The huge amount of sightings caused New Jersey to enter State of Emergency precautions, with all residents
instructed to be in their homes before dark and to secure all animals at night. Newspapers were filled with
detailed sighting accounts, although many articles seemed mocking in tone. The people of the area were terrified
- especially those living deep in the heart of the Pine Barrens. (For a detailed account of Phenomenal Week, go
to the sightings page).
The Jersey Devil became New Jersey's Official Demon in the 1930's, recognizing the history of the legend and
its importance in New Jersey history. This creature is also the namesake of the state's hockey team, the New
During the early 1900's, however, the legend was scarred by the marks of scam artists attempting to make
money off of the people's fear. One man in particular went to extremes to create a very elaborate hoax. This
man obtained a wild kangaroo, painted stripes on its fur, attached "wings" to its shoulderblades, and kept the
creature in a dimly lit cage, charging all curious visitors a fee to take a peek at what he claimed to be the
Jersey Devil. When the visitors approached the cage, a man sitting behind the kangaroo (armed with a long stick
with a nail in one end) would smack at the creature, causing it to lunge forward and shriek in pain - frightening
all who saw. Eventually, the man came clean on his hoax, and since then the Jersey Devil has not been taken as
seriously as it had been before.
At one point, the charred remains of a strange creature were found somewhere in the Pine Barrens. These
remains were unidentifiable by the Department of Wildlife and Conservation - they had no record of any such
creature on file. Some believed these remains were those of the Jersey Devil, and thought the legend was
finally put to an end. But once again, the Jersey Devil returned.
In 1951 - 1952, the Jersey Devil came back to New Jersey for the Gibbstown - Paulsboro invasion. This
invasion, though on a smaller scale than Phenomenal Week, caused quite a stir in the area and sent many
people into a panicked state. Posses were formed, who attempted to track the creature. Yet still no dog
would follow its trail; instead they wimpered and turned away. Because the legend was no longer taken
seriously, mass hysteria was blamed for the cause of the uprise.
Around this same time, newspapers started refusing any sightings accounts, believing that they were just
attempts at gaining recognition and attention. The Jersey Devil legend was beginning to die. Sightings still
continued to trickle in, and have remained steady throughout many years. Sightings as recent as this year
have been reported...