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5/25/2005  

New Jersey Folklore

New Jersey is brimming with folktales! Stories of ghosts, pirates, war heros, and villians abound. Below are several of my favorite New Jersey tales.


The Birth of the Jersey Devil
A storm was raging that night in 1735, when Mother Leeds was brought to bed in child birth. The room was full of woman folk gathered to help her, more out of curiosity than good will. They had all heard the rumors that Mother Leeds was involved in witchcraft, and had sworn she would give birth to a devil.

The Ghosts of Ringwood Manor
Ringwood Manor you say? A lovely old house. But no place, my child, to go on a dark night with no moon.

On Washington Rock
The dream was so vivid, she didn't realize at first that it was a dream. The party was crowded, the guests cheerful, the food delicious. Then a rumor began to circulate among the guests. The Devil was coming to the party. The Devil was on the way.

"The Matawan Man-Eater" - The story of the incredible 1916 shark attacks in the small and winding Matawan Creek. The film "Jaws" was reportedly based on this attack.

"The East Orange Bathtub Mystery" - The story of the unexplained death of a young and beautiful woman in the early 1900's, and the spectacular trial that followed.

"Joe Mulliner - The Robin Hood of the Pine Barrens" - The tale of the infamous Tory outlaw of South Jersey during the Revolutionary War, Joe Mulliner. Flamboyant and dashing, his life was short, but his legend lives on.


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