Satanic Panic Mini-Gallery

The Wages of Fear
© Dan Mccomb/ZUMA Press/Corbis

Finally, we see one of the more disheartening ramifications of Satanic Panic: the 1993 murder of three children in West Memphis, Arkansas which subsequently lead to the wrongful imprisonment of three teenagers. The prosecution focused on the alleged ritualistic nature of the killing and 17-year-old suspect Jessie Lloyd Misskelley's statement to police investigators about orgies and animal sacrifice in the woods. Here we glimpse West Memphis' local "Stonehenge," an abandoned cotton-gin-turned-teen-hangout tagged with vaguely Satanic graffiti. The ruins can be seen as something magical in their own rite: a place where teen rebellion, Satanic Panic and real-life horror converge with terrible consequences.

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.