It’s not unusual to see odd things happening in a small town, but what residents of one North Carolina town saw on Sunday has set them on edge. Several Bessemer City residents spotted a mysterious cloaked figure reportedly dropping raw meat onto a playground.
A picture of a cloaked person posted online sparked a Facebook frenzy Monday.
And the speculation followed.
Was she a witch performing a ritual, or was he a guy playing a prank?
Some joked that the person was a character from“Star Wars” or the TV show “Pretty Little Liars,” and at least one parody showed a white-cloaked person wielding a corn dog, reportedly in Bessemer City.
No one had the answer. Even police and property managers were scratching their heads.
“We don’t know if it’s one of our residents with an interesting way of presenting themselves, or if it’s a trespasser,” said Lance Calhoun, director of operations for Southwood Realty.
Two pictures popped up on the Facebook group One Man’s Junk Sunday night and Monday morning.
The photos are taken through a window with blinds in the foreground and a cloaked, pale person outside near some woods.
The social media chatter says the man or woman is in the Hudson Woods apartment complex off of Hudson Boulevard, but police say it hasn’t been confirmed.
“There’s no validation that it was Hudson Woods. It could have come from anywhere. We don’t know if this is some bogus prank somebody is playing,” said Donna Lahser, spokeswoman with the Gastonia Police Department.
Who exactly took the photos is unclear.
Another resident reported that someone left a bag of raw meat on his doorstep a couple of weeks prior to the sighting. Whether the two incidents are related is unclear, and authorities are reluctant to draw conclusions.
Townspeople have expressed obvious concern over the strange sighting.
Brooke Conard’s yard backs up to the woods that border the apartment complex.
If some shady character is lurking in the woods,Conard fears for her and her daughter’s safety.
“I see why it could be easy to make a joke out of it, but this is serious. We live in a world today where you don’t know what’s going on and you don’t know people,” she said.
Even if a person wore a cloak as a hoax, a child could be scarred by the encounter, she said.
The spokesperson for a local pagan group dismissed the stunt, stating that adherents to their beliefs do not practice their rituals in public places.
If it is a hoax, [Heather] Darnell said she finds the photos offensive.
“It looks like someone is deliberately trying to create havoc,” she said. “I think it’s pretty ugly and irresponsible if someone is just trying to get attention.”
Featured image courtesy of Gaston Gazette