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Legends & Lore of Somerset County: Knitting Betty, the Great Swamp Devil and More Tales from Central New Jersey

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Many have heard the legend of the Jersey Devil of the Pine Barrens, but what about his relative in Somerset County? The Great Swamp Devil was captured by an American Patriot, terrorized a Victorian family and was rediscovered by Depression-era adventurers. Clearly, Somerset County has a rich oral tradition filled with a folklore all its own. An encounter with the Dead River Wit Many have heard the legend of the Jersey Devil of the Pine Barrens, but what about his relative in Somerset County? The Great Swamp Devil was captured by an American Patriot, terrorized a Victorian family and was rediscovered by Depression-era adventurers. Clearly, Somerset County has a rich oral tradition filled with a folklore all its own. An encounter with the Dead River Witch of Liberty Corner is linked with the unsolved disappearance of a nine-year-old girl. Alleged Revolutionary War spy John Honeyman never stopped telling tall tales about himself, even after his death. The Pluckemin orbs—more than six thousand years old—frightened Native Americans, intrigued artists and still defy explanation. Discover these and other legends from Somerset County, New Jersey.


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Many have heard the legend of the Jersey Devil of the Pine Barrens, but what about his relative in Somerset County? The Great Swamp Devil was captured by an American Patriot, terrorized a Victorian family and was rediscovered by Depression-era adventurers. Clearly, Somerset County has a rich oral tradition filled with a folklore all its own. An encounter with the Dead River Wit Many have heard the legend of the Jersey Devil of the Pine Barrens, but what about his relative in Somerset County? The Great Swamp Devil was captured by an American Patriot, terrorized a Victorian family and was rediscovered by Depression-era adventurers. Clearly, Somerset County has a rich oral tradition filled with a folklore all its own. An encounter with the Dead River Witch of Liberty Corner is linked with the unsolved disappearance of a nine-year-old girl. Alleged Revolutionary War spy John Honeyman never stopped telling tall tales about himself, even after his death. The Pluckemin orbs—more than six thousand years old—frightened Native Americans, intrigued artists and still defy explanation. Discover these and other legends from Somerset County, New Jersey.

26 review for Legends & Lore of Somerset County: Knitting Betty, the Great Swamp Devil and More Tales from Central New Jersey

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tracy T.

    I saw an advertisement for this collection in the latest Weird NJ and thought "hey I grew up and still live in Somerset County! Let me one-click on Amazon!" $10 and 30 seconds later I was reading about stories I grew up with and ones I've never heard of. I really enjoyed this collection of stories and encounters of ghosts, monsters, and phenomenon that exist in my sleepy little part of the world. I am now rightfully terrified of the Great Swamp Devil, every time I go outside at night I will look I saw an advertisement for this collection in the latest Weird NJ and thought "hey I grew up and still live in Somerset County! Let me one-click on Amazon!" $10 and 30 seconds later I was reading about stories I grew up with and ones I've never heard of. I really enjoyed this collection of stories and encounters of ghosts, monsters, and phenomenon that exist in my sleepy little part of the world. I am now rightfully terrified of the Great Swamp Devil, every time I go outside at night I will look over Schley Mountain to see if I can see the orbs, and I will definitely try to make a trip to the Old Bernardsville Library on my lunch break to see if I can see the ghost of Phyllis Parker. I am also very glad that the Devil's Tree was not mentioned in this book. Its way overdone.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Steve Wiggins

    Local history is, to me, always fascinating. Ghost stories, traditionally associated with winter, are also a good source of entertainment. I found Haynes' accounts great fun, if a little credulous. He did make me wonder what's out there in my backyard, and his book has already sent me on a little road trip to find a couple of the local spots he mentions. Well worth the time to read. Further thoughts may be found on my blog: Sects and Violence in the Ancient World. Local history is, to me, always fascinating. Ghost stories, traditionally associated with winter, are also a good source of entertainment. I found Haynes' accounts great fun, if a little credulous. He did make me wonder what's out there in my backyard, and his book has already sent me on a little road trip to find a couple of the local spots he mentions. Well worth the time to read. Further thoughts may be found on my blog: Sects and Violence in the Ancient World.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mee

  4. 4 out of 5

    Justine

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christopher T Galvez

  6. 5 out of 5

    Patrizia Balestra

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  8. 4 out of 5

    Charles J. Vinicombe

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Van Beveren

  10. 5 out of 5

    Leigh

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Kennedy

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amelia Thoms

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andy

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sue Kauffman

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa Pallatta

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Khaliff

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  20. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

  21. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

  22. 5 out of 5

    Renée Decker

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marymargrt

  24. 5 out of 5

    C.E.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jill

  26. 4 out of 5

    David johnson

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