Searching through the archives of the Society for Psychical Research, a strange case has come to my hands. Out of respect for his protagonist I will omit his real name and call him Mr. Shithead. Mr. Shithead was an evil man. His track record was full of assaults, robberies, swindles, and he had once been seen punching a defenseless granite rock. All this had gone unpunished. But apparently one day his misdeeds filled the patience of … let’s say the forces of Nature. And the following happened:
While Mr. Shithead was plotting some bad deed in his wooden cabin on the outskirts of Colchester, someone knocked on the door. For him it was a surprise given that for years no one had ever come to visit him, firstly because his cabin was a little remote, and secondly because his visitors of old were invariably stripped of all the valuables that they carried and thrown out of his cabin with a kick in the ass.
His surprise guest turned out to be the devil himself! … or someone disguised as such, the thing is not entirely clear in the document. Mr. Shithead invited him to enter and ordered him to deposit all the valuables he had on the table. But then unexpectedly the devil capered through the cabin shouting and laughing. Faced with this unfortunate spectacle, Mr. Shithead set out to grab him and to give him a couple of blows, but the devil dodged it continuously with a skillful set of legs. Mr. Shithead was kicking and punching to right and left never hitting the mark, until the devil was careless for a moment and received such a blow that he fell to the ground on his back, unconscious.
Mr. Shithead started to search the clothes and pockets of the devil, but he found nothing that had the least value except for an expensive jewel that the devil had just stolen from the Crown Treasure. Enraged by so little booty, Mr. Shithead carried the body on his back and left the cabin ready to throw him down a ravine.
Shortly afterwards, an employee of the SPR happened to pass by the ravine when he discovered at its bottom the red figure with horns and a long tail lying unconscious. Recognizing the selfsame devil, the man rescued the body and immediately transferred him to West Kensington, to the headquarters of the Society for Psychical Research. There, the main staff of the Society got ready for a detailed inspection of the devil, but he awoke before they could do anything and began to shout angrily against Mr. Shithead. Dr. Lodge injected him with a sedative, after which the devil was able to relate coherently the strange event that had ended with him at the bottom of the ravine. And then, unexpectedly, he capered and began to dance with a skillfull set of legs.
This unfortunate spectacle lasted longer than it should, so Sir Edmund Gurney gave the dancer such a slap that he fell unconscious again. Fearing he was dead, the members of the SPR signed a pact of silence and entrusted the collaborator who had brought him there to return the devil surreptitiously to the ravine, so since then this one is known as “the devil’s ravine”.