Mysterious Devil’s Footprints Around World

The world of cryptozoology is no stranger to odd footprints found throughout the world, coming in a wide variety of sizes and with their own peculiarities. These tracks often leave bewilderment, bafflement, and spur on question as to their origins and what sort of creature could have made them. The answers of what caused them are not always completely clear, but they invariably are cause for much debate and speculation.

Among these anomalous prints are those that are from far-flung destinations yet seem to share some similar traits; that of some hoofed creature that has left its footprints behind, and which have caused debate as to whether they are caused by the same strange creature, a hoax, or just a curious coincidence.

By far the most well-known and widely circulated stories of such mysterious footprints is that of the original “Devil’s Footprints,” also called the “Devil’s Hoofmarks,” in the area of East and South Devon, in England. On the morning of February 8, 1855, the area was blanketed with snow from the night before, and it seemed as if everything was frosted in white. Residents were surprised to find a long track of strange, hoof-like prints that seemed as if they must have been freshly made.

The individual prints reportedly measured around 4 inches long and 3 inches wide, and seemed to have been made in a nearly perfect, single-file line, with each print spaced between 8 to 16 inches from each other. They looked to be cloven and from something bipedal, in short like tracks from nothing the locals had ever seen, and they meandered through the snow for between 60 to 100 miles, depending on the report. Some reports mentioned that the prints actually seemed to have been melted or “scorched” into the snow, as if from some intense heat.


Various sketches of The Devil’s Footprints of 1855

As odd as this all was, what made it all even stranger was the bizarre route that these prints took, going right up over walls, along narrow fencing, over house roofs, through barns, haystacks, gardens and courtyards, across frozen lakes, fields, and spookily often seeming to come right to people’s front doors, as if whatever had made them had been intently investigating these homes. Oddly, in some cases it seemed as if the prints had entered and exited pipes that were only around 4 inches in diameter, passed through locked gates, or seemed to wander straight up trees, as well as in totally enclosed or locked off areas and other improbable places. The weird story took off and was widely publicized in newspapers of the time.

This is certainly a first for me. The footprints are peculiar, but they are not the devil’s – I don’t believe the horned one has been in Woolsery. Personally I think it belongs to a rabbit or hare but quite an academic punch-up has started over it.

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