‘Jersey Devil Homecoming’ set for Friday the 13th

William Sprouse, a descendent of the Jersey Devil family, will present the Halloween-season event

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On Friday the 13th, get ready for the “Jersey Devil Homecoming” with a descendent of the family that birthed the state’s most famous monster.

William Sprouse, who is a journalist and historian, will present “Jersey Devil Homecoming”: A Friday the 13th Halloween-season event at 7 p.m., Oct. 13 at Old City Hall, 13 Crosswicks St., in Bordentown.

The Jersey Devil legend starts in 1735 when state colonist Jane Leeds gave birth to a “cursed” 13th child that turned into a winged creature that continues to haunt the state, according to the myth.

Sprouse is a direct descendent of the Leeds family.

A trained historian, he began his research on his family and the devil for his thesis at Yale University. He then used the material to create the book “The Domestic History of the Jersey Devil.”

The wit-spiced account weaves together the facts and fiction that shaped the myth, family lore, interviews with “Jersey Devil experts,” and on the scene reporting from the wilds of New Jersey – including a southern New Jersey WaWa parking lot.

Sprouse’s program will include digital images, a book presentation and signing, and questions from the audience.

The program moderator is Dan Aubrey, a Bordentown-based reporter and a U.S. 1 Newspaper editor who has written on the Jersey Devil.

Adding to the significance of an event about the 13th devil child held on Friday the 13 is the program’s “homecoming” location. 

Bordentown has several links to the Jersey Devil. Prominent city resident and former king Joseph Bonaparte reported encountering it in the woods, the devil visited the city during its infamous 1907 weeklong reign of terror, and one account argues the devil was born in the historic city, according to the myth.

The event is a project of the Old City Hall Restoration Cultural Vision Sub-Committee, a volunteer group that offers an assortment of free and ticketed community events to strengthen the visibility of the late 19th century building that served as the city’s police department, courthouse, and municipal offices from 1888 to 1960.

For more information, go to www.facebook.com/OldCityHallRestoration.

Information on donation request upon admission visit www.facebook.com/OldCityHallRestoration