journalism. She is kind of nervous but happy to be in Journalism. In Emmah’s free time, she likes to draw, play video games, and hang out with her friends after school. She also has two pet cats named Venus and Bastet, whom she named herself. Her cat Venus is a small "Tuxedo Cat" that is less than two years old; her other cat Bastet is a Siamese kitten, who is only a few months old. Emmah’s favorite book is "The Outsiders," which she brings to school every day. Her favorite animals are the red panda, raccoons, and cats. Emmah is a nervous person who tends to stay quiet, but she can be talkative once you get to know her. Emmah’s interests consist of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," "Bungo Stray Dogs," animals, cryptids, the paranormal, true crime, and art. She practices her art every day. Her anxiety holds her back, but she tries her hardest to get around it. Emmah is planning a trip to Salam, Massachusetts this spring. She is excited for her trip and for the rest of her time in Journalism.