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Considerable sensation has been evoked in he towns of Topsham, Lympstone, Exmouth, Teignmouth, and Dawlish, in the south of Devon, in consequence of the discovery of a vast number of foot tracks of a most strange and mysterious description. The superstitious go so far as to believe that they are the marks of Satan himself; and that great excitement has been produced among all classes may be judged from the fact that the subject has been descanted on from the pulpit.
It appears that on Thursday night last there was a very heavy fall of snow in the neighborhoods of Exeter and the south of Devon. On the following morning, the inhabitants of the above towns were surprised at discovering the tracks of some strange and mysterious animal, endowed with the power of ubiquity, as the foot prints were to be seen in all kinds of inaccessible places - on the tops of houses and narrow walls, in gardens and courtyards enclosed by high walls and palings, as well as in open fields. There was hardly a garden in Lympstone where the footprints were not observed.
The track appeared more like that of a biped than a quadruped, and the steps were generally eight inches in advance of each other. The impressions of the feet closely resembled that of a donkey's shoe, and measured from an inch and a half to (in some instances) tow and a half inches across. Here and there it appeared as if cloven, but in the generality of the steps the shoe was continuous, and, from the snow in the center remaining entire, merely showing the outer crest of the foot, it must have been convex [concave?].
The creature seems to have approached the doors of several houses and then to have retreated, but no one has been able to discover the standing or resting point of this mysterious visitor. On Sunday lat the Rev. Mr. Musgrave alluded to the subject in his sermon, and suggested that possibility of the footprints being those of a kangaroo,; but this could scarcely have been the case, as they were found on both sides of the estuary of the Exe.
At present it remains a mystery, and many superstitious people in the above towns are actually afraid to go outside their doors after night.
In another instance the tracks ended at the entry of a drain pipe and reappeared at the other end as if the animal had somehow passed through the pipe.
There were even reports that the tracks actually went up walls, sides of barns, and over houses. Townspeople were baffled as they followed the tracks that crisscrossed through cemeteries, in popular town squares, in people's yards, over snow covered wagons, and in same cases led right up to people's doors were they stopped and continued on in another direction (including back-tracking on top of themselves).
The tracks covered a 100-mile course zigzagging from Topsham southward to the town of Totnes
Originally posted by aBeilever16
As someone said above people were not well educated and could easily be tricked i mean come on people thlught the world was flat back then.
Ah, the footprints of the devil in Devon, I know the story well. My grandfather first told me the story when I was a young boy.
To add to the story found on the website the prints began in the middle of a garden in the Parish of Totnes and ended as mysteriously as they had started in a field at Littleham.
In some places the marks seemed to have been made by fiery hooves in the hard frozen snow or , as at Woodbury, by a hot iron outside the door of the church.
Near the village of Dawlish the trail led into dense bracken and undergrowth. When dogs were brought in to flush out the thicket, they are said to have retreated, howling dismally.