Throwback Thursday: The Jersey Devil in January of 1909

An image of the Jersey Devil taken from the January 1909 Philadelphia Evening Bulletin.

An image of the Jersey Devil taken from the January 1909 Philadelphia Evening Bulletin.

1909 saw hundreds of reports claiming encounters with the Jersey Devil.  The accounts came from around the New Jersey Pine Barrens, and were all reported in a single week, from the 16th to the 23rd of January.  The published reports appeared in numerous newspapers in the area, including the popular Philadelphia Evening Bulletin.  

They began with a series of unexplained hoof prints in the snow that appeared to go over and under fences, through fields and backyards, and even onto rooftops.  Reported encounters included an attack on a trolley car in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, and a social club in Camden, Philadelphia; during the latter attack police reportedly shot at the creature, but were unable to harm it.  The sightings ranged as far as Delaware and Maryland, and, exacerbated by the widespread media coverage, caused numerous school and business closings, and prompted groups of hunters to go afield in search of the monster.  

The Philadelphia Zoo is rumored to have offered a bounty of $10,000 for the devil, which is believed to have been the inspiration behind a local businessman painting a kangaroo green and affixing wings to the animal in an attempt to hoax the zoo out of its money.  

Tobias WaylandComment