Hello everyone and welcome to the deep rooted pine barrens of the South Shores... My name is Kiki, and this is exactly how it happened.
My friends and I have a fascination with the supernatural (preternatural, time travel, folklore, urban legends, oddities, superstitions... the list goes on). One day out of sheer boredom the idea of an adventure was spontaneously created. Mia a friend of mine turns to me, her eyes widen with sudden realization and her mouth utters two distinct, and intriguing words: "Satan's Chapel." I smile and continue sipping hot chocolate as I gaze distantly at the rolling tide. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" she whispers, her stare unbroken. "Perhaps." I run my frozen finger around the opening of the mug. "This truly could be an amazing adventure." we turn toward each other and smile as if telepathically agreeing on leaving the dunes. As we walk toward her car, I notice her visage morphing to slight sadness. "What is it?" I ask walking quickly toward her. "Well Satan's Chapel is pretty far I don't want to put the mileage on my car not to mention the gas consumption." "let's go to the library research some other sites and see what's closer we can always explore something else."We went to the library and researched until our eyes bled, then decided on Leeds House, the birthplace of the 13th child. Long ago (mood enhancing drums commence in the distance) a woman by the name of Leeds had 12 children and not enough money to feed 3 of them. When she once again became pregnant she cursed the 13th child saying: "may this 13th baby be a devil!" needless to say the moment it was born it sprouted wings, cloven hooves, the head of a horse and the body of a serpent. It flew out of the house and began its reign as the Jersey Devil wreaking havoc throughout the Pine barrens.
Today's mission was to find the house where this entire incident took place. Some say the baby had an extended tail bone and slight handicaps, and that the story is a hoax. But the locals know the tales, this business of hoaxes is highly unlikely.We printed a map along with non marked guidelines on how to find the house (so many paces east of the crook on rte. 451 yada yada yards into the woods). We set off in search of the Jersey Devil.After a long car ride, and many yoohoo's later we came to a town known as Smithville. Smithville is quaint in its existence, had cobblestone streets, chickens running entirely free, and a plethora of strange shops and boutiques. After almost hitting 2 chickens and an elderly gentlemen, we found ourselves parked in front of a psychic shop. "A psychic should know the location of the house." said Mia. "alright!".
We got out of the car and stepped wearily into the incense bathed threshold. (neither of us had ever been to a psychic) "greetings and be seated."
"no that's ok, we just want directions."
"yes..were from the nearby College and we are doing a local history project. could you tell us the location of the Leeds House?" (were ghastly good liars)
"the Leeds House eh?"
"yes do you know it?"
"I do not know but I can tell you who does."
"Yes you must seek out a man called Dougie... he works on the other side of town in a store called 'Army Relics'...he can help you."
"Thanks any help is appreciated."We turned to exit but I felt bad for encroaching on her time and agreed to do a reading (quite apparently I have a long life and will never be married whew!) we traversed the town and finally came to the Army Relics shop but on the way we approached a large wall of vines peppered with grapes so we ate them, and were baffled by their presence (we later realized it was the walls to a vineyard). As we entered the shop we felt intimidation passing rows upon rows of various gun models, and bayonets. We reached the counter and there stood a man of average stature with a long ponytail, large muscles, and a corpulent abdomen. Behind him loomed a wall of knives ranging from butterflies to switch blades.
"Are you the man they call Doug?"
a shifty eyed Doug tensed, and examined the both of us.
"The psychic sent us." I quickly followed that sentence with the bit about being from the nearby college.
"oh Patty? she's a good woman."
Doug or Dougie if you will leaned toward us from over the counter and began to recant the age old tale of the 13th child. He told us that he and his buddies used to go drinking back there and attempt conjuring up the devil. His stories were fascinating and before we knew it the sky had gone dark and the moon shone over the small and eerie town. He left us with better directions, and a hearty "your welcome back anytime!" the new information provided involved more detailed steps in finding the foundation, and the location of Batstow Village, where the movie "13th child" was filmed.We went in search of Batstow first (it seemed easier at the time) it was now 5:30pm and the darkness had just begun.
After getting lost copious amounts of times we ended up in the middle of Batstow State Forest with our car stuck in the mud. Creeped out beyond imagination we had to get out of the car and push. The ominous forest leered with noises encompassing both the animal and supernatural realms. After freeing the car we decided to give up on the village and find what we came for originally. It was now 8:00pm and the darkness has turned to a purplish black converting all the world to shadows.
Trying to find the "crook" in the road the car randomly shut off, and we were unable to restart it. 5 minutes and 8 heavy breaths later, the car started and we drove for a while and realized the site was behind us somewhere when we found it again. It was the exact place the car had stopped earlier (coincidence? I think not!). We exit the car and make our first attempts to enter the thick underbrush. Heavy breathing and low growling sounds force me to toss the flashlight and get back into the car where Mia was already sitting and ready to leave. We agreed to go at a later date when the sun was still out.
As we started the car a light shone in the rearview mirror so we decided to wait for it to pass (the road we were on was a straight road with no turns of any sort). I started getting creepy vibes from the woods and was growing impatient. We waited what seemed like an eternity for the car to pass only to realize there was no other car on the road. Thoroughly weirded out we made our way back to Smithville (we knew how to get home form there). By that time all the shops had closed and there in the courtyard was Dougie, Patty the psychic, and an elderly man picnicking. They invited us to have BBQ shrimp with them. We ate while hearing stories of their youth, eventually parting.I have yet to go back to Smithville or venture to the depths of the Pine Barrens. Mia moved away, and I ponder what adventures I miss out on. (adventuring is difficult when you don't own a car).
That is my story.
Submitted by Kiki, Jersey, USA