Do You Know The Haunting Midwest Legend Of Footprints In The Snow
I'm sure right now our first thought about snow and horror is how cold it gets here in the Quad Cities, but there is a fun spooky legend here in the Midwest about footprints and snow.
Footsteps in the snow aren't usually something people pay too much attention to, but there are three legends that each signify different meanings for these simple markings in the snow.
The Friendly Legend
The first is an old legend saying that if you see footsteps in the snow by a grave, it means someone's soul has moved on to a better place, or that they stopped by to visit a loved one. Overall this is much more of a reassuring legend than a spooky one.
The Urban Legend
My personal favorite is the urban legend of the footprints in the snow in someone's back yard, or around their house. This one scared me as a kid. The story would usually be about how someone would discover footprints by their house in the morning meaning someone was watching them from outside the night before. A lot less pleasant than footsteps by the grave one.
The Haunting Legend
The most "haunting" however is the "devil's footsteps" legend.
This legend came to the Midwest in the 1900s but it originated in England in 1855.
The Devil's Footprints was a phenomenon that occurred during February 1855 around the Exe Estuary in East and South Devon, England. After a heavy snowfall, trails of hoof-like marks appeared overnight in the snow covering a total distance of some 40 to 100 miles
After a heavy snowfall, a series of hoof-like marks appeared in the snow. These footprints measured about four inches long, three inches across. Families still tell kids that the Devil is looking for them when they are bad and that the footprints can be seen after snow first falls. This is extremely creepy to think about, especially as a kid. It is very similar to Krampus. I'm glad this isn't a scare tactic my parents used on me.
What caused these footprints?
The first "theory" is that these were the first of many footprints documented showing a demon's physical footprints as it hunted down souls to bring back to hell.
The more rational and main theory of what could have caused the markings is from Author Geoffrey who suggested that "an experimental balloon" was released by mistake from Devonport Dockyard causing these markings. Supposedly the balloon dragged shackles along the snow that created the hoof-like tracks.
Another theory of "jumping mice" makes sense as the rodents would most likely have to hop to make it through the snow. Though the distance of the tracks makes this less likely. Those are the theories, but I wouldn't be completely convinced of their legitimacy if I experienced this sight firsthand.
Sure it's a goofy legend, but no still knows what caused those prints to this day. Personally, I'd like to think they lead to a Checkers or something a little more lighthearted than "tracks to hell".
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