A Story of the Devil Visiting Perryville, Kentucky in 1866
The Devil In His True Form
Dr. J.J. Polk

At the present time (1866) there is much excitement and wonder at the marvelous accounts by respectable individuals, both black and white, given of his Satanic Majesty appearing to them in bodily form.  There seems to be a perfect corroboration in these statements, which give to them a color of truth; but many are incredulous.  To such let me say, decide not too hastily, for very recently I saw that which curdled my blood and made my hair stand on end, and made me cry for help when none was near.


I was wandering down Chaplin Creek, near the great battlefield [Perryville] of 1862, when I came to a millpond.  Just below the dam, my attention was arrested by a huge anaconda I have ever read of in history.  His length seemed to be about one hundred feet, his body as large as a hogshead, his eyes as large as common plates, his head in proportion, forked tail, nostrils distended, and mouth wide open, and his breathe emitting a sulphurous or snaky odor.  I attempted to draw back from his presence, but found myself powerless, for he had fixed his fiery eyes upon me, and I was transfixed to the spot; and, notwithstanding my terror, I was charmed with the variegated color of his scales, which presented all the colors of the rainbow.  But the most remarkable thing about this apparition, ghost, or whatever else you please to call it, was, that it spoke to me not to approach nearer; that the strong stench of his breathe was instant death; that he was only in pursuit of those who had slandered him, saying there was no devil.  After a long colloquy with me, after this sort, he sank down into the water, which could not have been more than six inches deep, and disappeared.  I left the place with quick step and glad heart, and returned home.


Many who have lately seen his Satanic Majesty, in different forms and other places, have verified their statements by affidavits, but where I am known this will not be necessary.  If any are unbelieving, let them remain so; it is no concern of mine.


                                                                                                            J.J. Polk


P.S.—Stop, reader; I forgot to tell you it was only a dream.


                                                “Night visions may befriend;

                                                  Our waking dreams are fatal.”


J.J. Polk, Autobiography of Dr. J.J. Polk: To Which Is Added His Occasional Writings.  Louisville, KY, 1867.

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