I know, Hellions, that’s one strange ass title for a blog post, but that’s exactly what it’s all about.
Thanks goes out to an old friend, Brenda B., for sharing this photo and story with me. Somehow, during my research into the Jersey Devil, I missed this! Back in the 60’s in New Jersey, a cow and a deer carcass somehow made it to the top of a telephone pole. Locals attributed it to their friendly neighborhood monster.
Cryptozoologists say the Jersey Devil has kept a very low profile since the early 1900s, but if you go out and talk to the people who live there, you’ll get a completely different opinion. And here’s another shocker – I can’t believe how many folks have first hand Bigfoot encounters in the Pine Barrens. I’ve spoken to quite a few, some of them still visibly upset, even if it happened years ago.
I wonder if this was the Jersey Devil’s idea of a pinata? Maybe she just wanted to throw a party for her horrid offspring.
And speaking of horrid offspring, Pinnacle has discounted all of my books for the month of February. You can snag an ebook of The Montauk Monster for $1.99, The Jersey Devil for 99 cents or Tortures of the Damned for 99 cents. Time to load up those e-readers on the cheap!
What’s the strangest thing ever found on a telephone pole? For me, we threw a Batman figure that had a parachute attached to our phone line. It stayed there for about 10 years, poor Batsy’s color fading with each year.
Over the course of writing The Jersey Devil, the elusive cryptid and I have gotten pretty close. He recently told me, over a cup of what he said was mulled wine, but I suspect it was something far more disquieting, that he wanted to get out and travel the country, if not the world. After over 200 years in the Pine Barrens, it’s time to spread his wings, so to speak.
“There’s just one teensy weensy little problem,” he said to me, tapping his cloven hoof on his chin. “I’m afraid there are too many monster hunters out and about nowadays. You see them bumbling about with their night vision cameras. I fear for my safety as much as my anonymity. The last thing I want is to be featured on some reality paranormal show…or shot!” Shivering, he added, “I don’t know which would be worse.”
Point well taken. We sat against the pygmy pines in the dark of night, contemplating his dilemma. As a cloud obscured the moon and the howl of a nearby Sasquatch got our attention (“Oh, that’s just Larry,” JD said), an idea came to me.
“How would you like to live vicariously through my book?” I asked.
Old JD flicked his tail excitedly. “How so?”
Knowing he’s a big fan of Instagram and Twitter (whereas Bigfoot prefers SnapChat & the Loch Ness Monster is partial to Facebook), I told him that I and my Hellions could take the book wherever we go and post pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #JerseyDevil. That way, he could see the world while in the relative comfort of his forest preserve.
“Oooo, I like that. Can you take me to a cemetery first? I’m so tired of the ones around here. It’s so…so…dead out here in the Barrens.”
The next day, I did just that, taking the book to the oldest cemetery in my city.
He wrote me back immediately on Instagram. “Love it! So nice to see new headstones. Where to next?”
Indeed. Where to next?
That’s where you come in. Help old JD out and tote your copy of The Jersey Devil with you when you’re out and about, on vacation, even in the house puttering around. Post your pic on Instagram using #jerserydevil and @huntershea2017 or Twitter using #JerseyDevil and @huntershea1 so the beast and I can collect and enjoy this little travelogue.
We’ll pick people at random every week to receive free books from the Hunter Shea library!
It’s the holiday season. Be kind to cryptids. And have fun doing it. It will be interesting to see where The Jersey Devil ends up. Plus, it’s always a smart idea to keep a monster happy. You wouldn’t want an angry Jersey Devil tapping on your window late at night, would you? Don’t end up the main ingredient in his ‘mulled wine’. Just saying.
Howdy Hellions, just wanted to let you all know there’s a fun little giveaway running over at Night Owl Reviews where you can win some cold, hard Amazon cash. It’s all to spread the word about The Jersey Devil. The giveaway runs until the end of September.
If you’ve read the book, please leave a brief review on Amazon. If you want to pick up a copy of the book, please buy it through the Amazon link in my bookstore. Both help a lot and keep me writing day and night to give you nightmares or make the little monster in you giggle just a tad. And thank you to everyone who has already gone to the deep corners of the Pine Barrens with me.
Just click the image below to enter the giveaway. Good luck! Hope a Hellion wins.
One year before the runaway hit, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (and now we know there’s a new one coming soon), the film that would usher in a whole new horror filmmaking subgenre – found footage – there was a chilling mockumentary called THE LAST BROADCAST. The quality may not have been as good as Blair Witch, but I think that’s what made it all the more chilling. Why didn’t it hit it big? It all came down to that new fangled thing, the internet. In 1999, The creators of Blair Witch used the power of internet viral marketing before it was even called viral marketing. In 1998, THE LAST BROADCAST didn’t have that same hype, with people assuming the film was real before it even came out. The producers had a web presence, but they weren’t quite as savvy. It came and went, largely ignored.
Which is sad, because in some ways, THE LAST BROADCAST is even scarier. When you watch it, you feel like you’re viewing something that shouldn’t be seen. I’m not going to say it’s the bees knees, but for one of the first entries in found footage, it’s up there with The Poughkeepsie Tapes (which can give you a case of the everlasting goosebumps).
Here’s my favorite part of THE LAST BROADCAST. In it, two guys with a local cable access show set off into New Jersey’s Pine Barrens to search for The Jersey Devil. Sign me up. I’ve been to the Barrens. Even without a legendary creature, the place is spooky as hell.
Check out the trailer :
I first saw the entire movie on YouTube, but it’s since been taken down. However, you can now grab a copy at The Last Broadcast website.
Now, remember, this is a low budget flick. Making the hosts some dudes with a cable access show was the perfect framework to set expectations in terms of film and production quality. It’s done that way on purpose, but also allows the viewer to make some concessions. Don’t expect any crazy creature effects. This is all about atmosphere and mystery.
If you’re a horror and cryptid completist like me, I strongly urge you to check it out. And I triple dog dare you to venture out into the Pine Barrens at night.