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A Widely Overlooked Downside to Being a Gentrifier in NYC—Pushing A Stroller Past Severed Goat Heads In Parks
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September 06, 2015, 12:48 PM
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A friend points out this article in today’s New York Post:

Variety of mutilated animals found strewn in city parks

By Aaron Short September 6, 2015 | 3:18am

There’s magic in New York City’s parks — black magic.

More than a dozen mutilated animals have been discovered in the past 18 months, apparent victims of ritual sacrifice, records show.

New Yorkers found four severed goat heads, scores of mutilated chickens and other birds, three butchered pigs and a calf’s head, according to 311 complaint data.

The Fort George Playground in Highbridge Park in upper Manhattan was fouled by a particularly gruesome animal mutilation in January 2014 — a goat head “pinned up on one of the trees” and the body “wrapped in a red sheet and on the ground,” a 311 caller reported.

Goat heads were twice found in another kiddie park, the Lincoln Road Playground inside Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

In the same park, a passer-by noticed a dead duck and two decapitated doves placed “in possibly some sort of ritual” near a statue of Challenger astronaut Ronald McNair in June 2014.

“The bodies are forming a ring and the heads are very close to this ring,” the caller reported. …

Parks officials could not say if the animals were butchered in the public spaces or dumped, but acknowledged some could have been used in religious rituals.

Practitioners of Santeria, Voudun and similar religions who wish to inflict pain upon an individual will sometimes sacrifice animals and leave carcasses in ­areas of significance, or rely on priests to practice the ritual on their behalf, experts have said. And the location of the ritual is as important as the ritual itself.

picture-110-1396208758[1]“There may be symbolism in particular statues or a particular tree or a particular place,” said Yale African American Studies and Anthropology professor Jafari Allen.[Pictured right, picture and links added.] None of this is by chance.”

Allen, [Email him] who grew up in New York City, said it is “ridiculous” for rituals to be policed and that gentrifiers shouldn’t be alarmed.

“It was unremarkable 15 years ago,” he said. “And now it is something scary and unfamiliar to new Brooklynites and Harlemites.”