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Growing up in the South of New Jersey, Exit # 3 of the NJ Tpk. was my geographical reference point. I was quite familiar with the Jersey Devil. The below is from https://weirdnj.com/

The Jersey Devil

Weird NJ Photo

While this one is not a “ghost” story, the tale of the Jersey Devil has withstood the test of time—and for good reason. Stories of the winged beast are truly terrifying. But who or what is the Jersey Devil? According to Weird NJ, the infamous creature haunting the Pine Barrens is the child of Mother Leeds, a Pines resident who conceived her thirteenth child in 1735. At the time, Leeds had no idea how she could care for (let alone afford) another kid and so, in exasperation, she raised her hands to the heavens and proclaimed “Let this one be a devil!” Leeds got her wish. Moments after birth, her healthy baby boy grew horns and claws and bat-like wings. Legend has it the “devil” then killed his mother before attacking onlookers.

https://www.countryliving.com/life/g3793/scary-ghost-stories/

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This remembrance should have been posted before or on Halloween, once again, however, Life got in the way. 

One thought going back many years ago, in the mid-fifties I’d say, is the following:

There were train tracks going through our town back then. These tracks ran the breadth of South Jersey from Camden to Atlantic City, with many spurs running from them in north and south directions. One such spur even went to the north into the Pine Barrens.

On this day I was walking the tracks with a few friends in early fall. Just days prior, it had been reported that a murder had occurred in the area around Chatsworth, a town that is kind of the Capitol of the Pine Barrens.

Image result for boys on train tracks
Dreamstime Photo

One of the three or four of us began talking about the incident as we headed back home from Hadden Heights. The sun was setting to our front, and the early fall darkness was setting in. Someone even mentioned the killer could have hopped a freight out of the Barrens. I remember all of our imaginations running a bit on the wild side.

As you come into Audubon, there is a lean-to built to protect commuter passengers in foul weather. Someone surmised that the killer from Chatsworth could be holed out in there. To this day, I can remember passing that lean-to very quickly. Dinner and the safety of home were calling.

Image result for old lean-to shed by train tracks
A similar lean-to in Putnam County, NY

Whenever I return to that town of my youth and pass that intersection, E. Atlantic and Chestnut streets, I can still remember that fall day.

https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1109136

Image result for halloween candy
Good Housekeeping photo.

I hope you all got a lot of candy and had a fun Halloween.  


4 Comments

  1. Chrissie says:

    Ghost stories are so fun any time of year. Where I grew up the tales were of Crazy Mary. I had never heard of your devil so that was a fun read.

    • jim przybyla says:

      I grew up in New Hampshire, about 30 miles north of Boston. The tale there was about a female pirate named “ocean born Mary”. I was 17 at the time and my girlfriend lived in the house, built in the 1700’s, that supposedly had belonged to Mary. One night we went out on a date, my girlfriend’s mom was sick with the flu, fever, chills, etc. When we got back to the house her mom was feeling better and thanked us for putting another blanket over her. She said that soon after the blanket was put over her she began to feel better. Funny thing is that no one was in the house from the time we left until we returned !!!

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