The Devil's Footprint
Manchester Maine - 7/13/2009
Name: Devils Footprint
Address of Investigation: North Manchester, Maine
The background of this location is widely known but not very accurately documented as of yet July 15, 2009 I have yet to find any mention of a date.
Story is as follows: When workers were building a road through the township they came upon a large stone that could not be lifted or moved by any conventional means at the time. Frustrated at the situation one of the works was said to have called out “I would give my soul to the Devil to move this rock” upon returning to the site on the following day the rock was indeed no longer where it had been it was now fully cleared from the path of the new road. The worker who had made his statement the previous day however was nowhere to be found and they say never heard from again.
This seems to be more of an Urban Legend concocted to explain the odd pattern found on a rock that is now part of a wall surrounding a cemetery. With no true dates to tell when the story takes place it is hard to know if the story has any basis in fact. One indication that the story is just simply that, a story and nothing more, is the fact that when the township was founded pre 1800 it was common to actually build around obstacles as opposed to trying to move them. This combined with the fact that the town meeting house was later moved to its current location only about 20 feet from the stone wall helps to deepen the belief it is only a story.
If it were during the time of more modern roads, dynamite would have been used as was done on the Maine state highways, to cut a path through many stone outcroppings. As early the 1910s they would have used motorized equipment. It does not seem reasonable to us that a single work horse 250 years ago would not have been able to move the rock by itself, or with a team.
However, this is just one of many stories surrounding the Devil's Footprint and cemetery. Others include people claiming to have seen a cloaked figure that just disappeared in or around the older portion of the cemetery, some claim to have seen children in 18th or 19th century clothing near the iron gates. Many people have claimed to have heard a voice telling them to “get out”. Some claim to have even caught this voice on tape.
On the night of July 13, 2009 a group of people went to go see the rock and try and catch something via Digital recorder or Camera. There was six of us who went. The footprint itself was an anomaly I was not expecting to see. Expecting to see maybe a stain in the rock, I was surprised to see something that in fact appeared to be an indentation of a foot. There were two that I could make out with my naked eye; however, Dan, the person who had invited me could make out a third. While the first I saw looked to be rather large about 1 and a half the size of my foot, the second looked to be more the size of my own foot size 14 shoe. Although odd to see I am still very skeptical of the validity of the rock in general. There could be any number of reasons for the odd shapes ranging from erosion to someone carved them there, though I saw no visible tool marks.
We used EMF meters to test for any changes around the rock but found no changes at all. There seemed to be no movement on either meter used. We then decided to check out the cemetery for the claims of apparitions with in the older portion of the cemetery. During the night there were no spikes on either EMF meter, no one experienced any cold spots or reported seeing or hearing anything out side what one would expect to see or hear in a wooded environment. The EVP session did not have anything other than the conversation between Matt and I and the sounds of the surrounding woods.
As the night went on I personally began to wonder if most of the stories and claims about the location were in fact based on the fact that it, 1, is a cemetery and 2, the legend of the Devil's Footprint being such a well known tail in the area. When you have a well know folktale or urban legend people tend to make themselves more vulnerable to being scared by a noise or a flash of light or even seeing a shadow out of the corner of their eye. Combine this with the fact that this particular legend happens near a cemetery in a township founded by puritans, you get a mixing pot filled to the brim with half truths, wives tales, and conjecture. Eventually someone is bound to see it boil over.
In my opinion, the Devil's Footprint, while an interesting anomaly, is simply that and the stories surrounding it and the area are fun to tell and hear, but without dates and the absence of evidence to any paranormal activity, all that remains are stories that can not be substantiated. The Devil's Footprint, as per the standards of Kennebec County Paranormal Society, is not a paranormal event or haunted location and the case is considered Closed.