Now nearing completion is the third entry in the “Crypto Legends” model kit series of mystery creatures, the Jersey Devil. A native to the woodland Pine Barrens of south eastern New Jersey since the early 1700’s, this uniquely American beast is said to be unlike any other animal ever witnessed. Indeed as described over the past few centuries it more closely resembles an animal steeped in mythological legend than a biological species of a similar living creature or something from the fossil record of extinct life.
So what exactly is the Jersey Devil? Its safe to say that no one really knows for sure but there are many people who have encountered this “thing” and maintain that it is not something they would ever want to meet again! Some say it is a bad omen to sight the creature and that disasters of all kinds follow shortly after an encounter, but that can be said of anything if one makes a strong enough case. Superstition and occult beliefs are the roots to the legend of the Jersey Devil from the beginning with one Mother Leeds blamed for giving it birth.
The story is an old one but round the year 1735, Mrs. Leeds the mother of twelve children was in the act of giving birth to her thirteenth when she cried out, “l tire of these children…let the devil take this one!” What followed this curse was the newborn, a healthy normal boy, suddenly transforming into a terrifying creature associated with a denizen from the pits of Hell. No longer human, Mother Leeds’ 13th Child was an abomination, a creature with an elongated body and tail, a distorted horse-like head with horns, a pair of large bat wings, cleft hoofs at the ends of kangaroo-like legs and a body covered in scaly patterns and patches of dark fur. There are variations to the descriptions and the overall size of the beast but the main thing is that people claim to have seen a monster!
Of course many explanations as to what the Jersey Devil might be involve the mistaken identity of local wildlife such as the Whooping Crane, an Owl and even a Black Bear! Many say its just folklore carried down over the years to scare the kiddies and confuse the ignorant. Not exactly a scientific explanation is it? Whatever it is, it can be labeled an unknown species and falls firmly into the ranks of Cryptozoology and will soon be a most welcome addition to the growing “Crypto Legends” line.
In the upcoming weeks the sculpture will be completed at which time I will post extensive photos prior to it being prepared for kit production. My planned release is for the upcoming JerseyFest Model Kit & Statue Fair September 13-15, 2013. Sorta fitting to premier the Jersey Devil on Sept. 13th (Friday), in the year 2013 for Mother Leeds’ 13th Child…and in New Jersey no less!
Please stop back and visit again for updates on this and other additions to the “Crypto Legends” series.