At Buzzkill, we try to cover all of the origin theories that relate to the Jersey Devil. Some are more out on a limb than others. There is one story, that seems to be the most corroborated theory among the local population.
"Mother Leeds", or Deborah Leeds supposedly birthed the creature. Many think that Mother Leeds was a witch, and that she cursed her 13th child causing it to become a monster.
To be more specific, according to the story, the child was born a human, but it transformed into the infamous flying creature after birth, killing a midwife before escaping the house by flying up the chimney. Witnesses claimed to have spotted the creature flying nearby, before it disappeared.
There are minor details that change depending on who you talk to; like whether or not the Jersey Devil was created by the devil Lucifer. The “Mother Leeds” origin story goes back 300 years. Since then, the Jersey Devil legend has taken quite a ride.
NJ Locals: Scared in Jersey is hosting “The Legend of the Jersey Devil” exhibition at the PNC Bank Art Center beginning October 5th. Anyone interested in the Jersey Devil legend should check it out, unless you are too scared.