Another variation of the story of the Jersey Devil's creator is that it was the direct result of a curse from
a gypsy. This variation states that Mrs. Leeds/Shourds had denied food to a starving gypsy, who then placed a
curse on the pregnant woman. Still another variation says that Mrs. Leeds/Shourds could have been involved in
witchcraft (there are even reports of a witch trial held around this time period in Mt. Holly, NJ). It is also
believed that the Jersey Devil's mother could have been cursed by locals because she fell in love with a British
soldier, and because of the time period (before revolutionary war) was shunned.
There are also several variations on the events of the Jersey Devil's birth. Some say that the creature was
born as a devil and never resembled a human. Other variations also say that before the Jersey Devil flew off
into the Pine Barrens, it killed and ate all people present in the cabin. It has also been said that (assuming
it did not kill all in the room) the Jersey Devil would return to its home for years and sit perched on a
fence. After a while, Mrs. Leeds/Shourds, not knowing what to do with her deformed child, "shooed" it away,
and it never returned.
The other variations of the legend involve the date and location of the birth. Instead of 1735, it has been
dated as 1778, 1850, 1855, 1857, 1859, 1873, and 1880 (setting it later in time would disqualify several sightings
so 1735 is most widely accepted). The birthplace also differs. Besides the commonly accepted Leeds Point, it has
been placed in Estellville, Pleasantville, and Burlington. Leeds Point has remained the most popular birthplace
due to the fact that it has a physical supposed birth house out in the middle of the woods. (We've seen it,
It is believed that the Jersey Devil may have had a name. Smith J. Leeds is the supposed name of the baby that
became the beast. While on an excursion to Leeds Point, I found a gravesite with the name of Smith J. Leeds,
belonging to someone who had died within two years of birth. The rumor of the name has never been proven.
Regardless of which legend is believed, all versions have a common result- a winged creature set free to roam
the Pine Barrens for the rest of its lifetime. Immediately, the creature decided to do what every baby does,
regardless of its species- it decided to explore its surroundings and make itself known.