An Encounter of The Jersey Devil:

As a native of Cape May County, I’ve had the typical right-of-passage trip to the Pine Barrens, the legendary home of the Jersey Devil. This Jersey girl went to Cape May County Technical High School, which sponsored trips to the Pine Barrens for good grades in certain classes. I was one of the fortunate students to go three times during my four year career at CMCT.

Each time I went on this trip, my canoe was followed by a heavy footed thing. With each step I heard branches snap under its feet (hooves?). Once every ten minutes or so I could hear deep beastly growls that to this very day give me the creeps. Being in a canoe and on a class trip didn't afford me much opportunity to flee in terror, so I stuck it out – for three years. Every year it was the same.

During my sophomore year I was pretty confident about my canoeing skills, so I didn’t look over my shoulder much. I went canoeing with a friend of mine when we came across a bag that had been torn open and gone through. Around it were prints on the ground that looked something like a horse's hoof, only bigger. Then I heard it, the cry that still haunts my dreams: part human, part beast, and full of anger, pregnant with pure hate. I nearly flipped the canoe! We left, leaving whatever it was out there behind – or so I thought.

But it followed us. Every time we stopped or paused, it got closer to the river. We pushed on. Then worse came to worst, as we tipped the canoe. I heard the thing running behind us, and thought for sure we were dead. Then we righted our canoe and got into it as fast as humanly possible. We finally made it out to safety, sun-fried to a crisp, missing all of our valuables and most of our clothes, but never happier to be on shore. We packed up our bus, and left.

As we were leaving, I rested my head on the window and saw a little cottage. I looked at it until the bus was about to pass it and saw a woman. She looked back at me, and I could see her skin was torn and bleeding. After the bus passed, she vanished. Scared me so badly I wouldn't go into the woods for a year.

-Kellie