MonsterQuest: Devils in New Jersey
Airs on Wednesday February 25 09:00 PM

Devils in New Jersey," an original television documentary on the Jersey Devil, will premiere nationwide on the History Channel Series MonsterQuest at 9:00pm on Wednesday February 25. The show features on-camera interviews with Folklorist Angus Kress Gillespie of the  American Studies Department at Rutgers.

For over 250 years a frightening winged beast has been menacing the residents of New Jersey. The Jersey Devil is described as a winged half-bird half-horse, with hoofed feet and reptilian tail and a penetrating scream that echoes through the forests of New Jersey's Pine Barrens. During one phenomenal week, over a thousand individuals were terrorized: a trolley car was attacked, schools were closed and panic gripped the area. Wildlife experts claim however, that misidentification with a known animal may be responsible for the encounters, but recent witnesses who see the beast are scared for their lives--and say the scientific evidence will prove there is a monster.  MonsterQuest launches an unprecedented expedition for the Jersey Devil and sends sixty men into the forbidding forest while detectives meet the witnesses to discover the truth behind the Jersey Devil.

American Studies Department
131 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1414
Rutgers—The State University
Telephone:      732-932-9174
Fax:     732-932-1169
Email: angusgi@rci.rutgers.edu

Professor Angus Kress Gillespie is a folklorist who has studied myths, legends, tales, and ballads found in the United States.  His courses in folklore range from historic figures such as Buffalo Bill, Casey Jones, Calamity Jane, and Molly Pitcher to contemporary issues such as urban legends and conspiracy theories.   From time to time, Gillespie offers courses in weird folklore where he discusses creatures such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Jersey Devil.   His courses in folklife consider physical folklore including architecture, art, craft, cookery, cattle ranching, seafaring, and fence construction. 

Gillespie went to high school in the rural central piedmont region of Virginia, not far from the Wilderness Battlefield, where Generals Lee and Grant clashed in May of 1864.  It is an area with rolling landscapes and spectacular views of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.  Here he acquired a taste for both country music and black gospel.  He graduated from Yale in 1964 with a major in American Studies.  He received his Ph.D. in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975.  His dissertation, a biography of George Korson, was later published as Folklorist of the Coal Fields by Penn State Press in 1980.



(C) 2004 Angus Kress Gillespie, all rights reserved. Site created and maintained by Steve Kinney