The Devil’s Rock Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day

Sometimes I take a walk down 5th Avenue to what I consider the far edge of Green-Wood. I like to look at the Jackie Mason bus depot for some reason. And when I’m down there, I always pay a visit to the Devil’s Rock.

I visited a couple of days ago and was pleasantly surprised to see that someone else also dotes on it–someone who really, really wants the Devil’s Rock to have a happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Devils Rock


The Devil’s Rock sits in a little alcove behind the fence at 5th Avenue and 36th Street. The somewhat comma-crazy plaque alongside it reads:

“Legend has it that, near this spot during our Colonial period, an African American named Joost dueled the Devil in a fiddling contest. When Joost triumphed, the Devil, in defeat, stomped his foot on a rock, leaving an impression of a hoof print. By the time of the American Revolution, the rock with the Devil’s Hoof Print had become a local tourist attraction. This rock, recently dug out of Sunset Park’s ground, reminds us of the folktale of the Devil’s Hoof Print.”

Wait, so that isn’t even the original rock? It’s just a rock that reminds you of another rock–a rock you have never even seen?

Devil’s Rock, you are an imposter! But that’s OK, no one rocks St. Patrick’s Day harder than you do, buddy.