The Devil’s Footprints – Mysterious Footprints in Snow
An old legend regarding a visit to Devon by Satan has been rekindled after a great grandmother revealed a set of mysterious footprints in her snow laden back yard. The Devil’s Footprints had been the name given to a phenomenon which had taken place in February 1855 around the Exe Estuary in East Devon and South Devon, England. Trails of hoof like marks had appeared after a heavy snowfall covering a distance of around 40 to 100 miles.
The footprints had been so called since some of the people were of the belief that they had been the tracks of Satan as they were apparently made by a cloven hoof. The incident had taken place on the night of 8-9 February 1855 and probably one or two nights later after heavy snowfall where a series of hoof-life marks seemed to appear in the snow.
The footprints are said to measure around four inches long, three inches diagonally between eight and sixteen inches apart and in a single file. They were reported from more than thirty locations all over Devon and a couple in Dorset.The space where the prints seemed to appear extended from Exmouth to Topsham and through Exe Estuary to Dawlish and Teignmouth.
Investigators Cynical About the Tracks
In 1890, an article published in Notes and Queries by R.H. Busk stated that the footprints had appeared further afield towards the south to Totnes and Torquay. Besides this, there were two more reports stating that the prints were seen as far away as Weymouth- Dorset as well as Lincolnshire. They seemed to be made by something which seemed bipedal and have cloven hooves.
According to legend, the hooves tend to cut right through the snow and almost to the ground below as though they had been burned there. The people were frightened especially by the prints which had appeared to stop right at the threshold of their homes and several of them were afraid of leaving their home with the belief that the devil himself had been wandering all over Devon looking out for sinners.
Several explanations had come up regarding the incident where some investigators seemed to be cynical that the tracks extended over a hundred miles debating that no one would be capable of following their entire course in one day.
Descriptions of the Footprints Differ
Another reason for scepticism according to Joe Nickell was that the description of the eye witnesswith regards to the footprints seemed to differ from person to person. On the night of March 12, 2009, additional strange marks matching to those left in 1855 were located in Devon. Reasonable investigation portrayed similar markings.
Rumours of identical strange, obstacle-unheeded footprints occurred in other areas of the world though none seemed to be of such a scale like those of the Devil’s Footprints. On the high mountains of that elevated district where the Glenorchy, Glenlyon and Glenochay tend to be adjoining, there have been instances on several occasions during winter, tracks of animals on the snow which have been unknown presently in Scotland.
The print is said to be a precise resemblance of a foal of substantial size though with a small difference. But since no one had the opportunity of a glimpse of the creature, not much can be said of its shape or dimension. The footprints seemed to remain unexplained till date though some have provided some reasonable explanations.