Monday, 16 March 2009

'Ancient mystery returns to Devon...'

'A 150-year-old mystery has reared its head after a woman woke to find 'Satan's hoofprints' dotted across freshly fallen snow in her back garden.

The single track of cloven-like prints - which appear to have been made by a two-legged creature - precisely resemble footprints recorded in the area in 1855.

The phenomenon, which has never been explained, became known as the 'Devil's foot prints' in a local legend.

... The original 'Devil's footprints' appeared after a light snowfall on February 8th, 1855, and travelled from Exmouth to Topsham in Devon - even crossing the estuary of the River Exe.

The tracks reportedly continued unbroken for 100 miles - appearing on both sides of 14-foot walls and locked gates.

Some villagers blamed the church, who had recently changed the standard prayer book, for letting the devil into their communities.

Others blamed animals, pranksters, and even a weather balloon - but the phenomenon, described as the 'great Devon mystery', was never explained.'



Autumnforest said...

Hey, that sounds familiar. I think I heard that story a long while back. It's a classically spooky tale. I also saw a "Monsterquest" episode recently about the Jersey Devil and they had the same cloven-looking-two-footed footprints in the snow they attributed to the devil. I do recall as a kid in Northern VA, that when it snowed we got some weird tracks. One time, a set of bunny hops left the exact same looking tracks. Wonder if that could be the real culprit, not something walking on two legs, but hopping on four?

Therese said...

The talented and erudite fantasy author, Alan Garner, has written about his hoofed being in his novel The Moon of Gomrath. It has antlers and cloven feet, and rises to run down traditional magic paths when roused by a combination of fire and the light of the moon.

The Moon of Gomrath is a wonderful piece of literature, I really recommend it.