Feeds

West Country pagans tie horses in knots

The Hair Witch Project hits Devon manes

Business security measures using SSL

Police are investigating the possibility that pagans are behind a "bizarre outbreak of horse mane weaving" in Devon, Dorset and Somerset, the Western Morning News reports.

Some 20 equines have been found with plaits in their manes, and while the initial suspicion was that they were being marked for theft by horse-rustling gangs, the fact that none have actually been lifted has led police to consider the possibility they're being used for "knot magick" rituals.

Such magick commonly involves the tying of knots in a cord, often with feathers or other objects bound in the knots, to create a talisman.* The ritual is carried out with an incantation intended to endow the charm with the power to carry out the creator's wishes.

In this case, the horses may have been used because "pagan gods are thought to have a close connection with horses which adds strength to spells that incorporate the animals".

A baffled PC Jeff Howley, neighbourhood beat manager in Cullompton, Devon, said: "At the moment we do not know of any motive for the plaiting. To start with we thought they were being marked for theft but that is clearly not the case.

"One motive from research by Dorset police who are also investigating a number of cases is that it may be a pagan ritual. It is hard for us to judge at the moment but any speculation will have to be considered."

Jenny Parsons, secretary of the Taunton Vale Harriers Hunt, said she "believes a small group of people are targeting the same animals after communicating through social networking websites".

She offered: "It is possible it's a pagan ritual and I have had reports of a change in horse behaviour, so if these are children's ponies it is an absolutely awful thing to do."

Parsons has set up a horse watch scheme to combat the illicit pagan activity and "urged horse owners to send pictures of the plaits to local police and to remain vigilant".

Bootnote

* Also known as a "witch's ladder".

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups
Mankind shuffles into the future, five fingers at a time
Apple's Mr Havisham: Tim Cook says dead Steve Jobs' office has remained untouched
'I literally think about him every day' says biz baron's old friend
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen
Angry Microsoftie hauls auctioneers to court over stalled Pzkw. IV 'deal'
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport
'Canine training exercise' SNAFU sees woman take home booming baggage
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.