Name: The Jersey Devil
Other Names: The Leeds Devil
First Appearance: Marvel Knights 4 #5 (June 2004): "The Pine Barrens: Part 1"
Number of Appearances: 1
Enemy of: James Shroud
Note: urban legend based on actual alien Visitors
Aliens known only as "the Visitors" inhabited the forested Pine Barrens of New Jersey, apparently for many years. They were glimpsed or encountered by only a few people, but their presence gave rise to an urban legend about a creature known as the "Jersey Devil."
When they were going camping it the Pine Barrens, Ben Grimm told Franklin Richards and young friends the legend of the Jersey Devil. It was never entirely clear to what extant Ben Grimm's story was something he had heard or read somewhere versus something he made up himself.
The story Ben Grimm told was of a rural farming woman named Betsy Shroud, who lived in the Pine Barrens in the 1700s. She already had twelve children and was very weary. When she found out she was pregnant with her thirteenth child, she said (or prayed): "I pray God this one's born a devil and puts me out of my misery!"
Ben Grimm explained that with those words she cursed her child. When the baby was born, it appeared to be a demon. Betsy Shroud's husband was so shocked at the appearance of the baby that he immediately ran to the river and cast the infant into the waters to drown it. But the baby didn't drown. It turned the waters red (apparently the water still has a reddish tint to this day) and grew to become a vicious demon known as the Jersey Devil.
Ben Grimm's tale was illustrated by a panel showing the Jersey Devil. This may have been in his imagination, or a representation of who people perceived the Jersey Devil. It could not be the real "Jersey Devil," because the Jersey Devil is not real. The aliens known as the Visitors are real, however. When the Fantastic Four actually encountered them, it was clear that the Jersey Devil looked very similar (but not identical) to the Visitors.
Later, Susan Storm Richards met and talked to Mr. Williams, a Pine Barrens local. He explained that the locals - the "Pineys" - made up the legend of the Jersey Devil in order to scare people away from the area and explain why so many people went missing. The Pineys actually had an arrangement with the alien Visitors. They allowed the Visitors to come there to hunt, and the Visitors kept the rest of civilization away.
Suggested links for further research about this character and the character's religious affiliation: