Satanic rituals are a subject of great interest for a lot of people— whether you realize it or not. As people, we are intrigued by dark dances with the devil, and the people who dare to turn on the music. If we weren't, horror movies such as The Exorcist, The Blair Witch Project, and even Paranormal Activity would not be as popular as they are. We like to scare ourselves with notions of evil and its many potential manifestations.
American Horror Story is especially good at playing on the fears we all have of the unknown. Each season, there is a new version of unexplainable evil we are presented with. The ghosts in Murder House (Season One), the devil which takes over Sister Mary Eunice in Asylum (Season Two), and the most recent manifestation of evil are the Roanoke Colony who remain tied to the land as angry spirits. The dark and twisted series is just another example of how we love to terrify ourselves with the unknown.
The best example of our flirtation with evil is our penchant for scary stories. Chainmail was huge in the 90s, and kids would forward every one of the terrifying emails just in case. There are people who will not touch ouija boards with a ten-foot pole for fear of inviting something unpleasant into our realm, and there are stories of people daring to say "Bloody Mary" three times in front of a mirror. But these things are relatively harmless in comparison to the people who genuinely worship Satan as an entity. There is enjoying the possibility of evil for entertainment purposes, but then there is what occurred in these places around the world. Hold on to your hats, because this is what happens when scary stories are brought to life...
15 Online Dating Nightmare
In the 21st Century, many of you are looking for love on the internet. Some of you (no judgement) are looking for sex on the internet. But it is important to be safe with these things. Especially if you are looking for... not-entirely-traditional-sex. A young man from Arizona met two women from Milwaukee in 2011. The women, Raven Larrabee and Rebecca Chandler, invited him to their home in Milwaukee for a threesome. But once he got there, they tied him up with duct tape and cut him with knives. They gave him over 300 wounds (maybe they were shooting for six-hundred-and-sixty-six?) before he managed to escape. Police followed his trail of blood to the women's apartment and arrested them. Police also found a number of occult and satanic books in their apartment.
14 German Vampires
German couple Manuela and Daniel Ruda were an extremely intimidating sight to behold. The Satanist couple had fitted vampire fangs in their mouths and had upside down crosses shaved into their hair. They sometimes even drank human blood! Where do you even get human blood from? In 2001, Daniel apparently received a spiritual message from Satan (Satan doesn't send text messages, clearly) asking for a sacrifice. So, he invited his co-worker, Frank Hackert, to his house. Then he knocked him out and hung him upside down so he could stab him 66 times and carve a pentagram into his chest. The police found the body and arrested the couple, who are now in a secure German mental institution.
13 Knights of the Black Circle
Ricky Kasso was a well-known Satanist from Long Island. He liked to shout "Hail Satan" at passersby and he was the leader of a drug-riddled satanic cult called the 'Knights of the Black Circle'. He supposedly performed a satanic ritual at the vacant Amityville house (made famous because of Ronald “Butch” DeFeo Jr. who killed six family members because of “devilish black hands” and disembodied voices). Whether true or not, Kasso definitely did murder his friend, Gary Lauwers, and made him say that he "loved Satan" while he was being beaten. Apparently, Kasso even bit Lauwers in the neck before stabbing him in the chest. One of the witnesses testified under immunity saying that Lauwers was stabbed between 17 and 36 times, and that the assault lasted hours. Not only was this probably extremely agonizing for Lauwers, but the lengthy beating wasn't even the worst part— Lauwers' body was discovered with his eyes sliced out.
12 Russian Cannibalism in the Woods
The year was 2008, the location was Russia. Four devil-worshippers made the ultimate sacrifice to their lord, Satan— that's spilling blood, in case you haven't noticed the pattern yet. The group were fronted by a charismatic and concerning character called Nikolai Ogolobyak. They lured four teenagers into the woods just outside of Yaroslavl and then stabbed all four of them 666 times before removing their genitals, scalping them, and removing the "most tender meat" to cook over the bonfire to chow down on (because why not add cannibalism to this horrific list of crimes?). Some of the victims' remains were found in a pit near Nikolai's house, and so the four Satanists were arrested and given around 20-year sentences in prison.
11 Pearl's Headless Body
In Fort Thomas, Kentucky in 1896, a headless body belonging to a pregnant woman named Pearl Bryan was found. Bryan was from Indiana, so there were questions as to what she had been doing in Kentucky to begin with. Once her killers were arrested, Alonzo Walling and Scott Jackson, it was discovered that they had murdered Pearl as part of a satanic ritual that occurred in a slaughterhouse. Neither culprit would tell the police what they had done with Pearl's head. They said that if they did, they would incur the wrath of Satan.
10 Satanic Sex Magic
In 1930s France, there were two prominent cults in operation. One of them was led by a defrocked priest. The second, which was significantly more famous, was called 'The Brotherhood of the Golden Arrow', and was led by a Russian emigre named Maria de Naglowska. The group worshipped Satan with sex magic. What is sex magic, you ask? Well, surely you have had sex that is so magical you feel all great and tingly and the presence of Satan himself? No? Maybe you're including the wrong serpent in the bedroom...
Maria was really into sex magic, she published books and newspapers about it. One of her sex magic rituals included people surrounding her naked body and saying:
"I will research with companions the initiatory erotic act, which, by transforming the heat into light arouses Lucifer from the satanic shades of masculinity."
9 Mexican Satanic 'Black Mass'
Tourists were shocked and a little grossed out after attending a "Black Mass" devil-worshipping ritual in Mexico. The torturous animal sacrifices are, according to the chief shaman, necessary, since "The blood pumped from a still-beating heart is the purest form of energy." People who take part in the worshipping are involved in savage animal sacrifices, dancing, and burning pentagrams into the ground before entering a cave, alone, to swear solemn oaths to a statue of the devil and a bunch of shamans. The chief shaman, Enrique Verdon, wears a dead anteater on his head. He said in an interview that "Our black magic stems from Native American Olmeca culture, and we are experts in calling upon the devil and his dark power."
8 Switzerland's Gotthard Tunnel Ceremony
When the world's longest rail tunnel was built in Switzerland, after two decades of construction, a celebration ceremony was broadcast live on television. Between a person dressed as a goat “ritualistically consuming and mating with” the dancers, the song chanted in Italian and ancient Germanic, and chained owl-person wearing a diaper, people genuinely believed that they were witnessing a satanic ritual. In fact, the BBC had to issue a disclaimer because the imagery the ceremony used was so extreme. Rumours have been flying that the ceremony is tied to the New World Order and Illuminati. Perhaps some of the concern over the ceremony being ritualistic came from the fact that 9 workers lost their lives over the course of construction. Death always puts people on edge. But in all seriousness... what was that?
7 LaVey's Church of Satan
In San Francisco's Richmond District, Anton Szandor LaVey operated his 'Church of Satan' group out of his private, all-black house. LaVey and his satan-worshipping followers performed highly dramatic rituals, which they often filmed for future generations to reference. Because of the footage they broadcast and LaVey's published work The Satanic Bible, the Church of Satan gained a lot of publicity in the 60s and 70s. Much like the craze of Scientology, many Hollywood celebrities such as Marilyn Manson and Sammy Davis Jr. joined the Church of Satan. As well as the Church of Satan, San Francisco and the Bay Area has seen many potential satanic serial killers— you've all heard of the Zodiac Killer and the Night Stalker, right?
6 Christina's Diary
Jeanette Meyran and her daughters moved to a small town in Long Island in 2006. The family were hoping to leave the loss of their husband and father behind them (he died in an apartment fire). However, their clean slate in St. James wasn't all it was cracked up to be. The women say that they saw hooded men around their property, and heard voices and thumps around the house. To make things creepier, they later found a diary from 1927 in their basement, written by a girl called Christina. She wrote about sexual abuse and animal sacrifices performed as part of a Long Island cult. The family continued to encounter spooky paranormal activity, and their experiences were turned into an episode of Paranormal Witness, a SyFy programme.
5 The Night Stalker
The Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez, is arguably the most well-known serial killer to flirt with the devil. He confirmed for many that satanism and serial killing go together like peanut butter and jelly, except it's a significantly less delicious combination. Ramirez' crimes appeared random at first. He attacked, raped, and murdered women. Sometimes he would leave a drawing of a pentagram behind. The Night Stalker's reign of terror took the lives of 14 victims in his brief serial killing stint. When police arrested Ramirez, he told them that he was a minion of Satan who had been sent to Earth to carry out the devil's evil deeds. You would think the devil would be less likely to get caught, though...
4 Jack Parsons
In Pasadena, California, Jack Parsons— a well-known scientist who developed solid rocket fuel and co-founded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory— ran a cult out of his mansion. They didn't necessarily worship Satan, but Parsons did tell a friend he once summoned Satan when he was 13 years old. Parsons was also known for being a financial supporter of the infamous Pagan leader, Aleister Crowley. The founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, was a member of the cult. Make of that what you will... Members of the cult would dance semi-nude around bonfires and they were not shy about it! Parsons and Hubbard documented the rituals themselves, practising sex magic, public ceremonies (according to neighbours) and praising Parsons' favourite goddesses. Eventually, the rituals got so extreme that even Aleister Crowley chastised them.
3 Amanda Knox, Devil-Worshipper?
In Italy, accusations of satanism are taken very seriously. Sometimes, Satanism is in the eye of the beholder. For example, in the well-known Amanda Knox trial, prosecutor Giuliano Mignini was convinced that the crime was associated with Satanism. He has said that it was "premeditated and was in addition a ‘rite’ celebrated on the occasion of the night of Halloween. A sexual and sacrificial rite [that] in the intention of the organizers … should have occurred 24 hours earlier” — actually on Halloween — “but on account of a dinner at the house of horrors, organized by Meredith and Amanda’s Italian flatmates, it was postponed for one day.” Eventually, he was convinced to stop his allegations of satanism, but by that point everyone involved in the case had their own suspicions about whether or not Knox was secretly a devil-worshipper.
2 Chuck E. Cheese's Basement Discovery
Police found the bodies of 4 missing teenagers in the basement of a Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant. The basement was full of mold, garbage, debris, animal feces and satanic markings. The teenagers had disappeared between 2013-2015 and were locals of the city. The owner of the establishment, Melvin Wallace, was charged with their murders and a woman was charged as an accomplice. Reports say that Wallace had been performing "satanic rituals" and "animal sacrifices" for over a decade. It is thought that he abducted the children from the "family fun center". Parents were shocked and appalled. One mother said, “We come here to have pizza and play games at least once a week. Melvin seemed like such a nice guy, a little weird, but a nice guy. Parents need to watch their children more closely! There are these crazy types of creeps everywhere!”
1 Herbert's Barbershop
In Toledo, Ohio, Herbert Sloane led a satanic group called 'Our Lady of Endor Coven' from 1948 to 1975. Sloane, who worshipped Satan, in the form of a horned god that apparently appeared to him in the woods when he was a child. He was a WWII army veteran, hypnotist, card reader, medium, and even a barber, and regularly performed black magic in the back of his barbershop. Sloane's coven believed in a strange off-brand version of satanism (you should Google it, it is pretty weird!), which generally kept membership numbers fairly low, and therefore it didn't really take off as a cult, unlike other mainstream groups such as the 'Church of Satan'. However, while it might not have been the most famed satanic cult, the group members were some of the first public satanists in the United States. That has to be worth at least some bragging rights, right?