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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Those Bernal Heights Animal Sacrifices Probably Aren't the Work of Real Satanists

Posted By on Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Sounds like it might be time to form a new city commission to look into this - COURTESY OF THE BADASS BERNALWOOD.WORDPRESS.COM
  • Courtesy of the badass
  • Sounds like it might be time to form a new city commission to look into this

A few weeks ago, we told readers about the pentagram smeared in animal blood painted on the top of Bernal Hill. The story and photos sparked much debate about who left the eerie symbol and perhaps more importantly, why.

The neighborhood was already shaken up after a decapitated goat and dead chicken were found strewn across the sidewalk along Capp Street. People started blaming  practicing Santerians, who, some say, routinely participate in animal sacrificing as part of their religion. Others claimed it was the work of local Satanists -- and the pentagram found shortly after crystallized that fear. 

But as our Exhibitionist blog notes today, Santeria -- a religion based in West African, Caribbean, Catholic, and Native American traditions -- is markedly different than Satanism.

In short, those who practice Santeria do sacrifice animals (for healing purposes only), but they don't leave behind bloody pentagrams. That's an important distinction!

So then who did plaster this pentagram across the hill? And were the animal deaths part of a real religious ritual?

Probably not, says Randall Lockwood, senior vice president of anticruelty services for

the American SPCA. "Sacrificial remains found in parks,

especially those adorned with talismans like candles or pennies, are

most often the work of religious novices, teens, or satanic dabblers," he says.

Read the full story on the Exhibitionist.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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