“Devil’s Footprints” incident in South Devon, England where mysterious footprints appear in the snow

Every region in every age has their own superstitions: unexplained mysteries, sightings of impossible creatures, strange events. In the middle the winter of one fine year, residents of a rural town in southern England became convinced they had an overnight visitation from Satan himself. No one ever saw him, true, but his hooflike tracks were found in the snow stretching for miles. Stranger still, the tracks seemed to unnaturally bypass all obstacles, in ways impossible for any animal known to man.

On this day, February 8th, in 1855, residents of South Devon, on the southwestern tip of England woke up after an unusually heavy overnight snowstorm to find strange cloven prints in the snow. Going in a more or less forward path, the tracks went through haystacks without disturbing them and over high walls without knocking snow off them. At one point they seemed to squeeze through a small drainpipe. The only explanation people could come up with was they were made by the Prince of Darkness.

Other more natural and less supernatural explanations have been proposed: a small balloon, or field mice, or a pack of escaped kangaroos – there were in fact kangaroos held by a townsperson, but no one ever verified they escaped. The residents, meanwhile, armed themselves with whatever they could and banded together to find the beast responsible. They did not succeed.