Sunday, August 4, 2013
Roots Of Horror: The Jersey Devil - The Monster Of The Pine Barrens
These days when you think of New Jersey you probably think of some pretty horrifying images: spray tans, meatheads, awful accents and vocabulary… but believe it or not, a legendary creature far more frightening is said to inhabit the Pine Barrens of the Garden State.
The Pine Barrens are one million acres of thick forest that stretch across seven counties of New Jersey. The region is protected by the state and great care is taken in keeping the region as natural and undisturbed as possible. Almost half of it is public property and is divided into various parks where hiking and camping is available. However, there is something you should be warned about before you decide to spend the night under the canopy of the Pines…
This diabolical beast has been popular with paranormal investigation reality TV shows; the teams of MonsterQuest, Paranormal State, The Lost Tapes, and Destination Truth have all sought after the Jersey Devil, unsuccessfully. It does make for a creepy concept though, a small group of brave (and naïve) people stumbling around the forest with nothing but flashlights and cameras.
Another film that directly references this myth is the 2012 flick, The Barrens. It stars Stephen Moyer (the one and only Bill Compton) as Richard, who decides to take his family on a camping trip to—well, you know. There are plenty of reasons for Richard to be stressed; the disappearance of the family dog, the tension between his teenager daughter and his new wife, and now, the growing number of mutilated bodies found in the woods. As Richard’s fear builds and his sanity wanes, he can’t help recalling the legends of that grotesque beast that is said to inhabit the very forest he is lost in.
As there is really no sure way to prove the Jersey Devil does not exist, naturally many people believe that it is, in fact, real. “The Devil Hunters” are one such group that are confident in the creature’s existence. They have appeared on several TV shows and have a pretty in-depth website if you are interested in checking it out. You can find countless stories of people’s alleged experiences with the Devil online. Each vary a bit, some are pretty freakin’ creepy, but one signature quirk of the Jersey Devil is a loud, "blood-curdling scream" that it likes to let ring out through the forest.