|Perhaps my earliest exposure to urban legends: |
Strange but True: 22 Amazing Stories (Scholastic Books, 1973).
The 2014 horror film Dark Was the Night is based very loosely upon this legend. In recent years we’ve seen a glut of movies “based on a true story” where “based on” is a crass marketing ploy that really means “bears very little actual resemblance to” or “almost entirely fiction.” Examples include The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), An American Haunting (2006), Them (2007), Black Water (2007), The Strangers (2008), The Haunting in Connecticut (2009), Fourth Kind (2009), The Possession (2012), The Conjuring (2013), etc. To me it’s such a cliché that I automatically doubt any movie that claims to be “based on actual events.” Which is why I jokingly describe The Billionth Monkey as being “Based on actual fictional events.” Moreover, in The Billionth Monkey, the “fictional events” are all real urban legends. :)
For a great, thorough investigation of the Devil’s Hoofmarks, see Mike Dash’s paper “The Devil’s Hoofmarks: Source Material on the Great Devon Mystery of 1855,” which originally appeared in Fortean Studies 1 (1994) and 3 (1996).