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Devil's Hoofprints In The Snow?

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posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 03:49 AM
Early in Febraury 1865 residents of the county of Devon awoke to a snow-covered landscape containing a rather eerie, and scary, set of tracks. The following article was taken from 'The Time Of London' -

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.

The tracks apparently appeared over a 100 mile stretch of countryside and took some very confusing routes indeed -

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).

I have no doubt that these tracks did exist, as there are numerous eyewitness reports and press reports, but I haven't a clue as to what could have made these tracks, but the idea of them freaks me out, to be sure.


posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 10:42 AM
Yea it could be pretty freaky to hear something like that. But people have hoaxed footprints before in a lot of mysterious cases. Like in the Bigfoot mysteries some guy (you might have heard) just make fake foot prints witha big thing of plaster.

posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 12:14 PM
Took this quote from the source -

The tracks covered a 100-mile course zigzagging from Topsham southward to the town of Totnes

Now that is one hoax that would take a lot of effort!

posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 12:16 PM
I don't mean to be a party pooper but it is entirely possible these tracks were both taken completely out of context in order to portray a better news story, and over the ages the story has been further exaggereated and modified to sound more fantistic and wonderfull...the original story probably boiled down to a wild horse that ran through the town.

Additionally, I don't mean to belittle people living in 1816, but alot of them were probably very uneducated and easily tricked into believing / assuming mysterious paranormal phenomena which nowadays could easily be explained as hoaxes.

But....I'm open for the possibility of this story being 100% true & accurate...although I lean more towards the (exagerrated) urban myth scenario...

posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 12:53 PM
it would be sweet if it was true

and then it would be absolutely frightening

it went thru a drain pipe? up walls over houses?

This is Bizzare

I have No Theory to Explain that...other than the Devil theory, and i dont believe in the devil
but hey; it does explain the footprints

it could be a urban myth ya, but its a sweet one

posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 02:28 PM
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.

posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 02:37 PM
The devil never heard of the bus.

I guess he didn't get to keep the cool flying powers instead he's just a shapshifting scapegoat.

posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 03:35 PM

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.

Not to belittle or anything but I thought Columbus sailed in 1492....not the 1800's? Care to clarify why they would still think the world was flat back then after 400 years?

As far as this story.....someone said that the prints went up walls? Unless this snow storm was made by the was there snow on the walls of buildings. I mean sure to a point it would stick a little but not enough to see a clear print. I say ignorance and hoax have played a big part in this story. Also, back then how would they know that it went a hundred miles? For someone to actually follow it even on a horse would take longer than the snow would stay.

posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 11:17 PM
I seem to recall reading about this in a book I had some years ago. I'll have to look and see if I still have the book.

One explanation offered was that the track of a certain mouse in the snow (where the whole mouse makes in imprint, not just the feet) can resemble a hoof print. Thus the criss-crossing of tracks was not really the winding, confusing path of one set of hooves, but the chaotic crossed tracks of many mice. This also explains how they seem to go through drain pipes and such.

When it was announced that the "Jersey Devil" had been captured after a similiar incident, I believe it was a dressed up Zebra or Giraffe that was presented, quite profitably.

[edit on 2-7-2005 by The Vagabond]

posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 12:03 AM
Read about that years ago and a special book I loaned after having it sent from CA indicated the hoof prints that were on the snow but also on top of houses, etcc.. were UFOs at that time's way of judging close proximity to Earths ground.


posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 12:47 AM
it cant be a hoax. the area is too large. but it was the mid 1800s.. it was probably some kind of animal. it was very common to believe in all sorts of fanciful creatures, and crazy myths because they did not have the science and technology we have today. They had nothing to explain it, so it automatically became hoofprints of the devil... that is my two cents worth.

posted on Jul, 5 2005 @ 05:22 PM
Maybe a drunk kung-fu donkey?

posted on Jul, 5 2005 @ 05:39 PM
Has been Discussed here before

Anyways, here are my comments from the aforementioned thread.

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.

posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 11:22 PM
I was reading about this...apparently it was done by these mice (totally forgotten which type it was, but I'll get back to you with it) apparently they are able to hop/leap and leave the same tracks as the ones they discovered.

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 01:30 AM
I already tried to tell them. They want it to be UFOs or the devil. Mice just don't have the attention-grabbing power that one might expect

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 10:11 AM
I heard this story before and they later discovered that the tracks were caused by hot air balloon flying over the town, there was a loose rope hanging from it with a U shaped latch or something on the end bumping along the ground and over the buildings. It was blown off course in the snow storm.

[edit on 10-8-2005 by librasleep]

posted on Aug, 2 2008 @ 11:09 AM
This might be an explanation:

posted on Aug, 2 2008 @ 01:22 PM
reply to post by aBeilever16

People did not think the world was flat. The ancients even knew the Earth was round. They were more level headed than most people are today. They had to work hard and did not have time to be fooled. If they saw something out of the ordinary, they truly did. They knew when someone was pulling the wool over their eyes. Too many movies show past people as being ignorant when it is quite the opposite. The more sophisticated and technologically advanced we get, the lazier people get.
The hoof prints had an explanation of a shoe on a balloon, but the path of the hoof prints tend to rule it out.

[edit on 8/2/2008 by kidflash2008]

posted on Oct, 27 2008 @ 08:01 PM
Reminds me of some thing i out of the book The Amittyville Horror in one chaptr the family was disturbed by the dining room window ratting during dinner the little girl said it was her friend jody who she said was a pig that could change size. when Kathy Lutz to check the window she said she saw red eyes glaring in at her.
The next day the entire back yard was covered with tracks of a cloven hoofed animal some time it seemed like what ever made the tracks was on two legs in other instance four.

posted on Feb, 20 2009 @ 04:39 AM
Have to say I had a sceptical but open mind on this topic---- until I saw hoof prints in the snow outside my frnch windows one morningiranc. they looked like two sets of two (a pair) of prints in 1.5cm of snow. Initially I thought they were shoe prints from a thief... Until I realised they appeared to be only boot heel prints - without the matching sole print, with the sort of side build-up associated with slight movement (the sort of mud print I see with horses walking in mud). Obviously - I took photo's.

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