The Devil's Footprints

On the morning of February 9th, 1855, thousands of mysterious tracks were found in the new-fallen snow that had fallen upon the town of Devon, England. The tracks, which resembled those of shoed horses, covered over 100 miles and through five parishes. Rather than navigating a straight or even near-even course, the tracks were found to go up the sides of walls, into gardens, onto roofs, up and down the sides of fences, and other avenues which were impossible for any real creature to follow.

These footprints, measuring 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide and eight inches apart, continued throughout the countryside for a total of over 100 miles, and, although veering at various points, for the greater part of their course followed straight lines. Houses, rivers, haystacks and other obstacles were travelled straight over, and footprints appeared on the tops of snow-covered roofs and high walls which lay in the footprints' path, as well as leading up to and exiting various drain pipes of as small as a four inch diameter.

The area in which the prints appeared extended from Exmouth, up to Topsham, and across the river Exe to Dawlish and Teignmouth. R.H. Busk, in an article published in Notes and Queries decades later, stated that footprints also appeared further afield, as far south as Totnes and Torquay, and that there were other reports of the prints further afield in Weymouth (Dorset) and even Lincolnshire. In each case, the prints would go on for miles and miles before abruptly stopping.

There were also attendant rumours about sightings of a "devil-like figure" in the Devon area during the scare. Many townspeople armed themselves and attempted to track down the beast responsible, without success.

Similar incidents

Recently, on the night of March 12, 2009, more strange marks, corresponding to those left in 1855, were found again in Devon. Comparative analysis shows similar markings. Reports of similar anomalous, obstacle-unheeded footprints exist from other parts of the world, although none is of such a scale as that of the case of the Devil's Footprints.

Among the high mountains of that elevated district where Glenorchy, Glenlyon and Glenochay are contiguous, there have been met with several times, during this and also the former winter, upon the snow, the tracks of an animal seemingly unknown at present in Scotland. The print, in every respect, is an exact resemblance to that of a foal of considerable size, with this small difference, perhaps, that the sole seems a little longer, or not so round; but as no one has had the good fortune as yet to have obtained a glimpse of this creature, nothing more can be said of its shape or dimensions; only it has been remarked, from the depth to which the feet sank in the snow, that it must be a beast of considerable size. It has been observed also that its walk is not like that of the generality of quadrupeds, but that it is more like the bounding or leaping of a horse when scared or pursued. It is not in one locality that its tracks have been met with, but through a range of at least twelve miles.
—The Times, March 14, 1840

In the Illustrated London News, March 17, 1855, a correspondent from Heidelberg wrote, "upon the authority of a Polish Doctor in Medicine," that on the Piaskowa-góra (Sand Hill) a small elevation on the border of Galicia, but in Congress Poland, such marks are to be seen in the snow every year, and sometimes in the sand of this hill, and "are attributed by the inhabitants to supernatural influences."

There have been many incidents of strange footprints with cloven hoofs appearing without an obvious cause. Most occur during or after a fierce electrical storm. Some of these are linked to the legend of Kui found in the Shanhaijing, a mythical monster with one leg like a cloven hoof that looks similar to that of a cow, except with one foot. Fierce electrical storms heralded its presence.


The Curse of Tutankhamun

The mist fails to lift on Pharaoh Tutankhamun, the boy king who ruled Egypt for a short nine years from 1336 - 1327 BC. Tutankhamun was all of 18 years old when he died mysteriously. Pharaoh Tutankhamun succeeded his heretic father Akhenaten to the throne. Akhenaten had attempted to create a new forced religion, with the surname Aten, whereas the usual surname is 'Amun'. His son Tutankhaten promptly changed his own surname to Tutankhamun, and his child-wife's name was changed to Ankhsunamun.

No one knows how Pharaoh Tutankhamun died. It has been speculated for long that King Tutankhamun was assassinated and records of his existence wiped out. His early death and absence of records fuelled this school of thought.

One of the most important archeological finds of all time, King Tutankhamun's tomb was discovered in 1923 by Howard Carter, a British Egyptologist, who was convinced that King Tutankhamun's grave lay undiscovered somewhere in the Valley of Kings in Luxor, Egypt. He was financed in his expedition by Lord Carnarvon, himself and ailing gentleman keen on Egyptology. After five years of unsuccessful digging, Carnarvon almost gave up on his hopes, and returned to London. At the same time, Howard Carter's digging team stumbled on to a step cut into a rock beneath the debris of an ancient structure. On excavation, it was found that the states led down to the long-hidden tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun. The news was immediately communicated to Carnarvon, who quickly returned to Cairo.

According to legend which has been strongly contested, the tomb raiders broke the long sleep of the Pharaoh, setting a deadly curse in motion. The day he hit upon the tomb, Howard carter returned home to fund that his canary was swallowed by a cobra. His servant wailed at the Pharaoh's Curse, since the canary was supposed to have led the explorer to the tomb, and a cobra and a vulture were supposed to be Tutankhamun's protectors. (Tutankhamun's headgear sports statuettes of both). The cobra was supposed to be the protector of the tomb.

The tomb was intact and contained an amazing collection of treasures including a stone sarcophagus. The sarcophagus contained three gold coffins nested within each other. Inside the final one was the mummy of the boy-king, Pharaoh Tutankhamen.

It was reported that Carter's native diggers saw hieroglyphics inside the tomb, above Tutankhaun's body, which warned of death to the intruders. Apparently, Howard Carter had a tough time keeping the scared grave diggers together. But these reports are believed to have been significantly embellished by the newspapers of the day who cooked up stories to sell the paper.

Be that as it may, the fact remains that Lord Carnarvon died soon thereafter. He died of an infected mosquito bite, which later became pneumonia and claimed his life. When he died, the lights went out in Cairo. This is agreed to even by hose who contest the Curse of Tutankhamun. At the moment of his death, his pet dog howled pitifully and turned over and died, in faraway London. This is also reported, but there is no actual confirmation or denial of this event.

Death of Carnarvon was only the start. A string of deaths followed. Many of those associated with the grave-digging succumbed to unnatural causes, giving currency to the Curse Theory. The newspapers of the day speculated that such eerie events were caused by the curse, an evil which Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter had unleashed. Two days after Carnarvon's death, the mummy of Pharaoh Tutankhamun was examined and a blemish was found on his left cheek exactly in the position of the mosquito bite on Carnarvon's face.

Soon after, archaeologist Arthur Mace who was part of the expedition, went into a coma and died soon afterwards, baffling everyone. The deaths continued. Carnarvon's friend, George Gould, trekked to Egypt when he learned of Carnarvon's fate. Before leaving, he looked in at the tomb. The next day, he collapsed with a high fever; twelve hours later he was dead. Radiologist Archibald Reid, a man who used X-ray techniques to determine the age and possible cause of death of Tutankhamun, was sent back to England after complaining of exhaustion. He died soon after landing.

Carnarvon's secretary Richard Bethell died of heart failure four months after the tomb was opened. The chain of deaths continued. Joel Wool, a leading British industrialist visited the tomb and was dead a few months later from a fever which doctors could not comprehend.



Grigori Efimovich Rasputin has been called a Russian mystic among other things, he was also called a "Holy Devil" by Iliodor (Sergei Trufanov) the monk-priest of Tsarytsin. Much which is known about the early life of Rasptin may be more legend than fact, because to the Russian peasants he was a hero, their man. One thing is certain, though, he was a product of his Siberian culture.

There are only indications of Rasputin's paranormal powers during childhood. One is that he loved animals, especially horses. He loved playing in his father's stable. He would climb upon the horses' backs, touch them with his hand and cheek. With an invented child's language he would talk to them. Of these incidences he eventually would tell the young Tsesarvich Alesha to comfort him.

Only one incidence, whether fact or legend, of Rasputin's exceptional powers seems to be recorded. As was the habit in Siberian villages like Pokrovskoe, Rasputin's home, most inhabitants would meet in homes in the evening. On this night the gathering was in the home of Rasputin's parents. The boy was sick but he heard the low conversation concerning the theft of a horse. Soon the boy got up in his nightshirt and pointed to one of the guests declaring him to be the thief. His parents were embarrassed, but after the gathering broke up some of the villagers who were curious at the boy's words went to the man's property to later see him with the stolen horse. The next morning many returned to the house of Rasputin's parents making the sign of the Cross and saying invocations to the Mother of God and Saint George as they marvelled over the boy's power.

Rasputin's first recognized appearance among Orthodox Churchmen was at a Siberian Academy of Theology. He was in a discussion with a group of seminarians when their teacher and the academy's rector Father Feofan entered the room unnoticed. The seminarians had already recognized how easily Rasputin grasped the Holy Scriptures while they toiled over their books studying their meanings.

Rasputin was wandering as a pilgrim in Siberia when he heard reports of Tsarevich Alexei's (the youngest child and the only son of Emperor Nicholas II of Russia ) illness. It was not publicly known in 1904 that Alexei had haemophilia, a disease that was widespread among European royalty descended from the British Queen Victoria, who was Alexei's great-grandmother. When doctors could not help Alexei, the Tsaritsa looked everywhere for help, ultimately turning to her best friend, Anna Vyrubova, to secure the help of the charismatic peasant healer Rasputin in 1905. He was said to possess the ability to heal through prayer and was indeed able to give the boy some relief, in spite of the doctors' prediction that he would die. Every time the boy had an injury which caused him internal or external bleeding, the Tsaritsa called on Rasputin, and the Tsarevich subsequently got better. This made it appear that Rasputin was effectively healing him. The Tsar referred to Rasputin as "our friend" and a "holy man", a sign of the trust that the family had placed in him.

Rasputin soon became a controversial figure, becoming involved in a paradigm of sharp political struggle involving monarchist, anti-monarchist, revolutionary and other political forces and interests. He was accused by many eminent persons of various misdeeds, ranging from an unrestricted sexual life (including raping a nun) to undue political domination over the royal family.

Political figures of that time had documented that Rasputin had "satanic eyes" and possessed a powerful and hypnotic stare which he used to look in the eyes of any person with penetrating and intimidating pressure. Rasputin also often used verbal abuse and intimidation, including the most dirty profanities, in order to intimidate and manipulate people into submission.

His Murder :

On December 16, 1916, having decided that Rasputin's influence over the Tsaritsa had made him a far-too-dangerous threat to the empire, a group of nobles led by Prince Felix Yusupov and the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich and the right-wing politician Vladimir Purishkevich, apparently lured Rasputin to the Yusupovs' Moika Palace, by intimating that Felix's wife, Princess Irina would be present and receiving friends (In point of fact, she was away at the Crimea). The group led him down to the cellar, where they served him cakes and red wine laced with a massive amount of cyanide. Rasputin was unaffected, although Vasily Maklakov had supplied enough poison to kill five men.

Determined to finish the job, Yusupov became anxious about the possibility that Rasputin might live until the morning, leaving the conspirators no time to conceal his body. Yusupov ran upstairs to consult the others and then came back down to shoot Rasputin through the back with a revolver. Rasputin fell, and the company left the palace for a while. Yusupov, who had left without a coat, decided to return to get one, and, while at the palace, he went to check up on the body. Suddenly, Rasputin opened his eyes and lunged at Prince Yusupov. When he grabbed Prince Yusupov he ominously whispered in Yusupov's ear "you bad boy" and attempted to strangle him. At that moment, however, the other conspirators arrived and fired at him. After being hit three times in the back, Rasputin fell once more. As they neared his body, the party found that, remarkably, he was still alive, struggling to get up. They clubbed him into submission and castrated him. After binding his body and wrapping him in a carpet, they threw him into the icy Neva River. He broke out of the his bonds and the carpet wrapping him, but drowned in the river.

Three days later, the body of Rasputin, poisoned, shot four times, badly beaten, and drowned, was recovered from the Neva River. An autopsy established that THE CAUSE OF DEATH WAS DROWNING. His arms were found in an upright position, as if he had tried to claw his way out from under the ice. There is a report that after his body was recovered, water was found in the lungs, supporting the idea that he was still alive before submersion into the partially frozen river.