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The Jersey Devil

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"Ram's head, forked tail, clove hoof, love's my trail
I sup on your body, sip on your blood like wine
Out world theirs, this world mine."
Bruce Springsteen, "A Night With the Jersey Devil"

No, not the hockey team (although the team is named after the creature).

A cryptid which was supposedly first spotted in the 1700s in the Pine Barrens of South Jersey, the Jersey Devil is often described as a horned, hooved and bipedal Mix and Match Critter possessing bat-like wings, a horse or goat-like head and an inconsistent origin. The most common version of the creature's tale is that it is the thirteenth child of Mother Leeds, a woman (possibly a witch) who, while giving birth, yelled out "let it be the devil!" for varying reasons, such as preferring to birth the spawn of Satan instead of another one of her husband's children. Either immediately or shortly after being born, the child transformed into a monster, and fled into the wilderness, subsequently becoming "an East Coast Bigfoot".

Some have noted that the Jersey Devil, the Dover Demon and the Moth Man may be one and the same. Also see Fearsome Critters of American Folklore, Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious, Chupacabra, Wendigo, and Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti. May or may not be friends with fellow backwoods Joisey ghoul Jason Voorhees. Also see Our Perytons Are Different for a somewhat similiar-looking monster.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Gravity Falls: Lost Legends: The fourth story, "The Jersey Devil's In the Details", features a flashback to Grunkle Stan's childhood where he and his brother hunted the Jersey Devil, here depicted as a vaguely dragon-ish monster (complete with fire breath!) with a goat-like head.
  • The Hack/Slash and Living Corpse crossover (titled The Legend of the Jersey Devil) reveals that the creature is harmless, and puts up a fierce façade to scare off intruders who might encounter its psychotic mother. Unfortunately, Cassie and Vlad learn this only after killing it and pissing off Mother Leeds.
  • One appeared in Hoax Hunters. He didn't originate the myth (having been born in the mid 1960s) — apparently one is simply born every few generations. He was raised in the basement of a New Jersey orphanage. Unlike a lot of depictions he's very large and muscular, with roughly human proportions. And he's actually friendly and playful, not at all hostile or dangerous.
  • In Jack of Fables, the Jersey Devil is an inmate of the Golden Boughs Retirement Community.
    • In the video game adaptation The Wolf Among Us, Jersey (complete with Joisey accent) has resettled back on the East side of the Hudson River, as a servant of The Crooked Man.
  • There was once a comic called The Jersey Devil, though it was little more than a rip-off of The Crow.
  • In Kaijumax, one of the Kaiju inmates is the Creature from Devil's Creek, a giant goat monster clearly based on the Devil. For the record, his father is Satan himself. The Creature is uniquely unsuited to prison life — very weepy, sensitive, and anxious.
  • The "Pine Barrens" story-arc of Marvel Knights 4 had the Fantastic Four discover that Jersey Devils are actually hungry aliens.
  • One appears in the first The Perhapanauts annual.

    Film — Animation 
  • In TMNT a Jersey Devil is one of thirteen monsters summoned by Max Winters, and is fought by Raphael in a diner.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Thirteenth Child, which for some reason reimagines the Devil as the immortal, shapeshifting son of a Native American shaman. And/or his pet minotaur with bear claws.
  • The Barrens, another Horrible Camping Trip example, though it's left ambiguous as to whether or not there really is a monster. That is, at least, until the last few minutes.
  • In the Sci Fi Channel's original movie Carny (2009), a dingy little carnival acquires a captive Jersey Devil as a sideshow attraction. When it inevitably escapes, mayhem ensues.
  • The Jersey Devil, which shakes things up a bit by being an origin story.
  • The Last Broadcast has a group of amateur filmmakers set off into the wilderness in search of the Jersey Devil, planning on becoming famous by capturing it on film. Everybody Dies, though not at the claws of the Devil, which never even appears.
  • Leeds Point, where it soon becomes apparent that a series of vicious murders are not the work of a serial killer, but the cryptid.
  • In Satans Playground, the Jersey Devil is He Who Must Not Be Seen or just plain invisible, with its family (and some random Satanists, because why the Hell not?) being the main antagonists.

  • The short story "The Barrens" by F. Paul Wilson deals with two people who go into the Pine Barrens to look for the Jersey Devil. However, it turns out that the leader is not in fact looking for the Devil at all, but for something far more sinister.
  • The novel Brigid's Charge has a sympathetic take on Mother Leeds, and the "Devil" is nothing more than a (human) child who died soon after birth. However, a local doctor spreads rumors about the baby transforming into a monster to discredit her reputation as a healer.
  • Voltaire's novel Call of the Jersey Devil involves five suburban mall rats and a washed-up goth singer discovering that the Jersey Devil is real, and that New Jersey is the gateway to Hell. That's Voltaire the musician, not the 18th Century French philosopher, who - to the best of our knowledge - never wrote anything about the Jersey Devil.
  • End of Mae, featuring an Intrepid Reporter searching for a vampiric take on the Devil.
  • 1976's The Jersey Devil, by James F. Mc Cloy.
  • Hunter Shea's 2016 novel The Jersey Devil pits survivalists against a demonic interpretation of the legend.
  • Robert Dunbar's The Pines and The Shore present the theory that Jersey Devils are created by a lycanthropy-like disorder.
  • In the Repairman Jack novel All the Rage, a humanoid monster called a rakosh retreats into the Pine Barrens, with the narration stating that if there isn't a real Jersey Devil, there is now.
    • In Young Repairman Jack trilogy there was a dangerous bear-like creature in the Pine Barrens. It had at least one tentacle and presumably was descendant or the one that escaped from the pyramid. Part Q'qr, maybe. Presumed dead, drowned in the buried town.
  • The characters of the Stephanie Plum spinoff book Plum Spooky believe the Jersey Devil is after them when they get lost in the woods.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The guys on Cake Boss once made a Jersey Devil cake for a group of paranormal investigators. It was pretty awesome. Also, although Buddy and his crew are vocal skeptics of the supernatural, they go through a number of setbacks while working on the cake, such as the struggles to secure the structured base, baker Ralph feeling sick midway through and having to go home, and the wings falling off in the van during transport, with one they're unable to reattach and forced to leave off (though the paranormal investigators weren't any less impressed).
  • The Lost Tapes episode Jersey Devil had a lost family being terrorized by the creature, whose dwelling appeared to be an old house filled with Satanic imagery. Also provides the page image.
  • Various paranormal investigation shows, such as Paranormal State, Scariest Places on Earth, Monster Quest and Destination Truth, have had episodes focusing on the Jersey Devil.
  • In the third season of Sleepy Hollow, the Jersey Devil is depicted as a human scientist who transmutated himself, and is a loyal servant of the Arc Villain.
  • A series of backwoods maulings in the Supernatural episode "How to Win Friends And Influence Monsters" are suspected to be the work of the Jersey Devil, though it turns out a man, driven insane by the Leviathans' latest scheme involving drugged food, is responsible.
  • In What We Do In The Shadows, in the fourth season episode "Pine Barrens", Sean tells Nandor, Lazlo, and Young Colin about the Jersey Devil while they're staying at a cabin the eponymous woods, describing it as having dragon wings, a goat head, hooves, horns, "and two low hanging balls with a button cock on top". Nandor and Lazlo tell the camera crew that the Jersey Devil was a myth vampires made up to explain all the corpses they left in the Pine Barrens. However, after Lazlo and Nandor follow Young Colin into the woods, they hear Sean scream and run back to the cabin, where they discover that the Jersey Devil is real, is attacking Sean, and looks exactly like Sean described.
  • The X-Files: In the episode "The Jersey Devil", the Devils are discovered to be type of primitive humans, speculated to be the missing link, though a mundane explanation that they're abandoned feral children who've grown up in the wild is also raised. A male and female are killed, but the end of the episode reveals they had a young child.

  • "Jersey Devil", a bluegrass song by Kieran Kane and Kevin Welch.
  • "A Night with the Jersey Devil" by Bruce Springsteen.

  • JD, The Jersey Devil themself, works as a park ranger in Residents of Proserpina Park. They aren’t happy that Bigfoot and Mothman are better known than they are.
  • Red Web has an episode on the Jersey Devil, in which hosts Trevor and Alfredo discuss the history of the creature and its various sightings.

  • As noted in the main description, the NHL's New Jersey Devils are named after the legend. Funnily enough, the team's identity leans more heavily towards traditional Satan imagery (red and black color scheme, horns and pointy tail logo, etc.) than the way the creature in the legend is described.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Jersey Devils, described as "a flying monster with a horse's head and a bat's body", appear as enemies who attack by swooping or breathing fire in Argila Swamp in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. Marcel is a newspaper writer who tasks you to take a photo of the cryptid and wonders why it's called a Jersey Devil.
    Marcel: Wow!! So this is a Jersey Devil! And it's neither a devil, nor wearing a jersey... Well, whatever. Our readers'll eat it up anyway. Here's your cut. Enjoy!
  • In Jersey Devil, the main character is a horned, winged and costumed humanoid off to stop Mad Scientist Doctor Knarf. It was about as In Name Only as you can get.
  • Magical Diary references "jirseys", a kind of small flying monster with bat wings and a horse body.
  • In Poptropica, the Jersey Devil is one of the cryptids whose existence must be proven on Cryptids Island. You must travel to New Jersey and ride a motorcycle to an abandoned house. You don't find anything, but while you're leaving, you see the Jersey Devil peer into the window and look at you. It flies off, and you can grab some broken egg shells as proof of its existence.
  • And along with many other legends in Soul Hackers.
  • The Jersey Devil is an antagonist in The Wolf Among Us, running a pawn shop as a front for criminal activity. He's glamoured to look like a human, but his true form is a grey-skinned demon with a horse's skull for a head.
  • Along with some other legends, the Jersey Devil appears as a fixture in the paranormal table in Zen Pinball.

    Visual Novels 
  • Havenfall Is for Lovers features the Jersey Devil as one of the protagonist's potential love interests, in the person of non-binary delinquent Jordan "JD" Davies.

  • In Skin Horse, Jersey Devils are a race of vaguely goat-like Planimals, first appearing in the storyline "Can't Catch Me".
  • The Monster of the Week strip based on the Jersey Devil X-Files episode (above) is one half Shaenon complaining that a woman living in a cave is not a Jersey Devil, and one half her friend Rob's pitch for a comic in which Batman fights the Jersey Devil.
  • Alcott Grimsley, the main character of The World in Deeper Inspection, is a Jersey Devil, but has a few differences from most versions. His bat-like wings are smaller, his equine head is skeletal, and he is a civilized gentleman rather than a feral beast.

    Web Original 
  • The Jersey Devil appears in New Vindicators, during an adventure of the Illuminati. He is a long-lived Nephilim, but a particularly twisted one, spawn of the father of monsters, Leviathan.

    Western Animation 
  • The American Dragon: Jake Long episode "The Long Weekend" depicts the Jersey Devil as a flying moose with eagle wings and a lion's tail. The creature terrorizes a sprite village for seven days every one-hundred years, and is defeated when Jake's father sprays it with bear repellent (somehow mistaking it for a bear) and throws it off a cliff.
  • Downtown had an episode where Alex, Jen, Chaka and Mecca get lost in the Pine Barrens while driving around looking for backroad garage sales and swap meets, and freak each other out by telling urban legends, one of which is the Jersey Devil. The episode then switches to the legend about the Cropseys, an inbred Cannibal Clan that allegedly live in the area, which of course is where the car breaks down. At the end of the episode, after getting help from the REAL Cropseys, who aren't cannibals, just people who prefer living in relative isolation, the characters drive off... only for the actual Jersey Devil to suddenly slam into the windshield. Cue credits.
  • In the Extreme Ghostbusters episode "The Jersey Devil Made Me Do It", the Jersey Devil is a spectral entity that attained its physical form, a reddish bat-like creature, through a forge's smelting process. It was shown to be capable of rusting metal, which it ate, with its breath.
  • In Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures episode "The Spectre of the Pine Barrens", the Jersey Devil is embroiled in a centuries-long feud between descendants of Redcoats and Minutemen over the original manuscript of the Declaration of Independence. At first, it seems to be just a Minuteman in a costume, but the final scene reveals it is Real After All.
  • One made some minor appearances in The Secret Saturdays episodes "Cryptid vs. Cryptid" and "War of the Cryptids".


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Jersey Devil



The Jersey Devil is an antagonist in the fourth episode of The Wolf Among Us, running a pawn shop as a front for criminal activity. He's glamoured to look like a human, but his true form is a grey-skinned demon with a horse's skull for a head.

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Main / TheJerseyDevil

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