The return of the Jersey Devil brought panic along, and the residents of the Pine Barrens were once again
gripped with fear, just as their ancestors had been 100 years before. In 1858, W.F. Mayer of New York was
visiting Hanover Iron Works (the sight where Decatur had seen the creature) and noticed how odd the Pine
Barrens residents acted. They seemed constantly nervous and uneasy. When Mayer commented on a storm, one
resident mentioned something about seeing a Devil, and was hushed by other residents, fearing that the Devil
could be listening. Mayer also noticed that no resident of the Pine Barrens would ever dare to venture outside
after dark. Click here if you would like to read Mayer's article from Atlantic Monthly in 1858.
In 1859 the Jersey Devil was seen in Haddonfield, and then remained unseen until the winter of 1873 - 1874,
where it was seen periodically in Bridgeton and Long Branch. The creature continued to raid livestock and was
believed to "carry off anything that moved". In 1894 the Jersey Devil made appearances throughout New Jersey,
visiting Smithville, Long Beach Island, Brigantine Beach, Leeds Point, and Haddonfield.
In 1899 the Jersey Devil raided Vincentown and Burrsville, and then decided to expand its horizons and head
for New York. The creature made its first out-of-state appearance in Spring Valley, New York, where a resident
was repeatedly losing sheep and hearing "ungodly" screams. At one point, the resident spotted the thief, and
described it as a "flying serpent". This residentís report would be the first Jersey Devil sighting ever to be
published in the newspapers.
The creature remained in New York for a brief period, where it was sighted at Hyenga Lake (rumors had it that
a strange creature that could fly, swim, and run became a frequent visitor). Eventually, the Jersey Devil decided
to return to its home state, but not without leaving strange tracks in New Yorkís marshes.
By the turn of the century, the Jersey Devilís existence became a common belief in New Jersey and its bordering
states. The people believed that an eerie, supernatural creature lived in the Pine Barrens. The people also
believed that the sightings and tales would soon die out, and that the legend of the Jersey Devil had run its
course. Soon they would realize that they were sadly mistaken.
The 1900's started off with a major bang for the Jersey Devil legend. In 1909, the largest batch of Jersey
Devil sightings ever recorded occurred, in which the Jersey Devil was seen by over 100 people in the time span
of a single week. This week, January 16th through January 23rd, has been justly named Phenomenal Week. During
this time, a wide range of people throughout the Delaware Valley spotted the winged beast. Some sightings were
seen by large groups of people at once; other sightings were made by residents who were awakened in the middle
of the night to strange noises in the darkness.