Police in San Mateo County California are investigating a discovery made by a maintenance worker at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery. The maintenance worker’s grisly discovery has sparked a police investigation and a general feeling of ill ease. In addition to two human hearts discovered in jars, two photographs of different couples were found pinned to each heart. Other discoveries made at the scene could be clues as to what exactly is going on in the cemetery.
What could lead someone to pin a photograph of a couple to a human heart , put it in a jar, and bury the jars along with their macabre contents in the cemetery? Police suspect one of the possible causes could be related to the religion known commonly as Santeria. Santeria was once a pejorative term used to describe the fusion of voodoo practices and worship of saints. Now it is the name of the religion that sprung from its troubled origins. The evidence discovered around the jars has led police to believe that Santeria rituals may have been involved in the grisly discovery. But of the evidence they have shared, nothing conclusive has connected the hearts to santaria.
Additionally, the hearts themselves were embalmed suggesting they had been taken out of a previously prepared body that likely would have died of natural causes. Although this cannot be confirmed as there have been no instances of people digging up dead bodies in the graveyard. And even though the case is incredibly disturbing, there is nothing to prove it is an actual murder case.
Other evidence found at the scene included cigars. While cigars could have been left there by anyone, they will be the easiest piece of evidence to examine and get an idea of the date they were left behind. If they are related, they will go a long way in any attempt to uncover this incredibly bizarre mystery. Tobacco is smoked in santaria by both men and women in order to elevate the smoker in ritual.
And while the police speculation does serve some risk to the 30,000 estimated practicing members of this relatively young religion, it should be noted that its practice is not normally so bizarre. And as many religions do it is constantly evolving.
What could the cause be of such a mysterious ritual? Were those pictured in the photographs to be bestowed with a great deal of good luck? Or was there a more sinister intention to involving them with the ritual? The specifics behind this ritual hide in obscurity, but if Santeria is involved it will be apparent in due time as research continues. As the religion varies so widely from region to region it is likely that the actual intentions may be traceable to a few people in a small area in California. On the other hand, those involved in the practice often rely on secrecy both for protection and for magical success. Various mystical traditions agree that since intention is everything when it comes to magic, keeping those intentions to yourself in a ritual is more powerful than telling others. Until the identities of those involved in the photographs can be discovered, we can only hope for the best.