The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

COLUMN: The sacrifice


What should have been a normal Friday in the spring of my seventh grade year took a far different turn.

I should have known something was amiss when my bus pulled up to my school and large groups of my classmates were gathered together. It was strange to see because the kids that were labeled as "preps" were congregating with the "hoods" and it was a surreal moment to see this happen. A year later I would read a book called "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton and felt that other than the fact it took place in the 1960's I lived in a world of "Socs" and "Greasers".

Not wanting to stray to far from the pack, I decided to walk into one of the groups and see what was going on and could not believe what I was hearing. Now this may sound like one of the most ridiculous things I have ever typed, but these words are true. It was spreading round the school that satan worshippers from Rock Springs, WY were going to come to the school, kidnap a blonde haired virgin, and take her to the desert to sacrifice her.

Being a 12-year-old that didn't know nearly as much as I thought, I immediately started to get scared and started to listen to some of the crazy things that were spilling out the mouths of just about everyone at East Junior High. By the time I hit my advisory class, I heard that they had found a bunch of sacrificed animals and that someone would be kidnapped as school was letting out. There were even names being mentioned, some of which were classmates of my older sister.

The fever pitch would keep building and by noon, probably 25 percent of the students had their parents pick them up for the day.

Walking into math class later in the day everyone was still frightened and no work was being done. It was at this point my teacher told our class that this was probably the dumbest thing he had ever heard at the school. He informed us that know one was being taken, there were no animal remains found, and there certainly wasn't a rabid pack of satan lovers at the high school. In fact, he said the kids being mentioned were outstanding, it just so happens they had longer hair and that offended someone.

To this day I'm not sure how or where it started, but it was nothing more than a really stupid rumor, and for whatever reason everyone chose to believe it.

As the years have gone by since my awkward middle school years I have not seen a rumor quite like this, I still must admit that I still witness people spreading rumors and it is absolutely ridiculous.

If I see it happening with kids it is not that big of a deal because kids are kids after all, but if it is coming from adults it is garbage.


I hear rumors about people all the time and I think to myself it must be nice to have enough time on your hands to have nothing better to do than spread filth. I also have heard many rumors about myself that people have asked me about and after an awkward laugh I have to set them straight. I'm not sure how anyone in their right mind thinks this is okay.

Perhaps people should follow the advice to worry about themselves and not other people.

I'm well aware there is always going to be the "town gossipers", but it would be nice if there were not very many of them. But then again, these people are probably the same that started at an early age with far fetched tales of animal remains in the desert. I do have to admit I'm glad I haven't heard a rumor quite like that in quite sometime, although I'm sure I'll hear one soon.


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