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What is the meaning of "Mr. Splitfoot"?

Hello there!
I was reading a text when I came across the term "Mr. Splitfoot". It was the story of two girls who were hearing raps in their house, until one of them decided to communicate with the invisible author of the raps by calling him Mr. Splitfoot. 
 
Does it mean the Devil? And is it a term usually used by children or is it a humorous term used by adults?
 
I really appreciate your help!
 
 
 
 
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2 Answers

Hi Markus,
 
"Mr. Splitfoot" or "Old man splitfoot"  is a term used to describe the devil.  Stephen King is an example of a modern author who has used that term in many novels but its use goes back centuries.  Since the Middle Ages the devil has been portrayed as having cloven hooves like a Greek satyr.  
 
There are more proper names for the devil used in literature such as Lucifer and Mephistopheles that are slightly more serious.  But in general Splitfoot as a term is more folksy than funny as its use by horror writers shows.  Splitfoot would be used by children and adults. 
 
It sounds like you may be reference the "Fox Sisters" who helped start the Spiritualism movement but one of the sisters later confessed that the raps they heard were a hoax.  

Comments

Hi Edward;
Great answer!  I never studied demonic literature, except for one detail.
 
In the Trois Freres Cave of Ariege, France, there is a paleolithic painting dating back to 13,000 B.C., 15,000 years before present.  It has the antlers of a deer, tail of a fox, hands and feet of a bear, as well as many other animal features.  It is surrounded by images of animals.
 
In his last work before he died, psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung characterized this as "unquestionably the Lord of the Animals".
 
If you observe the modern artistic rendition of a devil, you will see horns, a tail, and other animal features.  So when you say "Since the Middle Ages the devil has been portrayed as having cloven hooves like a Greek satyr (emphasis supplied)", it might be long before that.
 
Hi Edward,
Thanks for your helpful answer!
You´re right: the text I read was about the Fox sisters whose experience gave rise to Spiritualism in the US and Great Britain. 
 
 

Comment

Hi Markus;
I do not know what story you are talking about.  I will try my best.
 
The author is invisible.  However, the author has a presence.  Henceforth, the author is leaving his footsteps throughout the house in which the two girls are hearing raps authored by him.
 
The author is invisible and present.  His footsteps are invisible and present.
 
The footsteps of the author are split between reality and fantasy.  He is Mr. Splitfoot.