The Pine Rat’s Revenge

The faces of Harry Leeds, Scariest Places on Earth, Weird N.J., Animal X, Paranormal State

The faces of Harry Leeds, Scariest Places on Earth, Weird N.J., Animal X, Paranormal State

In assembling my splendid book — which one reviewer called, “Scattered unclear writing”…“Mr. Sprouse never truly does get to his point”) — I was reminded of certain fundamental division in the cultural life of our great republic, a divide so obvious and elemental that I almost dare not speak its name, a sort of enormous cultural bifurcation that is reflected across the spectrum of American experience — in politics, in education, in entertainment and in my own particular field of journalism. Such is the mystery and importance of the ECB that I have been unable to stop thinking about, and unable to write about it either. But maybe today’s the day. Continue reading

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Jersey Devil Studies Vol. I: The X-Files

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In which Chris Carter channels the Kallikaks

The X-Files: “The Jersey Devil”
Air Date: October 8, 1993
Written by Chris Carter; directed by Joe Napolitano

Based on the evidence of my Twitter feed, Episode Five, Season One of The X-Files(“The Jersey Devil”) is beloved by neither fans of the classic 90s TV series nor fans of the cryptid. X-Files fans see it as a letdown after the promising four episodes that started the series. Chris Carter, for all his conceptual talent, maybe wasn’t a great screenwriter. Likewise Jersey Devil fans — particularly those who think this smiling fellow is photo realism and not a newspaper editor’s joke — object to the Jersey Devil’s depiction as a kind of feral hominid, particularly in an infamous drawing of the creature that looks like it was done by a five-year old. Continue reading

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‘Don’t Call me a Skeptic’

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Reporter Bill Sprouse recently published his first book, a history of the Jersey Devil and of his distant family connection to the famous folk story of the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

He sat down with our own Henry C., a house cat, to talk about Wawas, his grandmother, self-publishing, the Atlantic City casino bus and the ‘C-List cryptid’ to which he may be distantly related.

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Domestic Life of the Jersey Devil

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Contact

You can contact the author on Twitter – @sprouserian– on Facebook and by email.

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The Domestic Life of the Jersey Devil – preliminary cover

The Domestic Life of the New Jersey Devil - preliminary cover

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