So I’m reading the local newspapers and what do I see? A rash of animal sacrifices have been found in Philadelphia recently pretty close to my house. Investigators are unsure why.

Just this week three animals were found decapitated in a cemetery around Philadelphia. A beheaded rooster was also found hanging from a tree with a makeshift altar with candles nearby. A goat and another rooster were discovered Sunday morning.

And this was on top of other “sacrifices” found the past few weeks.

OK. Time to move?

The story is not getting a lot of play in the Philadelphia media. But this is what Google is made for. I did some quick research and put that incident together with an incident earlier this month when a jogger was running through popular Pennypack Park and spotted an awful sight. Two headless goats propped against a tree.

Upon an investigation, investigators discovered five goats in plain sight in the park. Investigators quickly discovered that things were even weirder. The goats had been tied up, drained of all blood, and each were beheaded. Their heads were placed next to the carcasses.

According to, Police and the Pennsylvania SPCA are investigating what they believe was a form of ritual sacrifice. In all, they’ve discovered eight “sacrificed” goats and other animals around Philadelphia.

“It appears that all the blood had been drained from these animals, which is inherent of a ritualistic practice. It has some strange bizarre twists to it, but it is some type of a religious practice,” said George Bengal, director of investigations for the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

And recently on Long Island, says Newsday, the body of a baby goat and its severed head were found near the side of a road in Islip Terrace.

The headless body was found inside a brown bag, while the goat’s decapitated head was found a few feet away, according to the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

A police spokesman said the case was being treated as an animal cruelty investigation. Both police and the SPCA are investigating the incident, which the SPCA characterized as “a gruesome find.”

Some believe the practicioners of Santeria are responsible. “This is the time of year,” in the weeks around Christmas, “for a lot of religious sacrifices,” including satanic rituals, Bengal said.

The slaughters in the cemetery were unusual because they are believed to have occurred right there, Bengal said. “Usually, they do it in a house, then bag up the remains,” he said. The heads were wrapped in bandannas.

This is the kind of thing you read about but it’s a little weird to hear about it going on in your own backyard, especially in a park I’ve taken my children to quite often.