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The Doclopedia #257
Altered (United) States: New Jersey “Bedeviled”
Shortly after the first white settlers set foot in New Jersey, a terrible creature came out of the forest and killed a few of them. Thus was the legend of the Jersey Devil born. Except, of course, that it wasn’t a legend and there are several different creatures called Jersey Devils running around the state killing, maiming and scaring the shit out of people.
The creature most often seen in the Pine Barrens area is a winged humanoid with a rather goatlike face and cloven hooves. It does not usually kill people, but will scratch and bite them. It has also been known to carry people weighing up to 175 pounds into the air before dropping them a mile or so away.
Up in the mountainous northwest of the state, the local Devils look like very hairy humans with overly long legs and arms, glowing green eyes and extra wide mouths full of sharp teeth. They kill six or seven people a year, often eating part of them.
In the heavily populated urban areas of the northeast, pale skinned underground dwelling devils sometimes come to the surface and attack humans with weapons carved from bones.
One form of Devil found in the far south end of New Jersey looks like a cross between a horse and a large dog. It seems to have a high intelligence as well as being the most bloodthirsty of all Devils. One of these creatures was responsible for the Cape May Slumber Party Massacre of 1987, in which 11 girls and 4 boys were killed and ripped apart.
Over the centuries, dozens of efforts have been mounted to find and eradicate the various Jersey Devils. Many hundreds of both Devils and hunters have been killed, but even though attacks sometimes stop for as long as 20 years, they always resume. For that reason, there are several areas of New Jersey that humans are forbidden to enter.
One final note on the Jersey Devils: A rumor persists that on a summer night in 1928, creatures from another world landed near Grover’s Mill, New Jersey and began attacking local homes. It is said that Jersey Devils by the dozens appeared and, according to one eyewitness “tore them creatures to bits, then carried off that big old pie plate looking ship”. The US military arrived shortly afterwards and by morning, the survivors of the attack went on record as blaming all the destruction on the Devils. All evidence of the attack was cleaned up and taken back to Washington.
Oddly, nobody involved in the attack ever said a disparaging word about the Devils after that and to this day there has not been a Devil attack within 3 miles of Grover’s Mill.
It is believed that Orson Welles based his 1938 radio version of “War of the Worlds” in part on the Grover’s Mill incident.