This article will be covering the strange and creepy case of the Devil’s Footprints in 1855. Did a demonic creature leave strange tracks in the snow around the Exe Estuary in Devon, England?
Let’s take a closer look…
On the 8th of February, 1855, in Devon, England, the weather was taking a bit of a turn for the worse. Heavy snow had fallen all around the area and the extreme temperatures were not giving it any chance to melt. Historical reports from the time show that temperatures remained around freezing from January until March.
On that cold February night, strange hoof marks appeared in the crisp snow all over the South and East Devon area. In all, it was reported that the strange footprints had appeared in 30 locations.
When measured, each of these eerie footprints measured in at four inches long, three inches across, and between eight and sixteen inches apart. Every track also seemed to be travelling in a single file formation.
In all, the footprints are thought to have covered over 100 miles of distance. Whatever had left them had no problems with whatever ‘it’ encountered in it’s path – the tracks seemed to travel over house roofs and across frozen lakes and bodies of water.
The Devil Pays a Visit
As soon as the local press picked up on the story, they started referring to the tracks as ‘devil’s footprints’, and in some cases ‘tracks of Satan’. They had picked up on the various reports from locals and taken note that the tracks looked like they were made by a cloven hoof animal.
Historic reports also indicate that the locals to the area took these tracks VERY seriously. In some areas it took months for them to gather the courage to go out after nightfall. They firmly believed that something demonic had left these footprints.
The Devil’s Footprints – Theories
A well known historian from Wales named Mike Dash has spent a number of years looking into this case, and he firmly believes that the prints came from a number of sources – not just one. He concludes that one hoax simply led to another…then the whole thing kind of snowballed.
He also stated that he thinks a large majority of the tracks were made by donkeys making their way through the snow. He also admits that some of the reported tracks still leave him stumped – he has no idea what made them.
Another researcher, author Geoffrey Household, believes that the tracks could well have been left by a experimental balloon released from the Devonport Dockyard. He thinks that two chains were dangling from the balloon as it travelled, leaving hoof-like prints in the snow.
Another popular theory is that local hungry badgers made the tracks – they were out desperately searching for food on the frozen ground.
So – the footprints of something demonic…or nothing more than local wildlife or an escaped weather balloon?
What’a your opinion on the subject of the Devil’s Footprints?
Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.