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Wolverhampton
#1
@BIAD 

Curious as to what your take on the tale of the Wolverhampton hoofprints is.  Was it as freaky as it is made out to be, or has the original report been distorted?

https://www.davidcastleton.net/devils-fo...oofprints/

Cheers
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Location: The lost world, Elsewhen
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#2
This is the first time I had heard of this.  tinysurprised

Sounds absolutely Bizarre.  tinywhat

A  very magical creature that could leap tall buildings and fences or walk on a roof and shrink down to less than 6 inches!!!  tinysure

I think they needed the "Pixie Investigation With Mr. Erwin Saunders." but he wasn't born yet.  minusculebeercheers
Once A Rogue, Always A Rogue!
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#3
I've heard of these footprints before. I don't even pretend to know what could create impressions with all of the different attributes listed for these, but I do have a couple of observations on prints in general.

Some creatures leave straighter lines of tracks than others. Even within a species - humans, for example - some will leave straighter tracks than others. People who spend a lot of time in the woods, hunting for instance, generally leave a straighter, narrower line of tracks than people who don't. That used to be called an "Indian walk", but it isn't limited to just Indians. It seems more a function of time spent in the woods with a desire to disturb as little as possible in passage, stalking game for instance. It leaves a narrower path (often a mere 6 inches or so from side to side), and disturbs less vegetation, creating less rustle and noise.

Male animals, a buck deer for example, tend to leave a wider path with their hind feet than female animals do. I guess they don't care to mash their jouncy bits together, and the females don't have that to worry about. A related observation when tracking humans is that women tend to walk pigeon-toed, with the toes pointing towards the opposite foot, and men tend to walk with the feet splayed more outwardly. City people have a tendency to march along with a wider gait that country folks do, a careless sort of walk. It gives the appearance in the tracks of a lack of balance, necessitating a wider gait to stay upright.

Perhaps one of the sillier explanations for the tracks in the article was "toads". Have you EVER seen a toad track in snow? I haven't. When it snows, toads tend to stay in hibernation, because they are cold blooded.

All in all, it seems a strange set of circumstances, but well and widely attested, so much so as to tend to suppress dispute and imagination as explanations.

,
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#4
(12-25-2021, 05:15 PM)F2d5thCav Wrote: @BIAD 

Curious as to what your take on the tale of the Wolverhampton hoofprints is.  Was it as freaky as it is made out to be, or has the original report been distorted?

https://www.davidcastleton.net/devils-fo...oofprints/

Cheers

The first thing is that Wolverhampton is in the Midlands of England! The reported footprints were in Devon on the south
coast... the tail-bit on the left of the country. (Sorry!)

[Image: attachment.php?aid=10544]
(The upper circle is Wolverhampton,. The lower oval is where the tracks were found)

At a guess, I'd go with a bird's print due to the marks travelling across roofs, but it's the total distance of the tracks that's
confounding me. If we take it that no prank was performed, no alteration due to thawing or refreezing occurred and the
standard animal that would make 'hoof prints' hadn't enjoyed clambering on cottage roofs, it limits our possibilities.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=10545]
Weird!

Wallabies have been in Britain for over a century, but that's a weak suggestion, but most of the other indigenous culprits
might be out of their winter sleep by February -if the date is correct. A cat would be my best-bet.


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#5
@BIAD 

You're correct.  They are better known as the Devon Hoofprints.  tinybiggrin

But Wolverhampton was also involved the month prior :

Quote:In January 1855, near Wolverhampton, England, about 200 miles north of Devon, hoofprints were said to have appeared on vertical walls and the roofs of pubs. According to Dash, Elizabeth Brown, landlady of The Lion pub in this region, told a public meeting that “her house was mainly frequented by quarrymen and the tracks were nothing new to them. Similar hoofmarks were to be seen burnt into the rock at Pearl Quarry, on Timmins Hill.”

https://www.ancient-origins.net/unexplained-phenomena/hoofprints-devil-spotted-snow-003562

Quarrymen ... hmm.  Would be kind of neat to visit that Pearl Quarry and just get a sense of the area's "feel".

Lots to read about it here --> https://www.academia.edu/251735/The_Devi...ry_of_1855

Cheers
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Location: The lost world, Elsewhen
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#6
(12-26-2021, 08:48 AM)F2d5thCav Wrote:
@BIAD 

You're correct.  They are better known as the Devon Hoofprints.  tinybiggrin

But Wolverhampton was also involved the month prior :

Quote:In January 1855, near Wolverhampton, England, about 200 miles north of Devon, hoofprints were said to have appeared on vertical walls and the roofs of pubs. According to Dash, Elizabeth Brown, landlady of The Lion pub in this region, told a public meeting that “her house was mainly frequented by quarrymen and the tracks were nothing new to them. Similar hoofmarks were to be seen burnt into the rock at Pearl Quarry, on Timmins Hill.”

https://www.ancient-origins.net/unexplained-phenomena/hoofprints-devil-spotted-snow-003562

Quarrymen ... hmm.  Would be kind of neat to visit that Pearl Quarry and just get a sense of the area's "feel".

Lots to read about it here --> https://www.academia.edu/251735/The_Devi...ry_of_1855

Cheers

Oh! I've never heard of the Wolverhampton one!!!
Cheers @F2d5thCav 
minusculethumbsup minusculethumbsup
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#7
(12-26-2021, 08:48 AM)F2d5thCav Wrote:
@BIAD 

You're correct.  They are better known as the Devon Hoofprints.  tinybiggrin

But Wolverhampton was also involved the month prior :

Quote:In January 1855, near Wolverhampton, England, about 200 miles north of Devon, hoofprints were said to have appeared on vertical walls and the roofs of pubs. According to Dash, Elizabeth Brown, landlady of The Lion pub in this region, told a public meeting that “her house was mainly frequented by quarrymen and the tracks were nothing new to them. Similar hoofmarks were to be seen burnt into the rock at Pearl Quarry, on Timmins Hill.”

https://www.ancient-origins.net/unexplained-phenomena/hoofprints-devil-spotted-snow-003562

Quarrymen ... hmm.  Would be kind of neat to visit that Pearl Quarry and just get a sense of the area's "feel".

Lots to read about it here --> https://www.academia.edu/251735/The_Devi...ry_of_1855

Cheers

Thank you @F2d5thCav for the links and this thread helps in understanding just how a narrative can become ingrained
into how we -today, perceive those who came before us. When looking at anomalies such as 'The Devil's Footprints',
we tend to take the stories at face-value and even though we may not believe them, we never grasp the idea that folks
in cities, rural areas and the coast, were no different from who we are today.

In the case of Jack The Ripper, the media attempted to heighten the tension and due to their funding situations, failed to
hold those in powerful positions to account for the terrible living conditions in the area where the murders took place.
Today, many investigators into the Ripper murders believe the media were responsible for -at least, one of the so-called
'Dear Boss' letters.

With the Devon 'Devil's Footprints' situation, another symptom of media attention is displayed, the need to garner ratings
by mimicking a successful campaign through the public's fascination with the unknown. Don't get me wrong, at face-value
the reports of hoof-marks running between forty and a hundred miles are a mystery, but the inability to estimate a more
precise distance of the weird journey is indicative of a media-stirred 'craze', a need to be included into something that is
attention-catching in a medium that benefits from such enthusiasm.

The question of what could have produced these prints seems to be the lead fundamental here and not was the situation
an exaggerated account of something simple -although unusual. Maybe it was a bird, a heron or crane that left tracks on
someone's roof in the dead of winter and maybe the locals of Exmouth, Topsham, Dawlish and Teignmouth just jumped on
the band-wagon of a reporter creating a jigsaw of separate incidents.

The clues to such theme-connecting are usually in the written manner of the articles. Today, most mediums use phrases like
'Experts say...' and 'Scientists suggest...', the composition of the prose carries the captivation that a reader genuinely wants.
It's been like this for a very long time!

The basic setting is always the same when dealing with past mysteries. Rustic, working-class people are too uneducated
to lie due to their religious superstitions and ergo, a reader is massaged into moving onto puzzling what the mystery was,
without pondering whether it was merely a prank or an error in observation.

I don't mean to be a 'Debbie-Downer' when it comes to mysteries such as the Devil's Hoof-prints, but one cannot just
accept an account based on a suggestive title. I know my input to many subjects here on Rogue Nation tends to berate
the media's participation in these weird topics, but since the ingredients for a topic tends to originate from a business
that desires income, we have to be wary and possibly watch out certain doctrinal wording that helps in convincing us
the story is just as presented

The Jack the Ripper murders were emulated in other areas of Britain, but the unique title of the Whitechapel killer was
only hinted at by the newspapers of those regions because such a scary moniker will hopefully enhance print-circulation.
No science-backed evidence has ever connected such atrocities, but the thought of a country-roaming monster does
foment intrigue and where else would someone interested in such an idea draw their information from?
The newspaper that suggested such a possibility, of course.

Spring-Heeled Jack another London phenomena, the Victorian fire-breathing Hellion that scared ladies and thwarting the
local Constabulary in the capital appeared in Liverpool and other towns of England for over sixty years. The same 'creature'
or an odd incident coupled to a more well-known folklore-label by a local newspaper?

But in the case of the Devil's footprints in Wolverhampton, it's not surprising that the story arrived in the same year as the
Devon account. A cynical person might suggest that such a story drew readership that could easily be copied in another
part of the England or maybe the Devil was touring the country as offered within the wording.

(Note: The term 'Black Country' refers to an area of the Midlands and derives from the soot that the heavy industries created)


Quote:"...The Black Country did not escape the scare. In 1855 in Old Hill, customers at The Cross Inn swore that they saw a
frightening figure with cloven hoofs and horns leap from roof to roof straight across the road to the roof of the butchers
shop opposite.

Police who investigated the sighting confirmed the presence of cloven hoof prints on nearby rooftops.
Speculation soon grew that some two legged fiend was roaming the Black Country. Similar reports of hellish hoof prints
were apparently frequently reported by quarrymen at Timmins Hill, Dudley and by the landlords of The Gate Hangs Well
and The Boat on Slack Hillock.

What makes this story so interesting is that in the same year, cloven hoof prints appeared in the snow around Devon,
leading many to speculate that the Devil himself was stalking the countryside!..."

In the 'Mysterious Britain' article, the title contains the name 'Spring-Heeled Jack' and almost immediately, he and 'Jack
the Ripper' are mentioned. Granted, the piece is a folklore-affiliated essay, but media-like formula is still in play.
Oddly enough -and just like many of today's news accounts, a more pragmatic 'down-to-earth' circumstance is offered to
explain part of what was supposed terrifying tavern customers around the rural areas of Wolverhampton at the time.


Quote:"...In Netherton a terrified old lady was carried into the police station babbling about Spring Heeled Jack and how she
had seen him jump “across the cut” near Jaw-bone bridge, with flames coming out of his mouth.

An immediate investigation was carried out by the local police. As they approached the bridge at midnight they were
startled to see a light flying through the air, going from one side of the canal to the other! The brave boys in blue made
an arrest, but not of Spring Heeled Jack!

The culprit turned out to be a young Joseph Darby wearing a miner’s helmet with lamp attached, as he practiced jumping
over the canal! This strange, nocturnal exercise, lead Joseph to become the World Spring Jumping Champion, defeating
the American holder of the title, W.G. Hamlington, in 1887..."

Here's a bit more that isn't in the article and doesn't support the supernatural-side, probably because it's mundane!


Quote:"...Joseph Darby (1861–1937) was a renowned jumper from the Black Country village of Netherton.
He specialised in spring jumping (jumping starting from a stationary position) often using weights in his hands to help
propel him.

After taking part in competitive jumping at venues in the Midlands and North of England in the 1880s, he went on to perform
at theatres in London and Paris and crossed the Atlantic to exhibit in North America. He entertained crowds by performing
trick jumps and earned money in wagers with competitors.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=10547]
Joseph Darby... Canal-Jumper or Constipated?

Highlights in his career included defeating the American World Champion spring-jumper in 1887 and appearing before the
future King Edward VII in Covent Garden, London in 1898. After finishing his jumping career, he became a publican in the
English town of Dudley..."
SOURCE:

Now, the year of 1855 is six years before Mr Darby was born and yet, a connection is somehow made from Devil-hoof prints
in Devon to a Victorian ghost-story of Spring-Heeled Jack and then to this chap who vaults over waterways!! Apart from the
promotion for the district and this seemingly-energetic canal-leaper, the spooky intrigue seeps away and all we're left with
is a calculated set of words to entertain the reader.

My heart wants to accept the Devil-Went-Down-To-Devon tale as it stands, but my head keeps getting in the way!!!
(I still enjoy the threads, though!!)
tinybiggrin





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#8
I would think, in the 1850s, even townsmen had some feel for what kinds of animal spoor could be found in winter.  As @Ninurta mentioned, some of the 'explanations' offered seem absurd.

The claim of the quarrymen that they had seen similar tracks pressed into stone is of note.  But the Wolverhampton tracks at the pub may have been nothing more than people who were tired of alcoholics in their village.

I've only browsed the "academic" link.  There is a lot to read in that document.

I've no doubt the press of the era played this up.  The various incidents may be linked ... or not.

Cheers
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#9
(12-26-2021, 04:20 PM)F2d5thCav Wrote: I would think, in the 1850s, even townsmen had some feel for what kinds of animal spoor could be found in winter.  As @Ninurta mentioned, some of the 'explanations' offered seem absurd.

The claim of the quarrymen that they had seen similar tracks pressed into stone is of note.  But the Wolverhampton tracks at the pub may have been nothing more than people who were tired of alcoholics in their village.

I've only browsed the "academic" link.  There is a lot to read in that document.

I've no doubt the press of the era played this up.  The various incidents may be linked ... or not.

Cheers

I have to agree that the entire situation is so outlandish that at first glance, should've been dismissed by a serious
news-outlet. But it wasn't and whatever spin may have been added, whatever duplication from other regions may
have taken place, the small communities around the River Exe and its estuary saw something that their everyday
lives couldn't account for.

Now in regards of what they assumed made the tracks, then that's different.
Strict Christian dogma still resided in the out-of-the-way places in Britain and its simple binary aspect could always
assure that something deemed good was the work of God and anything confusing, came from the Devil.

Dawlish, one of the towns in the hoof-print legend, had another tale called 'The Parson and Clerk' that again, involved
religion. I'd guess there's more!

But regardless of who or what made the tracks, the fact was that something unusual and confusing happened and the
villages involved couldn't provide an answer.
tinywondering
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#10
(12-26-2021, 06:41 PM)BIAD Wrote: I have to agree that the entire situation is so outlandish that at first glance, should've been dismissed by a serious
news-outlet.

"Serious" news outlets of the day, just as today, were not above "playing up" an incident, or at times outright making them up, to improve circulation of their work. The only difference between then and now is that "circulation" has been replaced by "ratings".

In the 1880's, a number of fledgling newspapers in the US West created a flurry of reports involving "thunderbirds" or "pterodactyls" and others played up "airships". Some of the reports may have had some basis in actual events, but the majority of them were made up out of whole cloth, entirely to improve circulation of the newspapers. As I recall, the Tombstone Epitaph was noted for such shenanigans.

That's a game that has been played for as long as there have been newspapers. It's frustrating to researchers, because it serves to cloud the subject at hand and causes them to have to spend about as much time debunking false or exaggerated news reports as they spend seriously researching events.

.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#11
(12-27-2021, 12:57 AM)Ninurta Wrote:
(12-26-2021, 06:41 PM)BIAD Wrote: I have to agree that the entire situation is so outlandish that at first glance, should've been dismissed by a serious
news-outlet.

"Serious" news outlets of the day, just as today, were not above "playing up" an incident, or at times outright making them up, to improve circulation of their work. The only difference between then and now is that "circulation" has been replaced by "ratings".

In the 1880's, a number of fledgling newspapers in the US West created a flurry of reports involving "thunderbirds" or "pterodactyls" and others played up "airships". Some of the reports may have had some basis in actual events, but the majority of them were made up out of whole cloth, entirely to improve circulation of the newspapers. As I recall, the Tombstone Epitaph was noted for such shenanigans.

That's a game that has been played for as long as there have been newspapers. It's frustrating to researchers, because it serves to cloud the subject at hand and causes them to have to spend about as much time debunking false or exaggerated news reports as they spend seriously researching events.

I have a copy of The Tombstone Epitaph and it was strangely 'a breath of fresh air' to see that -they too, wrote the OK Corral
incident as more of an opinion-piece than recording what occurred! I know that sadly, there was no 'Golden Age' of Journalism,
where what was reported was so close to the truth that it was reliable, but today's scribblers are just ridiculous in the manner
they attempt to boost their dying medium, the outrageous trash they spew out is having the opposite effect.

It's a damned shame, really.
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#12
@BIAD , I have to confess something.

I started this thread just to have a chance to mention the inhabitants of Wolverhampton are called ...

Wulfrunians

tinybiggrin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wulfrun

Cheers
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Location: The lost world, Elsewhen
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#13
(12-27-2021, 10:38 AM)F2d5thCav Wrote: @BIAD , I have to confess something.

I started this thread just to have a chance to mention the inhabitants of Wolverhampton are called ...

Wulfrunians

tinybiggrin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wulfrun

Cheers

Oh I see... that means I have relatives on my father's side who are Wulfrunians!!
tinysurprised  (That'll explain my hairy palms!)
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