The Devil of Deptford. Being a true Relation of the strange Disturbances, Ludicrous Feats, and Ma­licious Pranks of an Evil Spirit in the House of Mr. G. living in Back-Lane at Deptford near London, in April and May, 1699.
The Truth whereof is known, and can be attested by a great number of the Inhabitants of that Town.
Published to prevent false Reports.

THough the Sadduces and Atheists of this Age have the confident vanity to deny the Being of Spirits, and affirm that all the Stories concerning them, and the Feats performed by them, are either Fabulous, or else are to be ascribed only to Natural Causes; yet this fond Opinions have been undeniably confuted by se­veral Learned and Ingenious Men.

And as the Examples of former Ages, so the Prodigious Accidents that have happened in these, and some of our Neighbouring Nations, make it evident be­yond contradiction, that there are Evil Spirits of Devils, which do infest this low­er World;and of which we have a fresh convincing Argument in the following Instance: All the particulars whereof were acted, not in the Dark, or at Midnight but at Noon-day in the face of the Sun, it the Sight of a great many Persons; and the effects thereof were felt by divers of the Family.

I will not pretend to give an Account of every little Accident that happened, but only relate thoe that were most observable, and occurred to the Memory of the Parties concerned therein; which take as follows.

Upon Saturday, April 25, 1699. at the House of Mr. G. a Gentleman well known, living in Back-Lane at Deptford in Kint, about Twelve a Clock at Noon, a Stone was thrown against the Parlour Window next to the Street, which break­ing the Glass came into the Room. The Boys that were in the Street were charg­ed with doing it, but they all denyed it; when instantly another Stone was thrown, which broke the Glass likewse, and fell into the Room: Soon after for many days together a great number of Stones were thrown against the back and side Windows next the Garden, seeming to come from the Fields behind; which battered the Glass and Lead in such a strange manner as if torn and rent with a storm of Wind or Hail. The Stones still continuing to be thrown, the window shutters were put to; but then the battery seemed to the renewed with more fury, and one of the Shutters was shattered to pieces with a great Stone. At length they nailed up strong deal Boards on the outside of the broken Windows; after which the Disturbance ceased from without, but began within the House. One time all the China Cups and Glasses were removed from the Mantle-piece in the Parlour, and set on the Floor, At another time several Earthen Plates and Dishes were broken to shievers, which being laid together by the Gentlewoman were thrown at them with great force, so that they were obliged to carry them out of the House: Several Pewter Plates were seen to come out of the Kitchin, be­low Stairs, into the Parlour of themselves: An Iron heater moved up Stairs into the Bedchamber, and was thrown at the Gentlewomans head, striking her under the Ear so hard that the Blood came; and while she was surprized at the blow, it rose again from the Floor, and struck her on the other side of the Head. After this the Maid carries it into the Garden, and about an hour after they being at din­ner, the same Heater was seen by the Gentleman to come in at the Parlour door, and struck his wife the third time upon her Collar-bone, which pain'd her a consi­derable time. A small Runlet or Barrel of about 4 Gallons came out of the Cel­lar, to the Stair head; a Gentleman being [...]e, kickt it down again, but the Maid going down soon after, me the Cask coming up again, with the Head up­permost; and the Cask was seen to move by the Gentleman of the House, and another after it came up: A Candle and Candlestick being left in the Dining Room, which was locked, was thrown up Stairs, and they looking out at the noise found it there, and yet the Door continued locked as before: A large Book [Page]was thrown down 2 Pair of Stairs: Part of a Loaf of Bread was conveyed from its place, and after long fearch was at last found hid under a Kettle in the Cellar: Some Butter in a Pan was thrown into the Dirt, and the Pan broke to pieces: A little Book came of it self out of a Drawer in the Chamber, and crossing the Room about two foot from the Ground, however all the way as if blown along, fell at the Gentlewomans feet; who carryed it back to the same place, but saw it im­mediately come out of the Drawer again and approach her. This was repeated 5 times successively, she carrying it back, and that still returning again; till at length it was gone out of the Drawer she knew not how nor where; but some­time after found it in the Corner of a Closet. A Hat and Hatcase likewise march­ed about the Room without Human aid: A small stool rise from the ground and fell upon a Chest of Drawers, and after some time jumpt off again, and stood upon the feet as before: Candles, Tobacco Pipes, and an Head-Block were likewise moved about visibly without hands: And some Sausages or Links being carryed up stairs for security, on a sudden began to be on their march down Stairs; a young Maid seeing them stir, cryed out, Stop the Links, and strove to catch them, but they were too nimble for her, and became instantly invisible; but upon strict search were found in a corner of the Cellar all over dirty; however being well washed and fryed, the Gentleman and his Wife made their Suppers on them, and found no inconvenience; though they were disswaded therefrom since it was not known through what infernal hands they had passed: The Gentlewoman one time opening her Trunk where her Cloaths lay, something seemed to heave them up, as if a Cat had been underneath: The like accident happened to the Maids Trunk and Cloaths, though nothing was to be found. The Linnen likewise in the Chest of Drawers was often rumpled, tho' laid never so smooth; and one day the whole Chest of Drawers was turn'd with the bottom upwards. The Beds, tho' made in the morning, would be disorder'd, and the Cloths thrown off 2 or 3 times in a day, and the Pillows carried down Stairs.

The Gentleman walking in his Garden with his hands behind him had a Stone thrown therein; and the Gentlewoman seeing a Stone coming toward her catcht it with her hand: They were often struck with the Stones, but without much damage. It is computed there were no less than a Thousand Stones thrown into and about the House, within the Month wherein this Disturbance continued. They set watches about the Streets, Fields and Gardens adjacent to observe whether any person was seen to throw them, but they could perceive none; and yet at that same time the Stones were seen to flie against the House as fast as be­fore.

At first the Gentleman got some Friends to sit up all Night, Praying and Reading; but in a few Days they observed that the Noise ceased every Night about Eleven a Clock, and began again about Eight Next Morning, so that no­thing disturbed their Rest. They also found in the Day time, that the more Company they had the less they were troubled.

Some Reverend Divines were there to enquire into the particulars of this strange Disturbance, and were fully satisfied that it could be only the effect of an Invisible and Supernatural Power, and altogether unaccountable to Humane Reason.

This Disturbance began about Ten Days after one Person came into the Fa­mily, who continued there about five weeks, and then went away; the very same day all the Disturbance ceased, and all has continued quiet, without the least noise or trouble ever since.

If any desire to be satisfied of the Truth of this Account, the whole Town of Deptford, almost, will be Vouchers for the reality thereof; and the Ruins that this Infernal Battery has made on the Windows are still visible to any that will please to visit the House.

And what can we now imagine our Witty Infidels will object against this plain matter of Fact, or how can they deny Invisible Powers, when the Effects of them are so apparent. We may therefore conclude that they only pretend to the Un­believers in their own defence; and since their Lewd Lives make them doubt­ful of obtaining Eternal Happiness, they strive to fortifie their Minds against all the Arguments offered toprove a future Judgment: And because they live like Brutes, only gratifying their sinful Lusts and Appetites, they hope, and would perswade themselves they shall likewise Die like Beasts. But let them remem­ber there is nothing more certain than, That for all these things God will bring them into Judgment.

LONDON, Printed for Nath. Crouch at the Bell in the Poultrey, 1699.

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