Congregation on high alert after dead animal found hanging on flagpole, pastor suspects satanists

St Peter's Bramshaw, Hampshire, England, on Oct. 22, 2008.
St Peter's Bramshaw, Hampshire, England, on Oct. 22, 2008. | Wikimedia Commons/Nick Macneill/CC BY-SA 2.0

A congregation in the English countryside was terrified to learn that a dead cat was found hanging from a flagpole at their church, just weeks after a dead fox was discovered on the church’s doorstep. The vicar of the church suspects the animals' bodies were deliberately dumped by satanists.

The Rev. David Bacon, the vicar of the 12th century St. Peter’s Church in Bramshaw near Southampton, told The U.K. Times that women came to clean the church this week to prepare it for Christmas and found the cat hanging from the flagpole.

Just weeks ago, a dead fox was lying on the church’s doorstep, the newspaper said, quoting the vicar as saying, “Every so often we get things like this happening. It makes everybody feel very uncomfortable.”

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Satanists are being suspected because in 2019, sheep had been stabbed and sprayed with pentagrams, and graffiti with the same occult markings were found on the church walls.

Bacon said he can’t say “definitively” if the latest incidents are linked to the 2019 sheep killings, adding that those behind it could be “just angry at life in general, or against the church, or is it linked to witchcraft? I can’t say.”

An organization called the Police Pagan Association is the police services’ de facto occult investigations branch in the region.

In January 2020, The Telegraph reported that St. Botolph’s Church in the Lincolnshire countryside was being repeatedly desecrated by satanists who would break in to perform occult ceremonies and scatter the blood of sacrificed animals.

“They sometimes bring chickens and slit their throats and the blood spills out all over,” Martin Chapman, a farmer who had been visiting the church site to clear the remnants, was quoted as saying. “It’s just escalated over the years. They damage and break things. They make rings of candles and salt. They smash graves. There is no fear. There’s a group of serious witches that come down.”

Many young women had been traveling to St Botolph’s, Chapman added.

“Churches often have a palpable sense of God and goodness because they have been saturated with the prayers of people down the ages,” Justine Allain Chapman, archdeacon of Boston in the Diocese of Lincoln, was quoted as saying at the time. “That quality doesn’t disappear easily, and so people are drawn to religious places. It is important to remember that God’s blessing is stronger than any curse, and light more powerful than darkness.”

In the United States, satanists install their deity sculpture to mock traditional Christian Nativity displays.

Around Christmas last year, The Satanic Temple of Illinois displayed a sculpture of an infant version of Baphomet in the state capitol rotunda in Springfield, Illinois.

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