Group 4 Created with Sketch.

Audio from Halfwit History's episode on The Jersey Devil

From Audio: 54 - The Jersey Devil

Share
station description Hosts Jonathan & Kiley talk about the upcoming week, but a long time ago (and somet... read more
Halfwit History
Duration: 20:53
Listen in as Jonathan from Halfwit History explores the haunted world of the Jersey Devil.
Playlists that Audio from Halfwit History's episode on The Jersey Devil appears on.
Up Next
Full Description
Back to Top
Listen in as Jonathan from Halfwit History explores the haunted world of the Jersey Devil.
Transcripts
Back to Top
so the most common description of the New Jersey devil is that it looks like a horse with long kangaroo, like back legs, big bat wings and a goat head. That's very disturbing imagery. It's very strange and like some of the old drawings of it are just equally as strange, that also looks nothing like I would have ever envisioned devil to look like. Well, the goat head pulls together the whole devil imagery right away. Yeah, I guess go ahead in the wings, I will say my middle slash elementary schools devil was like cartoonishly cute and chubby and had little tiny horn. So it was more like a weird cross between like a devil and a fawn. It was for a middle school. Well, yes, but I appreciate that kind of devil. Okay, so there have been quite a few sightings of the Beast on record, dating from as recent as 2015 to as early as 18 20. So the sightings, that was somewhere between 18 17 and 18 20 was reported by a joseph Bonaparte, who is napoleon's older brother. I was wondering if there was a connection, There is a connection. The king of Spain. Wait, what? He was the previous king of Spain? Oh, joseph Bonaparte, yep, I was like napoleon was in France. So once he was no longer the king of Spain, he ended up living in Jersey. Uh huh. I have questions. Well, I don't think they're relevant will be quickly answered by when he was no longer king of Spain, he stole a bunch of spanish jewels, fled to the nearest country and started selling them from a cabin in the, well, not a cabin, a mansion in the woods. So he was on the run. I'm not sure if he was on the run. I didn't look into it all that much, but he uh he definitely took some things when he left. That probably should have done figured New Jersey and like what, 18 20 was probably far enough away from Spain. Probably. That's probably a good guess. Whole world away. I mean, yes. So supposedly he was out hunting when he saw a two legged donkey's hoof tracks in the snow. Weird assumption, joseph Bonaparte. Yeah. Why would there be a to like a donkey? Yeah. Anyways, that that's what I saw on multiple sites, you know, whatever use your thinking cap bud. So supposedly he followed them until they disappeared. At which point he notes that it seems like the tracks disappeared because the creature took flight again. Not entirely sure what you're doing, joseph, where you're saying that it looks like a two legged donkey's hooves took flight exclusively from the tracks you were following. That's yeah, that's some really wild accusations going on. What did you assume jumped and you lost track of the tracks maybe? Oh no, because he's a Bonaparte. So there's no way he's ever going to admit that he like messed up in tracking. Like something like that's not going to happen. Anyways. He then claims the beast that I described earlier landed in front of him. He forgot that he had a gun and he just stood there awestruck and before he could snap out of it, the creature flew away. So I guess I'll follow this up with this account has no proof. It is just a legend. There's no record of joseph Bonaparte ever doing any of this. But for some reason, his legend of running into the Jersey Devil is both the oldest and the probably the most popular interesting. So anyways, if that is just legend, where do we get the rest of it from? The most prominent sightings of the Jersey Devil happened in 19 oh nine when newspapers started publishing that hoof prints were being found in the snow and on roofs. People in the area started reporting that their chickens and other livestock were being killed and similar prints were found in the area of the murders of the chickens and livestock. All right, so the what? Like the two donkey legs again? Yes. More double donkey legs that looked like they possibly took flight. I think this time they could get flight from the fact that they were on roofs of buildings. Yes, that could potentially lend itself to flight or really good jumping ability. Could be a goat. Goats are good at that goats are ridiculous at that. It's weird that they assumed that the goat part of this being was its head. And yeah, really, I have so many questions about who ever dreamt up this creature. Cryptids are crazy. Yeah, so a lot of these accounts ended up getting published and eventually people started forming hunting parties to look for the beast. Even zoos were offering around $10,000 rewards to anyone who could capture it. All right, new plan, We're going to become cryptid hunters. There are many shows about that and I don't think that you know, most cryptid hunters that don't get tv spots end up making it anywhere. I think we could do it okay, add that to another list of side hustles that get us nowhere. Outlaws train robbers, pirates. Now, cryptid hunters. I was going for history podcaster and oh and tabletop RPG podcasters. Well then we were on very different roads of that train of thought someday we will be somewhere with this, we swear will be this will be our main hustle. Someday I'm opening conversation, I'm just shaking my head over here, it better be. So then sprang up the hoaxers that we're trying to claim that they did capture the beast. The most notable account of this was a sideshow where someone had acquired a kangaroo and taped wings to it and supposedly there was someone with a poker that would prod the animal so that it would jump out from behind curtains that Spectators. So this is probably where we get at least some of the popularity of it being described with kangaroo like legs is this one hoaxer who happened to get their hands on a kangaroo jump scare. So the thing that also solidified the cryptid sightings was that a lot of public officials, such as police officers, fighter fighters and like local government started claiming that they had run ins with the creature as well. And all of these different claims and sightings and hunting parties and rewards were all being posted in local newspapers. So it wasn't just kind of like word of mouth legend, like the joseph Bonaparte thing. There's a lot of documentation from back then of people searching for this Jersey Devil already. So yeah, it be, it became a legitimate craze in 19 oh nine. It's, that's impressive. Um yeah, so with that, people obviously began to look for more information on the Jersey Devil and what they ended up coming across where folk tales like the one with joseph Bonaparte and eventually they stumbled on one that had equally old origin stories and that's when they discovered that it was originally called the leeds Devil. Oh, okay, so it's origin story goes back almost another 100 years from the Bonaparte story back into 17 35. According to the legend at leeds point in New Jersey, there was a family that had 12 Children when the 13th child was ready to be born. The mother jane leads cursed it saying that the child would be the devil. Oh gosh. I think a lot of mother's curse way earlier than their 13th child. That the child is a devil. I was going to say when you get to the point where you've had 13 Children, I'm pretty sure you probably just start cursing all of them. Yeah, it probably wasn't really a curse. It was more just frustration. Yeah, I can only imagine. But the child ended up being born normal and then it rapidly started to change shape, grow horns, hooves and wings and eventually it was attempted to be exercised and flew out of the chimney with a blood curdling scream. Oh my. How long did it take for all those changes to happen? No idea. It was. So there's probably 100 different variations of this story. Gotcha, gotcha. Because I'm envisioning like an infant that still can't hold its head up like flying with its head dangling out the chimney. I was envisioning the dangling, but now I am and that's hilarious. I just probably not sloppy head devil child. I shouldn't laugh funny though. Christ, anti christ sorry. Uh anyways, I mentioned variations, some variations say that jane was a witch and that the father was satan himself. And obviously, as we should all know, especially if you're listening to a history podcast. And because Kylie's covered, which is before, it was just very, very fashionable to call any woman who wasn't acting right a witch. I'm not a I'm your wife, yep. Yeah. Almost women got uh the short end of the stick when it came to any sort of belief system or, you know, writes all that good stuff. Yeah, so I imagine it was not hard for people back then to believe. Oh yeah, she was a witch. Yeah, this story is probably true. Yeah, definitely. And that's about it. So it happened to be that this version of the folklore was further rooted in the fact that a jacket leads did live at leeds point around the time of the folklore and his will did have 12 Children named in it. But there was never a jane lead and Jeff's wife's name was Deborah. That's a very far cry from jane. Yeah, I think they were just going with the double J's for liberation. All right, fair enough. They probably didn't know much, it's probably later people found out that Jeff's wife was actually Deborah. And I feel like jane is like, I mean it's john and jane doe like when it's an unknown victim, so easy enough, but this isn't actually the origin of the myth. Okay, so why did you tell it to me? Because it's what people thought the origin of the myth was. Okay, so Jeff, it leads couldn't have had 1/13 kid in 17 35 because he died in 17 30. Oh, yep, okay. And given that Deborah was about 45 years old at that point, she probably wasn't having another child, definitely not five years after her husband's death, especially because they were Quakers. Oh, yep, so there's no way that that was happening or very little chance. Yeah, so there's an even further back association with leeds devil, There was once a man named Daniel Leads who arrived in New Jersey in 16 77 wow, we're getting back. There were jumping another 100 years. Well this time not 100 years, 60 ish. Yeah, yeah, we're jumping other 60 ish years back. He was both an advisor to the royal governor of New Jersey Edward Hyde, the lord of corn berry. And he was also a Quaker. So there's kind of a connection there. This other leads person was also going to make a joke about Jekyll and Hyde. But another crypt. Another time Daniel Leads also had a large number of Children. He had 10 between four wives and two of his wives ended up dying during childbirth along with the child. So that's a that's 12 Children. Which also matches up with Jeff. It leads, mm Also having like 10 to 10 or 12 Children or more like for a, for a man to father that many Children back then really wasn't that uncommon. Um, I just would have been very impressed if they had all been with the same woman. Right. So I mean that's kind of like the little bit of the fiction that was going on with the legend is that, you know, is this woman's 13th child when in possibly reality this person had 12 Children split between four. While that's a lot more plausible except one of one of the wives, the first child that she died with was the only child. So one of those wives did have a lot of Children with Daniel dang, yep. So in 16 82 Daniel acquired land in the Great Egg Harbor near the atlantic coast. He handed this property down to his sons and it became known as Leaves Point. So it's in the same location as well as the myth as well. So at least they have the name, the location and possibly the number of Children right from the legend that they found, Just not from the right couple. Yeah, there's a lot of inconsistencies, but it's odd that they found another person that embodies a lot of these traits that they found first. Because remember they didn't, they didn't go back in time, find this and then make up the story about the next person. They went and found the legend and had to dig even deeper to find the truth. They found like three legends before they got to the what is likely the truth. So in 16 87 Daniel leads started publishing an almanac in it contained horoscopes and astrological symbols which got him ostracized by the Quakers for publishing pagan works. But when the Quakers voice their displeasure with him, Daniel doubled down on not being censored and began including christian occultism, christian mysticism, cosmology, demonology, angel ology, and natural magic in his almanac, wow, this dude was way ahead of his time. Yeah, he just went, he right into it, he just went like full wicked on them, like, oh you don't like astrological symbols? Here we go, jeez! So the Quakers ended up labeling daniel blaspheme and Daniel began putting his publishing skills to work, calling back on the Quakers for being anti monarchist or against the british royalty who are still in control at that point and published many other slanders of Quakers. The Quakers would further demonize Daniel for working with Lord corn berry who not only did they view as a jerk and from what I saw, he probably was a jerk, but he was also a blasphemer since he was a known cross dresser. Ah well I was, I was going to say until you said that that a lot of people who had Lord in front of their name back then were jerks. Yeah. So apparently there's a painting of Lauren Carberry dressed up as his aunt who is some form of royalty over in Britain. Okay, well then, yeah, I didn't dig further into that. You know, different folks, different strokes. Yeah, I'm not going to hold that against him. But I just heard that in other ways he was a jerk. So, but the Quakers definitely held that against him and definitely held that against his assistant or console whatever he was. Daniel leads. Yeah, so daniel leads eventually became known as evil or a monster or even a devil. Does the leeds devil ring any bells? I'm connecting some dots here, yep. So eventually one of daniel's sons titan leeds took over the almanac for his father and the two got lots of infamy when they started to directly compete with the much more famous and also at the time, New Jersey local Benjamin franklin and his publication of the poor Richard's Almanac. Also, I find it really funny that he named his son titan because like the titans in greek mythology, never mind, I can see that, you know, you're you're you're on something. I found it kind of funny that the threat to connect he named his son titan, I don't know all of his other Children were kind of name normal. So it is a David and Goliath David and he was titan, I don't know. Anyway, moving along, okay, I don't think you were that far off. Thank you. So franklin ended up leaning into this competition and in one issue published that titan leeds would die on october of 17 33 and used a very obviously satirical take on astrology to do so because franklin didn't post anything like that ever. That's kind of mean though, yep, so tighten, ended up hitting back at franklin and supposedly faked his own death in october of 17 33 and then continued to publish the leads almanac until 17 38 when he did actually die, Franklin showed no signs of stopping and continued to mock the ghost of leads even after his real death. All right, that was just mean, That is just absolutely mean, but also kind of funny. I hate to admit it. But so basically like franklin in his almanac would take and write other accounts and satirical astrological things about the ghost of leads and he like leaned into it and pretended like the fake death actually happened as well. Oh boy! So it's just a super petty back and forth between these two. It sounds like it. So now we have real leads with many Children who are called the devil who practiced and fascinated who practiced and we're fascinated by occultism that had public political feuds that lasted two generations and lived at leeds point in New Jersey. The only thing we're missing here is the monster at this point though. Some could argue that the common pairing of monster and devil with leads name was probably sufficient enough. So that last piece of the puzzle can be filled out by on the cover of the leads Almanac. They use the leads family crest, which prominently featured a y verne, which is a two legged, winged horned dragon, yep. So on both daniel and tightens version of the crest, the legs looked rather long. I saw a few different versions of it. So there's probably the reference to the kangaroo legs there. Okay, and the face is not super well distinguished other than the horns. So remind that, does it remind you of the description of the jersey devil? Yes, it does. So after the feud with franklin died with tighten, the leeds devil actually stayed dormant for you know, that 60 years before someone started making up new lower about it. Hmm. I wonder why because it was a political feud. Yeah, the political, if you didn't need to go any further, that's so funny. Like I never would have thought that like this mythical creature, whatever it had its basis in like in a political feud between Benjamin franklin and ex Quaker. Yeah, that's just the weirdest thing. I I was just kind of surprised that it pulled back to Benjamin franklin. Like someone that, like, most people should remember that name. Like a founding father. Yeah. For some reason I just, you know, had in my head that he probably that like, he probably wasn't that petty, but I guess he was or at least he was having fun with someone who is clearly a little insane. Yeah. Well, yeah, so yeah, it just all boiled down to political theater. So there you have it, all the twists and turns of the most documented case for encrypted, which I also found interesting that because of that huge uh craze in 19 oh nine, the Jersey Devil or the Leeds Devil is the most well documented case of encrypted. Wow, that's surprising. Yeah.
Up Next
Add to playlist
New playlist

Embed

COPY
Embed Options
Create Playlist
Select the Station you want to upload this audio to
Station
0 / 140
0 / 2000
Playlist Icon Image:
(.jpg, .png, min size 500x500px)
Privacy
Subscribers
Your
voice
matters.
Discover & Listen to the world’s largest free collection of audio
Password reset

Enter your email address that you used to register. We'll send you an email with your username and a link to reset your password.



If you still need help, contact Vurbl Support
Password reset sent

You have been sent instructions on resetting you password to the email associated with your account. Please check your email and signing in again.


Back to Sign In
If you still need help, contact Vurbl Support
Your
voice
matters.
Discover & Listen to the world’s largest free collection of audio
Reset password

Please enter your new password below.



If you still need help, contact Vurbl Support
Your voice matters.
Discover & Listen to the world’s largest free collection of audio
Verify Email

Enter your email address that you used to register. We'll send you an email with a link to verify your email.



Cancel
Delete Profile
Are you sure? We will miss you :'(
Delete
Delete Audio
Are you sure?
Delete
Delete Playlist
Are you sure you want to delete this playlist?
Delete
Notifications
You must be signed in to view
your notifications. Please sign in
Edit Snippet
0 / 140
0 / 140

Tag a Station

Type station name to add additional tags
*Station owners will be notified when you tag them
Open this link in the Vurbl Mobile App for the full Vurbl experience.
Open in Vurbl mobile app
Continue to Vurbl website