You probably know the Leeds Devil by another name, one he was given long after his birth: the Jersey Devil. Like most folktales, there are no two identical tellings of his origin story, but its main (human) character is invariably Mother Leeds, the destitute, outcast woman who became pregnant with an unwanted 13th child and cursed the baby. In 1735, on what one has to imagine was a dark and stormy night, she gave birth to a healthy, normal boy, who quickly transformed into an ungodly monster that flew up the chimney and out into the deep, desolate forests of the Pine Barrens.
It's in that densely wooded region of South Jersey -- more than 1 million acres of which is designated as the Pinelands National Reserve -- that the Leeds Devil has lurked ever since. It's generally agreed that he has wings, hooves, horns, and a tail, but beyond that, his description varies, an organic Frankenstein's monster of parts borrowed from a kangaroo, a goat, an alligator, a horse, a crane, a lizard, a deer, a bat, or a dog (sometimes a German Shepherd, sometimes a collie).