Vintage Durango: Satanic panic on the Western Slope

by Patty Templeton

Satan was skulking through the San Juans, or so people thought in the 1980s. The late ’80s was the era of “satanic panic.” What did parents think were sure signs of the devil? Heavy metal, horror movies, and “Dungeons and Dragons.”

Apparently, in Colorado, shit got real – kind of. The rumors weren’t of subliminal messages on records played backwards. The rumors in La Plata County in 1989 involved a local satanic cult near Ignacio that allegedly sacrificed animals, terrorized townspeople, and had a “satanic hit list.”

One of the clergy on the list, Reverend Carrick, worked with police to calm townspeople. Carrick believed, “More people are hurt by fear and rumors than could possibly be hurt by Satanists.”

Bonus: One reason Satanism went mainstream in the 1980s was because of a bestselling book published in ’80 called “Michelle Remembers,” a supposedly nonfiction account of a woman who “uncovered” forgotten childhood memories of being abused in a satanic cult.

Patty TempletonDGO Staff Writer


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