Το παρακατω κειμενο ηατν το καλυτερο που μπορουσα να βρω αλλα ηταν δυστηχως στα αγγλικα
This regionalized name hides perhaps a variety of creatures that have been haunting the New Jersey Pineland forest for over 260 years, but well focus on the main cryptid.
There are many possible origins of the Jersey Devil legend, but it has no known basis in Native American folklore of the area, and it is thought to be a creative manifestation of European settlers.
The most widely-known version of the tale can be traced back to the eighteenth century and a woman named Deborah Smith. Ms. Smith emigrated from England to marry an older rich man named Mr. Leeds. Leeds wanted several children to ensure that his family name was carried on, and consequently, the new Mrs. Leeds was always pregnant.
She gave birth to twelve healthy children and found herself pregnant with lucky number thirteen. The story goes that Mrs. Leeds invoked the devil during a very difficult and painful labor and that when the baby was born, it either immediately, or very soon afterwards, (depending on the version of the story), grew into a full-grown devil and escaped from the house to begin a reign of terror.
(In sharp contrast, Native American legends usually depict the devil as a friendly protector of the Pines. Sightings of the devil were believed to be a sign of good fortune.)
Another version of the story says it was when Mrs. Leeds found out she was pregnant with her 13th, that she said that if she were to have one more child, "may it be a devil".
Another version is that the child/devil was the result of a family curse.
Another version is that Mrs. Leeds, who was a Quaker, had refused to be converted from the Quaker faith and that the clergyman who had been trying to convert her was so angry that he told her
that her next child would be an offspring of Satan.
Another version is that the child was born a monster and that Mrs. Leeds cared for the child until her death. In this version the child/devil "flew off" into the swamps after Mrs. Leeds' death.
In 1778, Commodore Stephen Decautur visited the Hanover Iron Works in the Pine Barrens to test cannonballs at a firing range, when he allegedly witnessed a strange, pale creature winging by overhead. Using cannonfire, he punctured the wing of the creature, which continued flying, apparently unfazed.
In 1840, 1841, 1859, and 1873, multiple livestock were killed, accompanied by unearthly screams, wails, and strange tracks found in the snow in the areas of Haddonfield and Bridgeton.
January of 1909, however, saw the most frenetic period of devil sightings ever recorded. Thousands of people claimed to witness the Jersey Devil during the week of January 16 - 23. Newspapers nationwide followed the story and published eyewitness reports. Hysteria gripped the entire state during the terrible week.
- 16th (Saturday) - The creature was sighted flying over Woodbury.
- 17th (Sunday) - In Bristol, Pennsylvania, several people saw the creature and tracks were found in the snow the following day.
- 18th (Monday) - Burlington was covered in strange tracks that seemed to defy logic; some were found on rooftops, while others started and stopped abruptly with no apparent origin or destination. Similar footprints were found in several other towns.
- 19th (Tuesday) - Nelson Evans and his wife, of Gloucester, allegedly saw the creature outside their window at 2:30 AM. Mr. Evans gave a descriptive account as follows: "It was about three feet and a half high, with a head like a collie dog and a face like a horse. It had a long neck, wings about two feet long, and its back legs were like those of a crane, and it had horse's hooves. It walked on its back legs and held up two short front legs with paws on them. It didn't use the front legs at all while we were watching. My wife and I were scared, I tell you, but I managed to open the window and say, 'Shoo!' and it turned around,
barked at me, and flew away."
Two Gloucester hunters tracked the creature's perplexing trail for twenty miles. The trail appeared to "jump" fences and squeeze under eight-inch gaps. Similar trails were reported in several other towns.
- 20th (Wednesday) - In Haddonfield and Collingswood, posses were formed to find the devil. They supposedly watched the creature fly toward Moorestown, where it was later seen by at least two more people.
- 21st (Thursday) - The creature attacked a trolley car in Haddon Heights, but was chased off. Trolley cars in several other towns began to maintain armed guards, and several poultry farmers found their chickens dead. The devil was reported to collide with an electric rail in Clayton, but was not killed. A telegraph worker near Atlantic City claimed to have shot the devil, only to watch it limp into the woods. The creature apparently was not fazed as it continued the rampage through Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and West Collingswood, New Jersey (where it was supposedly hosed by the local fire department). The devil seemed poised to attack nearby people, who defensively threw any available objects at it. The creature suddenly flew away -- and reemerged in Camden to injure a dog, ripping a chunk of flesh from its cheek before the dog's owner drove it away. This was the first reported devil attack on a living creature.
- 22nd (Friday) - Last day of sightings. Many towns were panic stricken, with many businesses and schools closed in fear. Fortunately, the creature was seen only a few times that day and did not attack.
In addition to these encounters, the creature was seen flying over several other towns. Since the week of terror in 1909, sightings have been much less frequent, but did not end by any means. In 1951 there was another panic in Gibbstown, New Jersey, after local boys claimed to have seen a screaming humanoid monster. As recently as 1991, a pizza delivery driver in Edison, New Jersey described a night encounter with a white, horselike creature. In Freehold, New Jersey, in 2002, a woman supposedly saw a huge creature with batlike wings near her home.
There are currently several websites and magazines (such as Weird NJ) which catalog sightings of the devil.
Many different descriptions have been offered by alleged witnesses of the creature, which are as follows:
"I looked out upon the Delaware and saw flying diagonally across what appeared to be a large crane, but which was emitting a glow like a firefly. Its head resembled that of a ram, with curled horns, and its long thick neck was thrust forward in flight. It had long thin wings and short legs, the front legs shorter than the hind." ¯ E.W. Minster, Bristol, PA. Sighted on January 16, 1909.
"It was three feet high... long black hair over its entire body, arms and hands like a monkey, face like a dog, split hooves … and a tail a foot long". ¯ George Snyder, Moorestown, NJ. Sighted on January 20, 1909.
"In general appearance it resembled a kangaroo... It has a long neck and from what glimpse I got of its head its features are hideous. It has wings of a fairly good size and of course in the darkness looked black. Its legs are long and somewhat slender and were held in just such a position as a swan's when it is flying...It looked to be about four feet high". ¯ Lewis Boeger, Haddon Heights, NJ. Sighted on January 21, 1909.
"As nearly as I can describe the terror, it had the head of a horse, the wings of a bat and a tail like a rat's, only longer". ¯ Howard Campbell, who claimed to have shot the devil near Atlantic City (see above). Sighted on January 21, 1909.
While the descriptions vary, several aspects remain fairly constant, such as the devil's long neck, wings and hooves. The creature is often said to have a horselike head and tail. Its reputed height varies from about three feet to more than seven feet. Many sightings report the creature to have glowing red eyes that can paralyze a man, and that it utters a high, humanlike scream.