The Devil’s Claw

By Priscilla Wolf

When people have problems such as drinking, drugs, they’re abusers and/or they’ve been leading a real bad life of crime they attract evil spirits/demons, demons that battle for the human soul.

I was just a child when I first heard of the Devil’s Claw, a demon that had attacked a man that my Grandfather knew in Taos, New Mexico. I will call him Manuel and his beautiful wife Penny. Her parents were old and could not defend their daughter from her abusive husband. One night the beating got worse and Manuel laughed and told her, “Get out and run to your parents! I'm not scared of the devil! Or your father!” But that night was different. Standing at the window was a demon who was seeking a soul. Penny left crying and went to her parents house. Manuel was all proud of himself as he looked at himself and said “I'm in power!” But the demon was outside planning his visit to Manuel. Soon thereafter Manuel heard a loud knock on the door. “Who in the hell are you?!” he screamed. He got up from his chair, walked up to the door to open it, and to his surprise there stood his father-in-law. This skinny old man was there asking him to step outside. This made Manuel very angry and upset! He stepped outside and punched the old man, knocking him down, but suddenly as he thought he had the best of the old man the old man turned into a Demon Beast. He attacked him, scratching his face with the claw of a animal. His face was bleeding and he was getting beat up real bad. Manuel asked him to stop but the demon beat him up more until there was not much life left in him. Manuel was able to crawl away and walked to his father-in-law’s home. The poor family was scared to open the door and when they did they were shocked to see Manuel bleeding all over. He was beaten up real bad and he was half crazy, telling them to forgive him and that the devil had beaten him up. I was told he became a changed man and he had no soul.

In 1949, when we lived in Sargent a small farm area of San Luis Valley, Colorado. One night dad came in all drunk as always fighting with mom. “Get out,” mom hollered at him. “Go sleep in the barn or shed.” He stumbled out and he was screaming bad words outside. Then they heard him screaming, “Help me please. I’m getting beat up.” They looked outside and they could see was a black shadow of another man beating up dad. They were able to get my dad toward the house and the shadow vanished. He was all scratched up and beaten up real bad. He claimed the devil beat him up. He was so scared.

He said, “It was half human and half animal, had claws like the devil!”

They called his father who lived in Nevada, a medicine man who prayed over him for ten months. Dad didn’t drink. As soon as his father left he started to drink again. So I guess the devil didn’t scare him that bad. His father said it was a demon soul taker.