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The Well
Satan's Bride

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By Mark Romero


The cross street between Macopin and Wooley.

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The path leading into the woods off of Wooley Road.

In West Milford, just off of Macopin Road, on-tenth of a mile onto Wooley Road there lies a beaten path surrounded entirely by woods. Your journey begins on this ominous path, leading deep into the woods. There is nothing much along the trail until

you reach an old tree with a

Unicursal Hexagram, a symbol that

unifies man with the divine, burnt

into the trunk. Just a little father

along the trail is the main

attraction, an old wooden

structure with a large metal door.

Rusty chains hold the door shut

and a locks hold it in place. If you put your ear against the the structure supposedly you can hear moans from within (some say cries or growls). Although the site

is eerie the legend behind the structure's existence is far more sinister.


A Unicursal Hexagram burnt into the trunk of a tree near the well.

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The structure covering the well.

In the 1930s a handsome, silver-tongued stranger arrived in West Milford. Initially the town took to him and welcomed him with open arms. He met an attractive young woman, Katie Johnson and they began a romantic relationship in secrecy. It was only after the stranger began teaching heresy that many of the residents suspected him of malevolence. They formed a mob and tracked him down to the inn. As the mob entered the building the stranger fled through the back exit, never to return to West Milford. 

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The only known photograph of the stranger (with Katie Johnson).


The residents split up and searched the town for the stranger. The search lasted well into the early morning. Overcome with grief, Mary-Ann Johnson sobbingly confessed to one of the residents that her daughter, Katie, was romantically involved with the stranger and that he was the father of Katie's unborn child which was already the topic of many whispered conversations. The recipient of the confession sought out the mob and relayed Mary-Ann's confession. The mob regrouped and went after Katie Johnson, hoping to find the stranger in her company. By the time the mob reached the Johnson residence Katie had already packed her belongings and was moments away from fleeing West Milford to meet up with the stranger in the next town. The mob ascended on the house, taking Katie into  

custody. Their search of the premises turned up nothing. They questioned Katie about the stranger's whereabouts but it soon became apparent that she was going to tell them anything.


The mob continued their search, ending up deep in the woods, near an old well. Exhausted and frustrated, the mob turned their anger toward Katie, who remained silent over the whereabouts of her lover. The mob came to the decision that they couldn't allow Katie to give birth to an unholy child. They stabbed her directly in the womb as Mary-Ann looked on, ignoring her daughter's pleas. Not leaving anything to chance, the residents dumped her seemingly dead body into the well and covered it with the lid.

Over the next few weeks the residents were haunted by distant screams coming from the well deep in the woods. The screams began at dusk and persisted until dawn. It was during this period that Mary-Ann Johnson, unable to live with herself after betraying her daughter, committed suicide.

The residents built a wooden structure over the well, not only to silence the screams but to keep their transgression hidden from the world. Legend has it that Katie lived just long enough to giver birth to her son, The Jersey Devil, who remains, living in the structure to this very day.

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An artist's rendition of what the Jersey Devil looks like.

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