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1909, April: The Delaware Devil

The Legend:

        In April, 1909, the city of Georgetown, Delaware, in the USA, was being terrorized by a "Devil in Black." The strange figure was first seen late in the month of April when a dozen or so people saw it in the course of a single evening. Over seven feet tall and wearing a long black cloak, the "Devil in Black" (as it had come to be called) jumped from behind trees to startle women and young ladies. On this night in particular the "Devil" sent a Mrs. William Curdy screaming with fright to take refuge in a neighbor's house, and chased the daughter of Joseph Carnel until she ran, almost fainting, into a grocery store to escape.

        These strange assaults led William Curdy to gather the men of the neighborhood to try and catch the "Devil." They chased the cloaked malefactor across fields, over fences, and through back yards, all the time with the "Devil" just a few yards ahead of their pack... but they lost him while crossing a big ditch known as the Savannah, and he could not be found despite their search. Somehow, the "Devil" had disappeared.

        On the night of April 27th or 28th (the date is unclear), a Mrs. Carn Josephs heard a noise as she passed her woodshed and, turning to look, she saw the "Devil" come out of her woodshed after her. As she ran screaming into her house, her husband came running out with his gun and immediately shot at the figure at the woodshed. In a second, the "Devil" was gone with no trace of injury caused by the gun. This led to many people declaring that the "Devil in Black" either couldn't be hit or couldn't be hurt by bullets... but plenty of other people in town felt the "Devil" must be just a practical joker, and they expected to put a load of shot into said joker at the earliest opportunity.

Acknowledgements

        A nod and a 'thanks' goes out to Mike Dash on this story, for he found the article and then had the courtesy to post it on his website for others to see... and I can pretty much guarentee I'd never have found it in my usual ramblings! To see the listing at Dash's site, Click Here! (opens a new window)

        Was the "Devil in Black" ever heard from again? I'll have to dig deeper when I get a chance!