Why Those Apparent Animal Sacrifices Probably Aren't the Work of Real Satanists

When decapitated animals and a blood-smeared pentagram turned up in different parts of San Francisco, it wasn't long before people started using the S-word. Two S-words, in fact: Satanism and Santeria.

Residents on the 800 block of Capp Street woke up one early-August morning to the sight of a dead goat and chicken — both beheaded — in the gutter. One week later, a local hiker on Bernal Hill discovered a pentagram covered in animal blood. Bernal residents regaled a KTVU reporter with tales of animal heads dangling from trees.

Mission Loc@l quoted a Capp Street neighbor who claimed the discarded fauna and fowl were the work of locals who practice Santeria. Meanwhile, on the pentagram scene, the Bernalwood blog shrieked, “Satanists Conduct Unholy Ritual on Bernal Hill!”, and our news blog editor fingered both Satan worshipers and Santeria, which of course have nothing to do with each other. Santeria, a religion based in West African, Caribbean, Catholic, and Native American traditions, is practiced by roughly 22,000 Americans, including an unknown number of San Franciscans.

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