Dr. Brian Regal will host a Madison Historical Society presentation on “The Secret Life of the New Jersey Devil” on Tuesday, April 24. 

Regal’s lecture will begin at 7:15 p.m. in the Chase Room of the Madison Public Library at 39 Keep St., marking the society's fourth presentation of its 2017-18 program year. 

Light refreshments will be available starting at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

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During his presentation, Dr. Regal will speak about the New Jersey Devil, a popular piece of northeastern folklore. Legend has it that the devil was the demonic offspring of an 18th century character known as Mother Leeds.

Though there is no physical evidence for the creature’s existence or that it its origins are based in some kind of monstrous birth, people still report sightings and try their hands at hunting down the devil to this day. Regal’s latest book, “The Secret History of the Jersey Devil,” is a complete reexamination of the origins of the legend of this supposed demon.

The New Jersey Devil has inspired TV productions and is the mascot of the state hockey team.

Regal is a professor of the history of science, technology and medicine at Kean University. His research focuses on the development of evolution theory and its relationship to politics, culture and religion. He is also a fellow at the Linnaean Society of London and the Kean University Center for History, Politics and Policy.

The Madison Historical Society’s assembles, records and preserves all matters of historical interest about Madison and its residents. Formed in 1922 to preserve the old Bottle Hill Tavern, the society has organized a significant collection of historic documents, maps and photographs over nearly 100 years, which are housed at the Local History Center at the Madison Public Library. 

For more information about the society or membership, call 973-377-0722 ext. 8 or visit its website.

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