Over the years I have come across more than a few accounts of disturbing cult-like activity in the U.K., much of it which revolves around the occult. Today, I’m going to show you a few examples. In October 2005, farmer Daniel Alford of Sampford Spiney, near Tavistock, Devon, England, made a shocking discovery on the wilds of Dartmoor: namely, six sheep, horrifically slaughtered, with their eyeballs removed and their necks viciously broken. More sinister is the fact that the corpses of the animals had been deliberately laid out, in what was perceived to be a Pagan symbol, near a series of ancient standing-stones. Alford was convinced this was the dark and horrific work of occultists. Primarily because this was not the first occasion upon which he had made such a gruesome find. In January 2005, Alford had stumbled upon five sheep, killed in a similar fashion and spread out in a circle, only half a mile away. Interestingly, on both occasions the animal attacks had occurred at the height of a full moon. Moving on…
On August 31, 2000 – a year before I moved to the United States – a man named Rob Lea telephoned me, and, in somewhat excited, but also distinctly worried, tones, informed me that for a number of years he had been near-obsessively pursuing an elite and powerful body of people engaged in the mutilation and sacrifice of animals in the UK, via ancient rite and ritual no less, for purposes relative to personal wealth, incredible power and, even, cold-blooded, heartless murder. Matters all began, said Rob, in late August 1989, when his father rose early one morning to the unforgettable sight of five of his sheep, all dead, and laying in a rough circle in a field that sat directly behind the family’s home. All of the animals had been slaughtered: their throats had been carefully cut by what bore all the hallmarks of being a sharp instrument, and several of their major, internal organs had been piled high, in a bloody mountainous mess, in the middle of the circle.
Not without significant justification, thoughts of devil-worship, satanic sacrifice, and occult activities overwhelmed the frantic mind of Rob’s father. Unsurprisingly, the family quickly telephoned the local police, who were on the scene with very surprising speed. An official report was filed, amid urging from the two officers who attended that the Lea family should refrain from giving the incident any publicity – and under any circumstances. The family did so, although Rob himself continued to dig. The group continued to be elusive.
February 14, 1945 was the date of a still-unresolved murder in rural England which bore all the hallmarks of death at the hands of a secret society. Some suggested a band of witches were the culprits, and others a secret sect of druids. The victim was a farm-worker, 74-year-old Charles Walton, found dead with nothing less than a pitchfork stick out of his chest. He was a resident of a small, picturesque village in Warwickshire, England called Lower Quinton. Walton had lived in the village all his life, in a pleasant old cottage that stood across from the local church. It was a scene not unlike what one might expect to see on Downton Abbey or in the pages of a Jane Austen novel. Until, that is, murder, mayhem, and a secret cult came to Lower Quinton.
It’s worth noting, however, that Detective Inspector Robert Fabian later said of his investigation of the affair: “One of my most memorable murder cases was at the village of Lower Quinton, near the stone Druid circle of the Whispering Knights. There a man had been killed by a reproduction of a Druidical ceremony on St. Valentine’s Eve.” He also offered the following, memorable words: “I advise anybody who is tempted at any time to venture into Black Magic, witchcraft, Shamanism – call it what you will – to remember Charles Walton and to think of his death, which was clearly the ghastly climax of a pagan rite. There is no stronger argument for keeping as far away as possible from the villains with their swords, incense and mumbo-jumbo. It is prudence on which your future peace of mind and even your life could depend.”
And, finally: The notion that the United Kingdom might actually be the home of living, breathing, flesh-and-blood mermaids will inevitably be greeted by many with the justified rolling of eyes and hoots of derision. It is, however, an undeniable and astonishing fact that such beliefs persisted for centuries. And, in those parts of the U.K. where the many and varied traditions and superstitions of times-past can still be found lurking, that belief actually quietly continues – to a shocking and sinister degree. To the extent that there now exists what we might term a secret, mermaid cult.
All of which brings us to a highly controversial story of a Shropshire- and Staffordshire-based “mermaid cult” (which is the best way I can describe it) that fully believes in the existence of such creatures, and that reportedly has engaged in sinister animal sacrifices to appease these ancient, deadly water-maidens. Its membership is reputedly comprised of powerful figures in local and national government, occultists, demonologists, and historians of U.K.-based folklore and mythology. As for those sacrifices, there’s no doubt that they are a reality. For years reports have surfaced from both Staffordshire and Shropshire of sheep, chickens and wild deer having been found dead in the rural countryside. We are not, however, talking about attacks by wild animals. Rather, we’re talking about ritualistic killings – sometimes in darkened woods late at night – and sacrificial rites, and all in the name of the dangerous mermaid.