Monday, October 11, 2010

What is there to like about Jersey

I was catching up with an old friend that I haven't spoken to in a while, and talking with my friend made me remember some things that I liked about living in South Jersey.

Like the Jersey Devil....Jersey has some pretty awesome folk tales, the best being the story of the Jersey devil. My kids learned Jersey Devil lore in school, how cool is that? My friend from the Philly Sketch Club, Rik Viola, did the original painting for the really neat Jersey Devil poster hanging in my studio. My son and his friends, being the typical Jersey teenagers, would go on Jersey Devil road trips (of course I didn't find out until after....) into the Pine Barrens, looking for the Jersey son claims that he and his two identical twin friends, saw the Jersey Devil near their old house in Berlin neighbors had a group that they called Stubums, and I used to participate in the group activities like barbecues and Phillies games...they would host overnight camp outs in the Pine Barrens for Jersey Devil hunts. I didn't go on those, that was sort of tempting fate. I never asked if they saw anything. There's just some things you'd rather not know.

There are parts of South Jersey where you can drive down a lonely road for quite a ways a not see one house, and on a dark autumn evening, you're thinking to yourself, "if I break down, I'm screwed." With the Jersey Devil flying around, breaking down would not be a good thing.....

Go to Fortescue. Look for it on a map. Try driving out there. Boy, is that a remote place, that's a place that you think, "If these people out here have a medical emergency, they have a LONG way to go for help!" Imagine that on cold moonless night....yikes.

The legendary "Blue Hole." Heard about the place, wanted to go, haven't been there yet. Folks I worked with knew exactly where it was and how to get there. No one swims there, they say the Jersey Devil likes the water there. I'll visit in the summer during the day.

Then there is a road in Atco where drivers claim to see a ghostly lady walking on the road at night....of course my son had to check that one out....

Down in that area past Atco, is a town called Tabernacle, located in an awesome woodsy area....spooky and just ripe for ghost stories...we used to go apple picking and raspberry picking over there. Don't wanna be there on the roads at night....might run into that ghostly lady on the way back............that place is eerie even when we played soccer games there during the day. It's in Burlington County, one of the haunts of the Jersey Devil.

There's some great haunted houses/farms, like Creamy Acres, that are in the perfect area to promote the mystique of Halloween. Better gas up before going, no Super WAWA in that area.

Jersey is a happening place in the summer, folks traveling to the Jersey Shore and it bustles with people in the summer, the roads heavy with people heading back and forth, quiet roads in the winter are busy in the summer, people making stops at diners and produce stands on the way... but once summer is gone, the only thing left is gamblers on the AC Expressway heading down to see if they can make it big in Atlantic City or heading back to Philly with empty pockets, with those signs on the Expressway that say "STAY AWAKE" STAY ALIVE" to remind you that you are still in Jersey; don't fall asleep until you reach the Philly side of the Walt Whitman Bridge, the Jersey Devil doesn't seem to cross the Delaware... the side roads are quiet and almost remote at night, just ripe for the spooky story, it would be best if you aren't a local, to stick to the Expressway.... those dark frosty nights are the times that the Jersey Devil seems to like best and are the best time to go Jersey Devil hunting, or get out of South Jersey while you still can.

Who knows, he may introduce himself.


  1. I enjoyed reading this. South Jersey sounds like a great place to visit on Halloween.

  2. I've read about the Pine Barrens, but know little else about New Jersey. It seems to get lost in the shadow of New York, at least for those of us who live out west, and that is a shame. It sounds as though the Jersey Devil will be out and about on Halloween and scaring young and old alike. Very interesting post.


  3. i learned something new tonight! i never knew there was a jersey devil!

  4. Glad you all enjoyed it. It was a fun place to raise kids, too.


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