Although documentation is sketchy, we do know that something extremely strange occurred in Topsham England on 7th February, 1855. Townspeople were shocked when they awoke to find unexplained footprints covering their yards, gardens, streets, and even roofs of their homes. Although other reports of unknown tracks are known to exist, this incident proved to be most unexplainable. The Times of London printed the following article on 16th February, 1855.
Considerable sensation has been evoked in he towns of Topsham, Lympstone, Exmouth, Teignmouth, and Dawlish, in Devon, in consequence of the discovery of a vast number of foot tracks of a most strange and mysterious description. The superstitious go so far as to believe that they are the marks of Satan himself; and that great excitement has been produced among all classes may be judged from the fact that the subject has been descanted on from the pulpit.
It appears that on Thursday night last there was a very heavy fall of snow in the neighbourhoods of Exeter and the south of Devon. On the following morning, the inhabitants of the above towns were surprised at discovering the tracks of some strange and mysterious animal, endowed with the power of ubiquity, as the foot prints were to be seen in all kinds of inaccessible places - on the tops of houses and narrow walls, in gardens and courtyards enclosed by high walls and paling's, as well as in open fields. There was hardly a garden in Lympstone where the footprints were not observed.
The track appeared more like that of a biped than a quadruped, and the steps were generally eight inches in advance of each other. The impressions of the feet closely resembled that of a donkey's shoe, and measured from an inch and a half to (in some instances) two and a half inches across. Here and there it appeared as if cloven, but in the generality of the steps the shoe was continuous, and, from the snow in the center remaining entire, merely showing the outer crest of the foot, it must have been convex (concave?).
The creature seems to have approached the doors of several houses and then to have retreated, but no one has been able to discover the starting or resting point of this mysterious visitor. On Sunday last the Rev. Mr. Musgrave alluded to the subject in his sermon, and suggested that possibility of the footprints being those of a kangaroo,; but this could scarcely have been the case, as they were found on both sides of the estuary of the Exe.
At present it remains a mystery, and many superstitious people in the above towns are actually afraid to go outside their doors after night.