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The Legend of the Jersey Devil

Researched and written by Laura K. Leuter

Within the past centuries, the image of New Jersey has changed drastically. Being one of the original 13 colonies, New Jersey has been through the development of the United States from the very beginning. New Jersey's role has changed as well- it went from farmland to industry, from small towns to cities. Its location is ideal, since it is not only on the coast of the Atlantic but it is centered between cities such as New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey is now the most densely populated state in the nation.There is only one thing overlooked by an outsider- despite its over seven million residents, New Jersey still has a large amount of land that is not developed. North Jersey's cities are contradicted by South Jersey's wilderness- in particular, a large stretch of forest known as the Pine Barrens.

If you know anything about the Pine Barrens, you might know about its most infamous resident. And even if you had no idea about the Pine Barrens, did you ever wonder why New Jersey's hockey team is called the New Jersey Devils? Deep in the heart of South Jersey lies a huge span of dark, desolate woods. These trees give off an eerie feeling- as if you are constantly being watched. The plants are so dense it is often times hard to follow a path, and you never know what kind of wildlife is concealed in the brush. You have no idea where they are, but they know exactly where you are... Herein lurks the Jersey Devil.

The legend of the Jersey Devil has existed for over 265 years, since before the birth of our country. It has terrorized, puzzled, and intrigued New Jersey's population since the 1700's. It is a mystery that has been passed down from generation to generation and still remains unsolved. Two centuries after the legend's origin, we still only have myths, theories, and horrifying recounts of sightings.

Copyright © Laura K. Leuter, The Devil Hunters 2004