Episode 31: The Devil’s Footprint

Justine Johnson 0:11
Hello, and welcome to Unknowable, the podcast where we talk about all things mysterious, unusual or unknowable. I’m Justine… and I’m the only one hosting this week! Gray was sick this past weekend, so in an abundance of caution with having a baby at home and all we decided to move our regularly scheduled topic to the next airing and this week I am solo! Which is… not my favorite thing. But here we are. Really wanted to stay on track for you guys. Now that we’re back from our extended leave. Didn’t want to have any more gaps in the schedule.

So I’m here with another Maine topic! You might remember, those of you who’ve been around for a while or have binged what we have so far, way back, I did another solo episode about another Maine topic. That seems to be the theme that we’re going with. They tend to be pretty easy, small topics, perfect for just one person to delve into. And this one, I’m talking about the Devil’s Footprint, which is just about as interesting as it sounds. So even just Googling “spooky Maine” comes up with a whole slew of lists of creepy weird things in this state. I think you can probably find similar things for any state but I feel like Maine kind of has this whole bunch of weird urban legends. There’s a lot of old stories. I think it just comes with the territory of an old state and probably partly because we have Stephen King living here we just have this spooky vibe. Even bringing up, like, I think the second result in the Google search was an article, or a listicle, if you will, which I hate that word, but… “12 Reasons Why Maine is the Most Terrifying State”. And I didn’t delve deeper to find out if that particular site had the exact same list for every state, but still. We have haunted lighthouses, haunted prisons, haunted opera houses, curses, there’s a whole ton of creepy forts, lake monsters. Actually, funnily enough, the lake monster that supposedly exists or resides in the lake, that Manchester, Maine where this story is based out of, Manchester borders the lake where the lake monster supposedly resides to its south. So, related? Probably not but, you know. Even Route 2a, the haunted stretch of highway that I talked about way back in Episode Six? Another creepy Maine thing! So we just… we’ve got a whole bunch of it.

So… this Devil’s Footprint myth says in some vague time period… there’s really no definite, you know, this range or whatever, we’re talking a long time ago… but some vague time period. They were doing construction in Manchester, Maine — this is about an hour northeast of Portland, old, old town settled in 1775. The construction worker came across a boulder that was immovable by natural means. Now of course, that’s the weird part about this. There really have always been means to move these giant boulders out of the way of things like that. So the odd part about this boulder to begin with was that they tried everything that they knew and it just would not move. And this guy got frustrated at some point and basically climbed up onto the rock and exclaimed that if the boulder could be moved, he would sell his soul to the devil if they could just finally move this boulder. Supposedly, the next day the rock had been moved all on its own, and the worker had disappeared, never to be seen again. All that was left as evidence of this entire encounter were some strange indentations on the boulder, one of which there’s a triangular looking indentation that is supposed to be the mark of a cloven hoof. And there’s another one that people aren’t really sure about, but they think looks vaguely like a set of human footprints kind of merged together. So, apparently, at this point, somebody with a can of spray paint has conveniently made the footprints a little bit easier to see by marking it. But yeah, so supposedly, the devil took him up on this bargain. I just am a little tickled by the thought that the devil is just sitting around just waiting for people to say that, you know, in a joking manner? Just like, “please, God, if I can get the lid off this jar of fucking pickles, I will sell my soul to the devil,” and he’s like, “Gotcha. Gotcha!”

So the rock is still there. It’s part of the wall of the cemetery that’s adjacent to the North Manchester Meeting House, which was built in 1793 and still functions as a church to this day. Apparently, it started as a Baptist Church. I think now it’s non-denominational but you can go to this rock! So… I wouldn’t. I mean, we probably will at some point, but supposedly on top of this legend, there has also apparently been sightings of weird shadows moving about. There are woods right behind the cemetery, there have been strange shadowy figures and lights coming from the woods. Cold pockets of air felt by people exploring in the cemetery. An unusual robed man who is said to guard the entrance to the cemetery while holding a lantern sometimes. Children who run around in attire from like the 17th, 18th century. There is supposedly a Woman in White, which is a classic ghostly apparition, and an angry voice who tells visitors to get out! So, and there have been even some who said that they could see their breath in the air even on a warm summer night.

So, don’t really know why this particular cemetery would be so filled with odd happenings. I guess maybe that is just part of what happens when a place is super old, and just has a lot of time to kind of gather different energies. I think we talked about it in a recent episode, but we typically don’t think of cemeteries as being particularly haunted places, just because, to us, it seems like places that end up haunted are the places where something terrible actually happened, rather than just the resting place for those who have had terrible things happen or who were bad people. So, cemeteries to me always feel very peaceful. Just you have a whole mix of different types of deaths and different types of lives that were lived. So it always strikes me as odd when a place does get haunted like that, but at the same time, you have a high number of dead people and their spirits, you know, if we believe that maybe your spirit kind of stays around where you are, or where you were, which you have to think a cemetery in a town as old and as small as this, there’s most likely most of the people buried there lived there as well. So who knows why the cemetery supposedly has so much action happening. Even one of the stories says that a group of visitors were sitting in a van by the rock wall — where the boulder resides — and the windows started to fog up and they were hearing strange noises outside of the van and then they saw claw marks kind of in the condensation like somebody had taken their hand or their paw or something and run it down the window. And… couldn’t explain that and there’s other stories, many stories, of people supposedly visiting the boulder only to return to their car that would not start with no explanation for that. So… definitely beware if you do go and visit and want to make a quick exit because you might be stuck there. And Manchester, Maine — as is often the case with small Maine towns — is apparently not really close to a whole lot so, you know, make sure your cell phone’s charged up and all that good stuff. So yeah, that is the the Devil’s Footprint.

And kind of one of the cool spots in Maine that hopefully, maybe when it gets to be a little warmer out, we will go check it out. It’s only an hour away from us in Portland, so go give it a look. I’ve seen photos of the boulder. You can Google “Devil’s Footprint, Manchester, Maine” and check out the boulder photos. I would say aside from the cloven hoof indentation the other ones are pretty vague looking, but the cloven hoof one is pretty cool and it’s kind of unclear how it got there. It’s not a, like, it’s not a residue on the boulder or a coloring. It’s an actual indentation. Which, I give this disclaimer all the time in various forms, but I’m not a geologist. I don’t know why things like that could happen. I don’t know the possible explanations, but it does look like an odd thing to have this weirdly shaped indentation in something like a rock. So I have no idea what the possibilities, besides supposedly this devil decided to make his mark there. So you should go check it out. If you do, let us know, take some pictures. Maybe go at nighttime if you’re brave, scout it out. If you have any ghost hunting equipment bring it along, see if you get any readings and let us know if anything weird happens. Let us know if your car starts, if you see any lights moving through the woods, if you believe this legend. Do you think the devil just hashes out deals with random construction workers? And if so, what did the devil do to that construction worker when he traded him? Pretty shitty trade on his part, I would say. The construction worker’s part anyways, the devil got a good deal, I think. That was too easy. So, let us know what you think! And enjoy this very short, very brief Episode 31 about the Devil’s Footprint.

That is… Unknowable. Love you!

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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