On a dark and stormy night in 1735, something terrible happened in the Pine Barrens near Leeds Point. The thunder howled, and the wind roared outside. Inside a small house, Mother Leeds was giving birth to her 13th baby. No one knew for sure exactly what happened, but people had lots of ideas.
"Mother Leeds said she wanted the baby to be the devil!"
"The baby was born with a tail, wings, and hooves and flew up the chimney!"
"The baby looked normal but then it changed!"
That night, the Jersey Devil was born.
This is one of the most popular stories about how the Devil was born, but there are many others. A different story says that a town put a curse on a young girl who fell in love with a British soldier during the Revolutionary War. When she gave birth, it was to the Jersey Devil. Another story says a gypsy cursed a girl because she didn't give the gypsy food. The curse caused her to give birth to the Jersey Devil.
Locals in the Pine Barrens call it the Leeds Devil. They say it has a horse's head, long legs with hooves, two short front legs, and a bat's wings. No one knows how tall it is. Some people think it's six feet tall, others think it's only three or four feet tall. The Devil has glowing red eyes and makes loud screeching sounds. It's very ugly, and people are terrified after seeing it. During the day the Devil lives in the wetlands. At night it comes out to scare anyone it meets.