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One Of The Garden State’s Scariest Legends – The Jersey Devil

Flickr user,Orin Zebest
Flickr user,Orin Zebest

With Halloween upon us, it’s all about getting scared, and few things have scared New Jersey people more than the Jersey Devil.

The story goes that the Jersey Devil has been scaring people in the Garden State for well over 200 years. And even though the legend began in the 1700’s, that doesn’t mean the Jersey Devil hasn’t been scaring people in the Pine Barrens relatively recently.

According to, the past 100 years or so have had their share of frightening encounters, including one of the most famous from January of 1909, when E.P. Weeden, a councilman from Trenton, who said he awoke to the sound of wings flapping outside his windows and then found “cloven footprints in the snow”. At around the same time there were several other reports of similar footprints in Trenton.

There was also the report from two teenage boys in Chatsworth in 1978 who say they smelled something like dead fish and when they investigated saw two bright red eyes staring at them. The boys “didn’t stay around to investigate”, and who could blame them.

There have also been reports over the years from people who didn’t actually see the  Jersey Devil, but did find strange tracks or heard screaming or unusual sounds from the woods. In 1960 there was actually a $10,000 reward for the capture of the Jersey Devil. To this date, that money has gone unclaimed.

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