By Brianny Martinez

The legend of the Jersey Devil dates back to the colonial period of the 1700s. One version of the legend begins in the newly established colony of New Jersey in 1735 with a woman named Deborah Leeds. She was married to a drunk, and struggling to raise 12 children on her own, the last thing she needed in her life was another child. Unfortunately, she discovered she was pregnant with a 13th child. As the legend goes, she placed a curse upon her child by asserting that her child would be the devil. Surprisingly, she gave birth to a monster that is described as a hideous creature with hooved feet, red eyes, clawed hands, and a tail. As soon as the monster was birthed, it killed everyone present, even its mother. The monster eventually escaped and fled to a place called Pine Barrens.

Since the mass hysteria surrounding the alleged incident in the 1700s, there have been thousands of reports claiming to have spotted the Jersey Devil in Pine Barrens. Evidence of the Jersey Devil’s existence ranges from strange footprints, to slaughtered livestock, to demonic presences, and even inhuman screams.