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Devil's Footprints in Devon

Devil's Footprints in Devon
where: 
Devon, England
when: 
1855
The Story: 

It was the 9th of February 1855 when the Devil’s Footprints first appeared. The townspeople in Country Devon, England woke up that morning to find thousands of mysterious tracks in the snow.

The tracks resembled footprints left by a cloven hoof and they extended through an area that covered several towns.

The mysterious footprints were found to go up the sides of walls, into gardens, onto roofs, up and down the sides of fences, where it was impossible for any person or animal to go. Some of the tracks just came to a stop in the middle of nowhere as if their owner had suddenly vanished.

Some stopped abruptly and continued after a large break and others stopped at high walls, only to continue on the other side, leaving the snow on top of the wall untouched. A set of footprints even went across the river Exe, continuing on the other side as if whoever or whatever had left them had passed straight across the water.

A feeling of deep unease spread through the people who lived in the area and many believed that the footprints could only have been made by the devil himself.

There were also rumours about sightings of a “devil-like figure” in the Devon area during the scare. Many townspeople armed themselves and attempted to track down the beast responsible, without success.

There were those who refused to believe that the footprints had been made by the devil. They came up with their own theories. Some said the townspeople might have been nuts and imagined the whole thing. Others thought that the tracks could have been left by hopping mice.

Some theorized that a balloon might have floated across the landscape trailing a rope, making odd tracks in the snow on its way. Yet more people said it could have been caused by kangaroos who escaped from the zoo, although the footprints looked nothing like the tracks a kangaroo would leave.

Do you really think these theories are likely? Perhaps it is easier to believe in unlikely explanations rather than accept that the Devil visited Devon one cold Winter’s night and stalked through the towns, looking for sinners to drag down to hell?

Today, the Devil’s Footprints remain an unsolved mystery and the strange phenomenon is still unexplained.

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