In the United Kingdom, the Daily Mirror has published an article yesterday afternoon entitled Sheep and horse ‘found sexually abused then slaughtered in Satanic ritual’ in France. The New York Daily News republished the article, with some alterations, under the headline: Sheep and horses found butchered in alleged satanic ritual in France.
The Daily Mirror article claims that the animals were found “this weekend”, but both the British and American articles were based upon an article from an English-language French publication, The Local, which had been published last Thursday. That article said that the animals were slaughtered “a few days before January 7”.
The animals appear, from reports, to have been mutilated. The reports claim burning of the animals, as well as strangulation by wire, which would rule out mauling by animals. It’s a nasty finding – but what makes the newspapers think it was the result of a Satanic ritual?
The timing of the slaughter, and reports of associated animal mutilations, seem to be the only evidence used to support the claim of a Satanic ritual. “The fact the slaughter came just a few days before the feast of Saint-Winebald on January 7th, which is a key date in the satanic calendar, has given police to believe the animal was killed and mutilated as part of a ritual. There were also reports of horses being massacred in Britain, the French press noted,” states the article from The Local.
I could find no reports of any horses “massacred” in Britain. There are reports of many non-Satanic acts of cruelty against horses, however. Six miniature ponies in Australia had their throats slashed in Australia at the end of December, but there’s no indication of any between the man who did it and Satanism.
So, the Saint Winebald connection is the only remaining link to Satanism. But, hold on, Saint Winebald was an anti-pagan Christian monk, not a Satanist. The Feast of Saint Winebald is a Christian holiday.
Another important detail: Saint Winebald’s Day is in December, not in January.
Could the Saint Winebald comment have been a mistake? Could there be another Satanic holiday on January 7, or around that time? Available information suggests not. The Church of Satan explains that “There is no requirement that a Satanist celebrate any holidays, and there are no hard and fast traditions or rites associated with them. Since Satanism embraces Nature, the other holidays a Satanist might choose to celebrate would be the seasonal turning points marked by the equinoxes and solstices—the dates of which vary from year to year, as well as the mid points between these which can be recognized as the climaxes of each season.” The midpoint between winter solstice and spring equinox would be found in February, not in early January.
There is another possibility, however. It turns out that there are about 30 Catholic holidays right around the time when the animals were killed in France. By the logic of the local police there, this would suggest that the animals were killed in a brutal Catholic ritual.
Maybe it’s best that we don’t follow the logic of the local police in rural France – or the newspapers who write about their discoveries.