Urban Legends v.2: New Jersey

Atco Ghost & the Jersey Devil


Kristen Farley, Photographer

Atco Ghost:

In the town of Atco, New Jersey, there’s a story of a young boy who was hit by a car.  In the town of Atco, there is a road that was never finished. It branches off a road that connects with Rt 30. This road runs about two miles before it ends in the Pine Barrens. It was Christmas night and a boy was out playing with a basketball he got as a present when a drunk driver came speeding down the dead end street. He hit the boy and decided to run only to come to the end of the road. The driver was forced to do a u-turn and drive back, passing the body of the boy he had just killed

It’s said that if you wish to see the boy’s ghost, you drive down to the end of the road and make a U-turn; stop and beep your horn then flash your lights three times, then sit in the dark for a bit. You’ll see the figure of a boy begin to cross the street dribbling a basketball, almost in slow motion. It’s also said that if you sit there in the dark with your lights and engine turned off, the ghost will appear to look the car over to see if it’s the same one that killed him.


The Jersey Devil:

Myth Roast - Episode 16: The Devil Went Down To Jersey | Myth Roast | northfulton.com

The Jersey Devil is a creature from  Southern New Jersey folklore that is said to inhabit the Pine Barrens of South Jersey. There are many different descriptions of the creature, but the most common is a bipedal wyvern-like creature with a horse or goat-like head, bat-like wings, horns, hooves, small arms with clawed hands, and a forked tail. It has been reported that the Jersey Devil moves quickly, and often emits a “blood-curdling” scream. Sounds like quite the monster, doesn’t it?

Well, the story supposedly originates with a Pine Barrens resident named Jane Leeds, known by most as Mother Leeds. Legend stated that Mother Leeds had 12 children, and after finding out she was pregnant for the 13th time, she cursed the child in frustration and cried saying that the child would be “the devil”. 

One stormy night in 1735, Mother Leeds was in labor with her friends gathered around her. Despite being born a normal child, her 13th child transformed into a creature with a goat head, bat wings, and forked tail. It growled, screamed and beat everyone up with its tail before heading up the chimney and out into the woods.

There have been several reported sightings of the Jersey Devil since its supposed “birth”. Some even refer to it as the “Leeds Devil”. Others believe that the story is nothing but a myth made up by early english settlers. Regardless of if the story is fact or fiction, I think we can all agree that the Jersey Devil is definitely not a creature we want living in the woods near our houses.