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Did this Arizona man photograph the devil?

This shadowy figure could just be a palm tree, but is probably the devil.


Samantha Grasso

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 5, 2017   Updated on May 25, 2021, 6:25 am CDT

The devil went down to Arizona, and he was looking to confuse the hell out of the internet.

At least, that’s what two photos uploaded to Facebook appear to claim. On Jan. 1, a Facebook user named Richard Christianson posted a photo to his page of a shadowy winged figure standing along a dark, hazy street.

“What the hell do you see in this picture for reals???” Christianson asked.

Jilly Bowyer-Braby/Facebook

According to an unrelated post on Christianson’s page (featuring Facebook users arguing about the photos in the comments), he took the photos in Tucson, though his profile says he lives in Phoenix.

Several publications covering the bizarre viral image reported that Facebook users weighed in on the identity of the figure, from guessing it’s an angel or devil, or Photoshop at its best.

After being shared more than 80,000 times on Facebook, Christianson made the post private. A cached version of the post is still available on Google, however, and a reporter from Cleveland shared the images on Twitter.



OK, yes, the figure in the photos does look like a demon, or possibly even an angel if you’re less fazed by the ominous nighttime context. The Facebook comment exchange asserts that “it,” being whatever this winged figure (or coyly shaped palm tree) is, “went up and disappeared,” leaving no way for Christianson to go back and take another photo of the site during the day.

Screengrab via Richard Christianson/Facebook

But here’s the thing: Christianson’s Facebook page has his occupation listed as a stagehand represented by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union local chapter—the “devil” very well could have just been a prop set up by Christianson as a hearty new year’s prank.

One thing is for sure—Arizonans are sold that this figure is in fact the devil in the flesh. Why? Because Arizona is basically hell.

H/T Daily Mail

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*First Published: Jan 5, 2017, 6:01 pm CST