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Positively Jersey: The legend of the Jersey Devil lives on

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LEEDS POINT -

The story of the Jersey Devil has been around for many years, but few people know that it's based on a South Jersey family with some descendants who still live in New Jersey today.

When people go searching for the Jersey Devil, they come to Leeds Point, the spot in Atlantic County where legend has it, Mother Leeds gave birth to a winged cloven hoofed creature in 1735.

Bill Sprouse, a direct descendant of Mother Leeds, wrote the book "Domestic Life of the New Jersey Devil." In the process of writing, he studied property records, poking at holes in the ground, trying to find the old Leeds house.

But because the story isn't real and is just a legend, he spent even more time a Jersey staples like Wawa, asking residents what they know about the story. Sprouse says he has met a surprising amount of people who say they've either seen or believe in the Jersey Devil.

The book retraces Sprouse's personal ties to the legend through stories of his grandmother. He also examines the story roots in a religious schism among Quakers in the 1700s.

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