Hell to pay: Arson shakes a Church of Satan community

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POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (AP) – Members of the Church of Satan mourn the destruction of a historic “Halloween House” in upstate New York City that authorities say was set on fire this week by an unidentified arsonist.

The historic house, built in 1900, served as the Addams family-style hub for local followers of the religion, reports the Poughkeepsie Journal. A church member compared the arson to a terrorist attack.

“Everyone is in shock and everyone in the neighborhood is worried,” the MP, who goes by name Isis Vermouth, told the newspaper. “Whoever did this is going to be bewitched by all of us.

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

Surveillance footage shows a man walking home after 5 a.m. Thursday with two cans of gasoline, splashing liquid on the front porch and lighting it, people said. Two people escaped unharmed, authorities said.

The South Clinton Street house was decorated with devil sculptures. A hearse sat for a long time in its driveway, and a sign above 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 member of the Church of Satan who died last year.

“It was extraordinarily different,” said Councilor Chris Petsas. “It wasn’t your normal house.”

The house is unlikely to be restored due to the extensive fire damage, said Peter H. Gilmore, high priest of the Church of Satan, who lives down the block in what members call the “neighborhood. of Witchcraft ”from Poughkeepsie.

The religion is not based on devil worship, but on atheistic philosophies of individualism, freedom and self-fulfillment, Gilmore said.

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