New Jersey folklore

New Jersey folklore



Birth of the Jersey Devil

A storm was raging that night in 1735, when Mother Leeds was brought to bed in childbirth. The room was full of woman folk gathered to help her, more out of curiosity than good will. They had all heard the rumors that Mother Leeds was involved in witchcraft, and had sworn she would give birth to a devil.

Dem Bones

My granny was told as a child that Captain Kidd, knowing the law was on his trail, traveled up the Jersey coast looking for the perfect spot to bury his stolen booty. And he found it near a grove of gnarled, wind-swept pines on Sandy Hook. One moonless dark night, the Adventure Galley slid silently into harbor at Sandy Hook...

Devil on Washington Rock

The dream was so vivid, she didn't realize at first that it was a dream. The party was crowded, the guests cheerful, the food delicious. Then a rumor began to circulate among the guests. The Devil was coming to the party. The Devil was on the way.

Enchanted

I roam alone in the woods, listening to the enchanted children's voices calling to me. "Little girl, come and play," they sing over and over in my ears. Sometimes I hear them from the window of my room. They giggle and whisper words that I cannot make out. They sound like so much fun that I run outside my house as fast as I can to try to catch them. I plunge into the woods, calling back to the children, but no one answers. So I stand still as a mouse, trying to hear where they are hiding.

Express Train to Hell

For days, a ragged old man had hung around the Newark Central Station. The stationmaster kept running him off, but night after night he would return. He kept accosting people, shouting: "It's coming for me! It's coming!"...

Ghost Ship of Captain Sandovate

When Captain Don Sandovate voyaged from Spain to the New World in search of treasure, he found gold in abundance. But among his crew there were many sailors who did not wish to share the new-found wealth with the monarchs of Spain...

Ghost of Pearl White

When I was a kid, my grandparent’s bought a huge old boarding house in Jersey City. It had once housed the actresses working for a big silent film studio across the street, but the film studio was long gone, and the boarding house was unused. My grandparents converted it into a 3-family home...

Ghosts of Ringwood Manor

Ringwood Manor you say? A lovely old house. But no place, my child, to go on a dark night with no moon. Built in the 1700's, the original house was a collection of smaller buildings patched together to create a Manor. The current Manor House was built by Martin Ryerson in 1807...

Haunted Places in New Jersey

This Halloween, you may want to check out some of these haunted spots throughout New Jersey.

Joseph Bonaparte and the Jersey Devil

Joseph Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon, was the King of Spain. Unsuccessful in defending Spain against England during the Peninsular Wars, he was forced to abdicate his throne in 1813. Following Napoleon's defeat, he went into exile in America. Joseph purchased eight-hundred acres at Bordentown, New Jersey because it was between the two great sea ports of New York and Philadelphia. From this place, he could obtain the very latest news from France and Spain.

Moll DeGrow

Moll DeGrow was a wicked witch who once lived on Gully Road in what is now Newark, New Jersey. She took delight in the misery of others, and made things miserable for the folks living near her. If a neighbor slighted her, she would sour their milk. If anyone called her a witch, she made their dogs turn vicious. People were very cautious around Moll De Grow...

Rainbow Crow

It was so cold. Snow fell constantly, and ice formed over all the waters. The animals had never seen snow before. At first, it was a novelty, something to play in. But the cold increased tenfold, and they began to worry. The little animals were being buried in the snow drifts and the larger animals could hardly walk because the snow was so deep. Soon, all would perish if something were not done.

Spirit Lodge

The great chief Quaquahela lived in peace with his people on the banks of the River Styx where it entered the lake waters. Their lives were busy and full. The warriors hunted and fished, the women cooked and cared for the old and the young, and all lived in peace with the natural world around them.

The Figure in the Window

Late one evening the three of us were hanging out when Alec said he wanted to go up to Peapack to check out a house for sale. Once in the car, Alec said it was an old, run-down Italianate mansion with twenty-six fireplaces that used to be owned by nuns but had been abandoned. It sat on fifty acres of property, including beautifully terraced grounds. By this time, I was feeling a little nervous about the whole thing.

The Jersey Devil and the Dog

It was a week of pandemonium! In January of 1909, the Jersey Devil emerged from the Pine Barrens and began terrorizing the local communities, both in New Jersey and in Pennsylvania. Devil hunts failed to catch the flying creature, which danced on rooftops, stalked small animals, and frightened the good people of the area with its unexpected appearances in their yards and businesses. The newspapers carried the reports along with sketches of the unusual creature.

Turnabout is Fairplay

Everyone laughed at jumpy Uncle Phil, who believed the world was largely populated with monsters and ghosts and spooks and witches and werewolves. But he was considered harmless, and no one much bothered about the poor fellow. Until one summer when a new family moved to town with two naughty sons.
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