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lydia deetz

These police documents on the Satanic Panic of the 80s are amazing

It includes tips on evil spells like ‘stop someone from hating you’

Though it may seem kinda bizarre and funny now, the Satanic Panic of the 80s was a serious and disturbing phase. Allegations of Satanic ritual abuse involving young children swept through the United States, culminating in the most expensive and longest criminal trial in U.S history, where teachers at a preschool were accused of abusing 360 pupils in tunnels underneath the school, flying, drinking blood, and sacrificing. People’s lives were ripped apart and mass hysteria ensued. Its paranoia permeated the media, pop culture, and modern life in the ways McCarthyism and the witch trials did. 

A relic from that very strange era was recently discovered by an art teacher in Florida, who found documents first distributed by the police in the 80s to help teachers and school admin pick out students who were into Satanism and dark shit.

First posted by Jennifer Jordan on Twitter, the document is titled ‘Identification, Investigation, and Understanding of Ritualistic Criminal Activity’ – details show that it was distributed by Chicago Police Department’s detective Robert Semandi. The document highlights supposedly key symptoms, behaviours, habits, reasons for involvement, and signs of Satanic activity in teenagers. 

It warns of teens faced with ‘creative boredom’, and those that show interest in heavy metal or drawing swastikas and goat heads on their bodies. Readers should particularly watch out for a ‘book of shadows’ (e.g. a diary) lying about, the ‘use of alphabets’ and ‘constant negative expressions’ by young people. There’s also an example of spells Satan-loving teens might use, for increasing spiritual power and the hex to ‘stop someone from hating you’. Because even servants of the devil deal with high school drama.

Large sections are dedicated to imagery concerned adults should watch out for, as well as a crash course in Satanism, Witchcraft, and Paganism, a hack job that blends them all together. The cautions advised by the police department are quite simple: don’t take their Satanic stuff, and seek professional help. A resource group list is also provided, referencing the group ‘Bothered Against Dungeons and Dragons’, which asserted that the game, as well as rock music and porn, pushed teens to violence and the occult. 

So have a read, and tag yourself – I’m the part about evil hiking.