Devil Footprints

Amongst the world's greatest mysteries is the case of the devil footprints. Unfortunately, documentation on this case is not entirely satisfactory, But no one disputes that something very peculiar happened on the night of February 7-8, 1855, in Devonshire, England.


The Times of London reported on February 16 that a strange
occurrence had happened in the towns of Topsham, Lympstone, Exmouth,
Teignmouth, and Dawlish, in the south of Devon. The event was that
of a discovery of a vast number of foot-tracks, the superstitious
went so far as to call them the marks of Satan himself.

It appeared that on Thursday night there was a very heavy fall of
snow in the neighborhood of Exeter the shoe was conand the south
of Devon. In the morning, the inhabitants of the above towns were
shocked at the discovery of tracks of some strange and mysterious
animal, endowed with the power of ubiquity, as the footprints were
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 rather then that of a
quadruped, and the steps were generally eight inches in advance of
each other. The impressions of the feet closely resembled that of
a donkeys shoe, and measured from an inch and a half to two and a
half inches across. Here and there it appeared as if cloven, but
in the generality of the steps was continuous, and, from the snow
intact, clearly showing the outer crest of the foot must have been
convex [concave?].

The creature seems to have approached the doors of some houses then
retreated, but no one was able to discover to standing or resting
point of the creature.

The Times had no more to report on the subject. However more detailed accounts were to be found in the letters to the editor of Illustrated London News from the locals who reported all they saw, heard about or believed of the devil footprints which extended some 100 miles over a zigzag course. Of a general horseshoe shape, each track was exactly eight and a half inches apart.

The only other known instance of such tracks was reported by Captain Sir James Clark Ross, commander of two ships that were exploring the southern polar regions and landed at Kerguelen Island in May 1840. The captain reported in his Voyage of Discovery and Research in the Southern and Antarctic Regions (1847), "Of land animals we saw none; and the only traces we could discover of there being any on this island were the singular footsteps of a pony or ass, found by the party detached for surveying purposes, under the command of Lieutenant Bird, and described by Dr. Robertson as 'being 3 inches in length and 2 1/2 in breadth, having a small and deeper depression on each side, and shaped like a horseshoe.'

"It is by no means improbable that the animal/creature has been cast on shore from some wrecked vessel. They traced it's footsteps for some distance in the recently fallen snow, in hopes of getting a sight of it, but lost the tracks on reaching a large space of rocky ground which was free from snow." Leaving a conclusion that is niether here nor there for this particular paranormal mystery.

Unexplained Mysteries: devil footprints





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