The Jersey Devil

Background: the informant is a college student, originally from Central/Southern New Jersey. 

Context: we were goofing around, editing a film, and I asked if anyone had any folklore. The informant put on a dramatic, deepened, storytelling voice. 

“In the Great Pine Barrens of New Jersey, there once lay a woman, from whom borne the spawn of Satan. She lay eight children from her womb. One of them ate the rest. He stayed in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, and became the Jersey Devil.”

Me: Is that why the hockey team is called [The Devils]?

Informant: Yeah. 

Reflection: this sounds a bit like an older, East Coast Puritanical legend. It reflects a culture that punishes women just for existing. I think all people like to think their home is a bit haunted in one way or another. That way, strange happenings can always be attributed to the devil, ghost or whomever it may be that is causing these strange happenings.

Further reading: