Lore has it, that a flying biped with hooves traverses the areas of Pine Barrens of South Jersey. More common descriptions go as far as saying this bipedal entity resembles the posture of a kangaroo or wyvern-like creature with the head of a goat, leathery bat wings, horns, small arms that have protruding claws, legs that turn into hooves, and a forked tail.
Many sightings of the Jersey Devil can be traced to the early 1800s, one such sighting was reported by the elder brother of Napolean, Joseph Bonaparte. During the 1840s the Jersey Devil was blamed for killing several farmer’s livestock, running into 1841 many of these attacks were reportedly followed by tracks and sometimes even screams. By the time the 1900s came, more and more newspapers published hundreds of claimed encounters with this mysterious creature.
Such attacks listed in their publications spoke of the creature attacking a trolley car in Haddon Heights, and a Camden social club. Police in these areas even reported firing on the creature, but their efforts proved to have no effect on the entity. So much fear was spread through these reports and publishing that the general public began staying home from going to schools and work. Many local hunters inevitably ventured out into the countrysides on the lookout for the Jersey Devil to put it to an end. During this time that the Philadelphia Zoo actually posted a $10,000 reward for the Jersey Devil.
Like many cryptid creatures, the Jersey Devil is not immune to many people hoaxing its mysterious possible existence. From faked footprints to actual falsely created remains that are displayed in museums, it hasn’t deterred cryptid hunters and locals from believing the legends.