(BBC) – Five farm animals were recently stabbed to death and spray-painted with pentagrams in southern England — and locals fear a satanic-style cult may be to blame, according to a new report.
Two sheep and three cattle were knifed and sprayed with the occult symbol in and around Hampshire’s New Forest National Park within five days, Metro UK reported Sunday.
Another cow was also injured, and someone scrawled the number “666” on the partly 12th-ventury St. Peter’s Church in Bramshaw, the Rev. David Bacon, who presides there, told the outlet.
“It could just be kids, but I don’t think it is, given the context,” Bacon told Metro. “There’s been witchcraft round here for hundreds of years — the New Forest is well known for witchcraft and black magic happening, and this has obviously gone up a level.”
Resident Judy Rudd discovered one of the slaughtered sheep while walking her two dogs through the village, about 80 miles southwest of London she told the outlet.
“It had purple and green aerosol symbols sprayed on it,” Rudd said. “It was a pentagram and a cross. It had been stabbed to death. The wounds were in the side of the body by the rib cage. It was very unpleasant. Some people think it’s sinister.”
Her husband, Julian, told the outlet it’s “reasonable” to suggest the animals weren’t killed by “lads messing about.”
“I don’t agree that it’s done to shock — you don’t go around knifing animals simply to shock people,” he told the outlet. “It’s related to something other than simply a desire to injure animals. It’s either witchcraft or whatever. It’s rather worrying.”
Police are investigating the “unusual” incidents, according to the report.