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One of the strangest things ever to happen in England took place during the night of the 8th February 1855.

During the night, heavy snowfall blanketed the countryside and small villages of Southern Devon.

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In their houses, people huddled beneath their bedclothes on a night of intense cold. Slowly the first light of dawn came to reveal a bleak frozen landscape - and the footprints.

To the astonishment of all, when people left their houses they found thousands of mystery footsteps. These were in the shape of a cloven hoof, measuring between 4cm - 7cm wide. Details vary, but most observers thought that the marks were left by something with two legs instead of four. What made the tracks mysterious was not just their shape, but the fact that they moved in single file for nearly one hundred miles. They crossed rivers, roofs, haystacks, carts and and even over rooftops.

At either end of the trail, the prints abruptly stopped as if whatever made them either flew away or disappeared into thin air.

At first people were intrigued, but then became very frightened. The news swept quickly over the country and many people believed the footprints belonged to the devil. The London newspapers published the story and experts came to investigate the footprints, before the snow melted.

Nobody could offer any satisfactory solution to the mystery.

What do you think made the footprints?

 

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Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
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Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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