The heavily forested Pine Barrens spans over 1 million acres and seven counties in New Jersey. The area thrived during the Colonial period, host to sawmills, paper mills, and other industries. People eventually abandoned the mills and surrounding villages when coal was discovered to the west in Pennsylvania, leaving behind ghost towns—and, some say, a few supernatural wanderers. The most popular Pine Barrens resident is without a doubt the Jersey Devil. According to legend, the creature was born in 1735 to Deborah Leeds (her 13th child) with leathery wings, a goat’s head, and hooves. It flew up the Leeds’ chimney and into the Barrens, where it has reportedly been killing livestock—and creeping out South Jersey residents—ever since.
Pine Barrens, New Jersey Jersey Devil