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‘Hell to pay’: Church of Satan mourns arson at New York ‘Halloween House’ | New York

2 min read

Members of the Church of Satan are grieving the destruction of a historic “Halloween House” north of New York City that authorities say was set ablaze by an unidentified arsonist.

The home, built in 1900, served as an Addams Family-style hub for local adherents of the religion, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported. One member of the church likened the arson to a terrorist attack.

“Everybody’s in shock and everyone in the neighborhood is worried,” the church member, who goes by the name Isis Vermouth, told the newspaper. “Whoever did this is going to be hexed by all of us.

“Now there’s going to be hell to pay.”

Surveillance footage showed a man walking up to the house after 5am on Thursday with two gas cans, splashing liquid on the front porch and igniting it, people said. Two people escaped the house unharmed, authorities said.

The home on South Clinton Street was decorated with devil sculptures. A hearse long sat in its driveway, and a sign over the garage read “Devil’s Garage”.

The exotic house served as a gathering place to celebrate Halloween and showcased the beliefs of its longtime former owner, Joe “Netherworld” Mendillo, a Church of Satan member who died last year.

“It was extraordinarily different,” the city councilman Chris Petsas said. “It wasn’t your normal home.”

It’s unlikely the home will be restored because of the extensive fire damage, said Peter H Gilmore, the high priest of the Church of Satan, who lives down the block in what members refer to as Poughkeepsie’s “Witchcraft District”.

The religion is based not on devil worship, but on atheist philosophies of individualism, liberty and self-fulfilment, Gilmore said.

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