Sunday, October 31, 2010

For Halloween...the Jersey Devil...

and, no, it is not Snooki or The Situation...although I am sure there are those who would easily identify that Jersey shore crew as such...but this is a legendary creature from right down here in South Jersey. In my recent post card buy, I had one of the "devil"in the stash.

Most accounts of the Jersey Devil legend attribute the creature to a "Mother Leeds", a supposed witch, although the tale has many variations. According to one version, she invoked the devil while giving birth to her 13th child, and, when the baby was born, it either immediately or soon afterwards transformed into a devil-like creature and flew off into the surrounding pines.

According to legend, while visiting the Hanover Mill Works to inspect his cannonballs being forged, Commodore Stephen Decatur sighted a flying creature flapping its wings and fired a cannonball directly upon it to no effect. Joseph Bonaparte, eldest brother of Emperor Napoleon, is also said to have witnessed the Jersey Devil while hunting on his Bordentown, New Jersey estate around 1820.

Throughout the 19th century, the Jersey Devil was blamed for livestock killings, strange tracks, and reported sounds. In the early 20th century, a number of people in New Jersey and neighboring states claimed to witness the Jersey Devil or see its tracks. Claims of a corpse matching the Jersey Devil's description arose in 1957. In 1960, the merchants around Camden offered a $10,000 reward for the capture of the Jersey Devil, even offering to build a private zoo to house the creature if captured.

Today an official group-The Devil Hunters-exists...according to their web site they are "in search of truth. Contrary to the group's name, this is not an organization with the intentions of capturing or killing the Jersey Devil. Instead, the organization's goal is to answer the questions surrounding the Jersey Devil and its legend."

So, if you wander in the Jersey pine lands, you never know what you will see this Halloween! Then again, maybe it is just a leftover lost Jersey girl!

Happy Halloween!
A little added surprise...I am in Washington, DC for Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity, but we are doing some touring & went to the National Museum of the American Indian, a new Smithsonian museum...in the lobby they were setting up The Day of the Dead...November 1, but this artist was creating a wonderful Halloween bride...the artist is Tlisza Jaurique...the "bride"--she remains nameless!

1 comment:

Brenda @Just a Bed of Roses said...

Usually the women turn into the devil AFTER they are married...not before!
Have fun doing your rally.