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Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Bracken Devil Sightings




  Many know that New Jersey has the Jersey ’’Leeds’’ Devil of the Pine Barrens, sometimes described as having Hooves and a horse like head ,but few are aware Kentucky Had a Devil also. In an 1868 sworn affidavit there is an account of a demonic creature sighted in the area of Willow creek near a fence in Bracken County. On October 10,1868 the first witness  of the creature rode his horse to town. Relating his fantastic story to a crowd of townspeople he quickly gathered a party of armed men to go dispatch the fiend. According to him it apparently was walking on two legs but the legs ended in hooves and was half horse but with a manlike or apelike face.
                                                           
A Devil head by Austin Osman Spare [1886 – 1956]
 
When the group of armed citizens arrived at the sighting area near the fence the Devil was still there. The Party consisted of Upstanding Citizens, Merchants, Doctors, Ministers and Lawyers and a small crowd who all swore they saw the creature ,which was now snorting fire and pacing back and forth. A Hail of Gunfire bore down on the Devil but it was soon apparent it was having no effect. Finally it vanished into thin air.

  This sounds similar to another sighting a few years before also in Bracken .In 1866 an entity that was also supernaturally impervious to gunfire and had the ability to appear and reappear at will was reported. 

A witness Nathaniel G Squires wrote this description in his account of being awakened in the middle of the night with the Devil outside his Cabin.
It was nearly as high as the comb of the cabin, and had a monstrous head not dissimilar in shape to that of an ape; two short very white horns appeared above each eye; its arms were long, covered with shaggy hair of an ashy hue, and terminated with huge paws, not unlike those of a cat, and armed with long and hooked claws. Its breast was as broad as that of a large sized ox. Its legs resembled the front legs of a horse, only the hoofs were cloven. It had a long tail, armed with a dart-shaped horn, which it was continually switching about. Its eyes glowed like two living coals of fire, while from its nostrils were emitted sheets of bluish coloured flame, with a hissing sound, like the hissing of a serpent, only a thousand times louder. Its general colour, save its arms, was a dull, dingy brown. The air was powerfully impregnated with a smell of burning sulphur… I do not know how long this monster, demon or devil, was visible after we reached the window – possibly some three seconds. When it vanished, it was enveloped in a spiral column of flame that reached nearly to the tops of the locust trees adjacent, and which hid his horrid form completely from view. The extinction of the flame was instantaneous, and with its disappearance we were relieved of the presence of this remarkable visitor.
 Medieval woodcut of a tempting Devil .Such depictions often resemble Fauns and Centaurs of Classic Myth.
 

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