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I Went to a Satanic Ritual and All I Got Was This Lousy Flag!

The Witch Satanic Ritual

It’s only February and The Witch is being touted as the year’s best horror film (read Kalyn’s review from Fantastic Fest). As you may have read a few weeks ago, The Satanic Temple recently backed the film and took it on a four-city tour starting in New York, before moving on to Austin, Los Angeles and Detroit. I am lucky enough to live in Austin, where the Temple was making their third stop on the tour, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to partake in this unique experience (and it was a truly unique experience unlike any other). Interestingly enough, the Satanic Temple turns out to be the most appropriate sponsor for Robert Eggers’ terrifying horror film, and the ritual (which they called the Sabbat Ritual) was a ritualized “Convocation of the Godless” that denoted the inauguration of a “Satanic Revolution.” It was meant to “inspire a Satanic uprising against the tyrannical vestiges of bigoted superstitions, and will harken a new era of liberation and unfettered inquiry,” according to the event details.

I had already seen Robert Eggers’ film back in September at Fantastic Fest as well, and I enjoyed it immensely (not as much as Kalyn, but I still enjoyed it), but I wanted to see it a second time to let the film wash over me again. Upon a second viewing, I found myself noticing a ton of things that I didn’t catch the first time around, and I even found the film to be scarier the second time. It’s a miracle what tempered expectations can do to your opinion of a film.

Before I get to the real meat of this story, I would like to say my piece on The Witch: it is an excellent film. It is absolutely gorgeous filled with stellar performances (especially from the children). The score is haunting, the atmosphere is incredibly tense and it is quite scary. That being said, The Witch will be this year’s Babadook and It Follows. The hype tarnished my viewing experience at Fantastic Fest (not by much, but the effect was still there), so I can only imagine how much the hype has grown five months later. The Witch is a slow burn and has maybe a total of three jump scares (which is a breath of fresh air), but still manages to be incredibly tense and scary all throughout the film. Yet many people will walk out of the film claiming that it is either “boring” or “not scary.” That is inevitable, and before you go see it, I implore you to go in as blind as possible. Try not to read glowing reviews (maybe even just read the bad ones). Hopefully this will help you temper your expectations and will allow you to enjoy the film more.

Moving on, the schedule we were given for the night’s events was as follows:

6:30pm Check-in opens
6:45pm Jex Blackmore introduces screening and reminds guests of the ritual to follow.
7:00pm Screening starts at THE ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE
8:30pm Doors at THE SIDEWINDER bar open to public
9:30pm Ritual begins

Satanic Ritual The Witch

The screening was held at the fabulous Alamo Drafthouse in the heart of downtown Austin. In case you didn’t know, the Alamo Drafthouse is the best movie theater in existence. Seriously though, its presence is enough to make me never want to move away. It’s that good. Anyway, I arrived, took my seat, ordered some food & booze and watched The Witch for the second time after Ms. Blackmore introduced the film.

After the screening, I took a 3-block walk to The Sidewinderthe venue for the Satanic Ritual. Just to give you a little bit of background on me: I was born and raised Catholic. I was raised to love God, worship Jesus, fear the Devil, etc. I’m almost 27, and at this point in my life I suppose I consider myself more of an agnostic, but I have a strong aversion to organized religion (it always sounds a little too cult-y to me). Nevertheless, some of those religious fears that were integrated into my mind are still there, so while I was open to the idea of attending a Satanic Ritual, I was more than a little nervous. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t fear for my life at one point. I had this crazy idea that everyone present was going to get sacrificed at some point. I should have done my research on the Satanic Temple, as that did not happen and is not at all what they’re into, as you can see here. Seeing as I am not a member of the Satanic Temple, my terminology may not be correct for some of their titles. I apologize for that.

The Sidewinder is a typical Austin bar, and is probably the perfect place for a SXSW venue since it’s small and has a backyard (meaning people will be packed like sardines in this bar for that entire week).

Satanic Ritual for The Witch

Unfortunately, cell phones of any sort were not allowed in the bar, due to the fact that there was going to be nudity during the ritual, so I don’t have any photos that I can show off here. My words will just have to do. The Temple paid for all of our drinks, which I thought was polite (or an easy way to lower our inhibitions before they sacrificed us to Satan), and after about 30 minutes of waiting we were led to the backyard of the bar, where we were handed a small package containing a black-and-white American flag.

This flag had instructions on it:

The Witch Satanic Ritual

These instructions would be repeated to us by Jex Blackmore before we were dismissed at the end of the ritual (I have not placed mine anywhere, though a friend of mine did put hers outside a bar we were at later in the evening).

On to the ritual! As I walked into the backyard of the bar, I was greeted with the sight of a stage with fog rolling off its edge. On the stage was a nude man and a nude woman, as well as three people wearing hooded robes (2 red and one black) holding a dagger and a mirror. After waiting for everyone to fill the yard (everyone on stage remained remarkably still while waiting for us), one of the men on stage began banging a large chain on a drum. This went on for several minutes, and once he was done a recording started to play.

At this point I would like to point out that there were a lot of people in this small yard and at this time I had had 3(ish) drinks in me so my attention was sort of all over the place. I will do my best to recount the events as they occurred, but I’ve never been very good at actively listening to sermons (which is what this ritual was) even when I’m 100% sober, so I have a tendency to zone out. Anyway, this recording was of one man detailing his interaction with Satanists. This recording went on (and on) for a while, until it stopped and the priestess in the black cloak (who was revealed to be Blackmore herself) began speaking about their cause, which you can read more about on their website linked to above.

As she began informing us, the nude man and woman stepped forward and then began chugging handles of “blood,” which was most likely wine (or red water). Basically, it looked like a jug of Carlo Rossi (see below).  The nude female was really into it. She chugged and chugged the red liquid until it started overflowing out of her mouth and ran down her body. She was a trooper and finished it like a champ. The nude male, on the other hand, was not as into it. He wasn’t so much chugging as he was casually drinking. By the time the female finished, the male was only about halfway done.

Satanic Ritual

Once the jugs were emptied, the priestess began spouting out a lot of propaganda. She mentioned many specific locations in Austin (abortion clinics, the home of right-wing governor Greg Abbott, etc.). She summarized their tenets and what the religion stands for, which is actually kind of sweet. Yes, I’m aware I just used the word “sweet” to describe the Satanic Temple. Reading over their website and listening to last night’s sermon, I can only imagine how much heckling they must receive (there were a group of religious protesters outside the Alamo Drafthouse when we left the screening.

The priestess then started to talk about how we are all bound to each other, at which point the nude man and woman stepped forward again and wrapped a large chain (the same one the gentlemen was banging on the drum at the beginning of the ritual) around their arms, literally binding them to each other. They got on their knees and faced the congregation as the priestess finished her sermon. Shouts of ‘Hail Satan!’ filled the open air as she asked everyone to take their black American flag (Satan Flag?) and place it where we thought Satan’s influence would be needed (like the aforementioned house of Governor Abbott). With that, she bid us adieu and the ritual was over.

Overall, it was an interesting experience. I admit that I did no research on the Temple or what the ritual would possible entail before I went to it, so my fears of death or ritual sacrifice were clearly unfounded. This organization doesn’t worship the Satan that Christians know. To them, Satan is “a symbol of man’s inherent nature, representative of the eternal rebel, enlightened inquiry and personal freedom rather than a supernatural deity or being.” You would think they would just call him something else, then there wouldn’t be as much hubbub about the Temple, but where’s the publicity in that?

I’m glad I got to go to the ritual and the screening, and while I can’t say I’m completely behind their cause, I do understand it. I still don’t understand organized religion, and because of that I will never be a convert, but still, I think it’s worth learning about.

If you’re super curious, more information about the Satanic Temple can be found at http://www.satanic-revolution.com/.

By the way, here’s me with my new flag:

The Witch Satanic Ritual


54 Comments
  • Brett Strohl

    Satanism is just organized trolling. If it wasn’t they’d abandon the inflammatory imagery.

    • Foxenstein Must Be Destroyed

      it is?

      • Brett Strohl

        Yeah they’re just atheists that want to cause a stir. I’d recommend checking out the Sick and Wrong podcast (episode 392) interview with Lucien Greaves. You’ll get a pretty good sense of what they’re like.

  • Seal Clubber

    Not sure if I should make fun of you for having the DVD’s for the complete series of “The OC” or “Sex in the City” more lol …..

    • Sex and the City is mine. The OC is my partner’s. BUT we’ve got stuff you would like as well. Most of our horror box sets are Blu-Rays, which we keep on a different shelf right next to the TV. =)

      • Seal Clubber

        Yeah I’m just kidding around …. I have kids so most of my DVD’s are “Backyardigans” or “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” lol ….

        • You can’t even see my “Gilmore Girls: The Complete Series” in this photo lol.

  • Creepshow

    Aw great. Now Trace is gonna be dragged to “H..E..double hockey sticks”!
    And we will be left with reading hacked articles with wrong pics and botched headlines. (looking at you Mr. D)
    All hope is lost….Good knowing ya Trace! I was looking forward to seeing you at Brad’s Hi-C party.

  • Krista Church

    I lost it at the Carlo Rossi bit. Thanks for risking sacrifice with me, darling.

    • Any time! You’ll always be my first-choice date for any Satanic Rituals.

  • Cody

    Wow. That was super interesting to read! Thanks for sharing!

  • Johnny Rico

    This is the best article I’ve ever read on Bloody Disgusting.
    Satanists are the goth kids who used to hang out at the mall, who never got out of their goth-kids-hanging-out-at-the-mall phase.
    It’s alternately sad and hilarious.

    • Chris V

      N you’re the super cool guy judging them.

      • Satanzilla

        It doesn’t make him any less right though.

        They don’t seem to have anything original to say — just look at their flags. They’re saying “we’re not this” or “we’re not that” — they don’t have a flag with a symbol that represents who they ARE.

        And look at the movie they sponsor. They talk about “the goddess” and how satanism is misunderstood, but they promote a movie in which the witches are absolutely evil.

  • Halloween_Vic

    I like the paintings u have in the back those are EPIC!

    • Thanks! I got them at Texas Frightmare Weekend last May. I wish I could remember the artist’s name, but I don’t. =/

      • RidleyScott

        Please Trace’s memory, recall who created those pieces!

      • Halloween_Vic

        Yea man those are really nice!!! I want them lol!!!

  • Satanzilla

    The movie isn’t scary. I have no problem with that. I love slow burn horror, I’m not one of those fans who think “horror” is a guy with a machete running around chopping people up for two hours. So I’m not saying it’s boring (it’s not) and I’m not saying it’s not scary because it’s sloe paced. Im saying I t’s not really a horror movie at all. It’s a period supernatural drama, and a really compelling one.

    But all the hype about it being terrifying couldn’t be further from the mark. I was not scared at any time during the entire film. That is not a criticism of the film, which I think is BRILLIANT. It is a criticism of the hype surrounding it, and I have to include the article above as part of that.

    • I definitely think there are very creepy parts (mostly the score), but did it terrify me? No. However, I think it is a wonderful film.

  • Foxenstein Must Be Destroyed

    you can get the same flag for five and change at amazon.

    • Exactly. That’s part of the reason why I wrote this article lol.

      • Foxenstein Must Be Destroyed

        maybe there was plans to modify the flag but they ran out of money/time. i think the same flag is used in a green day video.

        • Bahahahaha that is hilarious. And probably correct!

  • Adrienne Santiago

    Love this pic! That must have been an interesting evening to say the least…I’d definitely go for the experience…and the black flag lol

    • It was an experience, I’ll tell you that lol. And thank you!

  • LightBearer

    “This organization doesn’t worship the Satan that Christians know”

    Yes they do. Why else use the term? They say its all about the metaphor, but c’mon…. if I was with them, I’d be making that same claim because it’s totally understandable so that the general masses don’t run away screaming.The truth is, little by little they are making their presence known and more palpably felt throughout all avenues of society. it’s been in the planning for generations. They want worldly authority over every living creature and to own the next age. However all bad things will have to come to an end.

    • Brett Strohl

      It’s trolling and cosplay. They love getting a rise out of people like you who think it’s serious.

      • ^^This.

      • LightBearer

        Actually they love fooling people like you guys who’ve been programmed to think that everything is a simulated video game. And if their entire MO is to “get a rise” out of people, then even that by itself should send a shiver up your spine.

        • Brett Strohl

          Satanism is the same maturity level as trolling people in youtube comments. It’s not the least bit scary to me. I have more respect for theistic Satanists who actually believe they are worshiping the devil and performing black magik. I respect sincerity, not trolling.

    • From their page: Satan is “a symbol of man’s inherent nature, representative of the eternal rebel, enlightened inquiry and personal freedom rather than a supernatural deity or being.”

      It’s not exactly the same Satan that Christians view, who “brings evil and temptation, and is known as the deceiver who leads humanity astray. Some religious groups teach that he originated as an angel who fell out of favor with God, seducing humanity into the ways of sin, and who has power in the fallen world.”

      Those are not the same thing

      • LightBearer

        They *are* the same thing. Just because these people aren’t openly admitting it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are telling the full truth. Why use the same name? There are 2 kinds of freedom: Freedom from tyranny and freedom from Justice. These people claim that they are all about the former when in reality it’s only the latter they are concerned with. These people do not, for the most part, admit what their true beliefs and intentions are, although they are now starting to “come out of the closet”, as has been part of their plan for a long time. This is generations old, it’s not a mere fad as it appears on the surface. Don’t be deceived, these people are religious nuts and it’s not only their best interests that they have at “heart”. They are predators. Just look at the state of today’s world. We are living in the latter days.

        • Foxenstein Must Be Destroyed

          latter? like home depot latter?

    • Foxenstein Must Be Destroyed

      yes, phase one is giving people cheap flags. what will come next? the truth is that the black stripes are brimstone. the stars symbolize the morning star. the whit stripes are for vanilla ice cream because we all scream for ice cream. diabolical!

  • Blade

    Yeah for a group that is so against organized religions and stuff like that I don’t get the point in using the term Satan, because people are going to instantly associate that with the religious based one, and most people will not want to acknowledge or associate themselves with something like that lol it seems extremely counterproductive.

    • Foxenstein Must Be Destroyed

      i don’t know why they (they being the satanic temple) do it but i know that the church of satan (which is not connected to the temple of satan) has information up that might help answer your question.

    • From their page: Satan is “a symbol of man’s inherent nature, representative of the eternal rebel, enlightened inquiry and personal freedom rather than a supernatural deity or being.”

      It’s not exactly the same Satan that Christians view, who “brings evil and temptation, and is known as the deceiver who leads humanity astray. Some religious groups teach that he originated as an angel who fell out of favor with God, seducing humanity into the ways of sin, and who has power in the fallen world.”

      Those are not the same thing.

    • That’s the point. By using the term “Satan” they immediately grab people’s attention. The “Church of Bob” just wouldn’t have the same ring to it.

      • Creepshow

        Those that belong to the “Church of Bob” beg to differ. Shit gets pretty hairy over there.

      • Blade

        Yeah but if they want people to join there cause, you would think they would come up with something that wouldn’t instantly turn a lot of people away from them. Even people that aren’t very religious probably would instantly turn their noses up to them just because of the word Satan, as it has a negative stigma attached to it.

        • Brett Strohl

          It’s just trolling. They don’t care who they offend or who listens.

  • SpaceManSpliffz .

    those “The OC and Sex in the City” boxed sets better belong to your girlfriend

    • I’m gay. Sex and the City belongs to me and OC belongs to my partner. Sorry to disappoint you! But even if I WAS straight, what’s wrong with a straight man liking Sex and the City and the OC?

  • James Vincent

    The Church of Satan is laughing at them.

    • Foxenstein Must Be Destroyed

      yes, the black house that was torn down is laughing at them in ectoplasmic form with it’s flat cement base chin. it’s chimney letting out toots of smoke.

  • Great article. Sounds like a fun(?) or certainly unforgettable experience. Those paintings on your back wall are pretty amazing.

  • shawn lawson

    Sex and the city box set, eh, Trace?

  • shawn lawson

    Nm. Just scrolled down haha

    • I love that THAT is what everyone is latching onto in this post lol.

      • shawn lawson

        Fuck it man. We all got those guilty pleasures.

  • Jacob Schoolcraft

    Yes, supposedly The Church Of Satan is not about sacrifices. This has been the golden rule and yesterday’s news for years. Though we have no actual proof of this no more than we have proof that S.R.A. victims exist. People have definitely been abused by Satan cults and there’s been many Satanic church meetings where sacrifice was not on the agenda. But I read all the time where it is mostly thought to be a hoax….Eh….Because we can’t prove it.

    Satan cults do worship Satan, sacrifice animals and humans, and additionally sexually abuse children . It may be a typical Satan cult of youths who do moronic egotistical things like sacrificing a virgin so Satan will grant them power to play the guitar better. It’s just a very shallow deed.

    In the late 60’s and early 70’s existed a different kind of Satan cult. Several containing members that belonged to a Satan worshippers sect. A sect originally formed in Europe and migrated to the U.S. decades ago. Their sons and daughters form a Satan cult of their own……. seriously that’s not as unusual as one would think. These people worship Satan but they practice witchcraft. They practice spells , raise the dead, study up on demonology, and perform human sacrifice. They practice Black magic and were worshipping the devil. That within itself makes little sense, but it certainly existed on my side of the tracks.

    They were prominent in the community. There were a couple of ritualistic killings that took place in town and several children went missing. The police investigated after discovering a body, animals in the lake, and literature which led them to be suspicious of a religious church group in town. I believe it was Luciferian based when they believed in God in the day, and Satan in the night. They collected rare artifacts and would practice unorthodox type of magic. They were programmed to perform the one hundred year ritual. The police confiscated The Egyptian Book Of The Dead and literature on Oriental mysticism. They seemed to be collecting excerpts / passages from several books to perform rituals. I remember it all from my youth and do not have a clue as to why it existed. Several of my friends had to be deprogrammed and several committed suicide years later .

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