State’s Urban Legends: New Jersey

First, Happy Birthday, America! New Jersey was one of the original thirteen colonies that pulled off Brexit 1776 (sorry British friends). It also has some pretty revolutionary urban legends. Let’s check them out!

Ghost Boy of Clinton Road

There is a bridge in Passaic County in the northern part of the state and it has a unique legend lurking about. Whereas most ghosts and goblins are looking to scare the hell out of you, or worse, this one is kind of nice.

New Jersey has a helpful boy ghost.

Is Casper the Friendly Ghost a Jersey boy?

There’s a young boy who will return a coin dropped into the water below to the person who dropped it within a day. Local teens are said to go out onto the bridge and drop a coin as part of a rite of passage.

An honest, helpful ghost? Who’d have thought it? I wonder if his name is Casper…?

The Watcher

In 2015, a family shelled out a cool million for a house in Westfield, New Jersey. Not long after they moved in they started receiving letters from someone calling himself “The Watcher”. The Watcher reported it was his duty to “watch” the house.

Some of the Watcher’s requests were…. well, let’s say strange. Wanting the house to be filled with “young blood” and asking which family member had a specific bedroom inside the house.

The Watcher’s identity has never been discovered and authorities have been trying to determine who is sending these missives and why. All the more reason to thorough check out the history of a house before you buy it.

The Jersey Devil

The legend of the Jersey Devil dates back to the 18th Century. It seems Old Mother Leeds became pregnant with her 13th child. (As an aside. After the fifth or sixth child, play canatsa or chess or something, people).

New Jersey Devils

The NHL’s New Jersey Devils are named after an urban legend.

Back to Mother Leeds. When she became aware of Number 13’s pending arrival she uttered these fateful words: “Let this one be the devil.”

The child was delivered. As it grew up it developed hooves, wings, horns, and a tail. In the Pine Barrens area of New Jersey they say you can still spot that little devil romping about. Residents of the state, including its civic leaders, have fully embraced this devilish legend.

And now you know why the National Hockey League team that plays its home games in the state are called: The New Jersey Devils.

Have a safely scary and very Happy Holiday everybody!


About the author

Richard Paolinelli