A group of Seton Hall students made an odd discovery at South Mountain Reservation when they came across a piece of beef attached to a tree, an Essex County Sheriff’s Department spokesman said Wednesday.
While scouting locations for a film project near the Tulip Springs parking lot on Sunday, March 3, the students found a foot-long cow tongue wrapped in aluminum foil and black duct tape nailed to a tree off the Lenape Trail, located east of the intersection of South Orange Avenue and Brookside Drive in West Orange.
Also part of the mystery meat package were three pictures “with writing that was no longer legible” due to the inclement weather, the spokesman said. The meat and its accompanying items were discarded in the parking lot trash.
The group of students asked to remain anonymous out of fear that the odd discovery was some kind of “voodoo ritual,” the spokesman added.
The strange items had also been spotted the previous Wednesday.
The incident was not being considered suspicious, the spokesman said, adding that a detective in the sheriff’s office recalled reports of dead chickens in Short Hills a few years ago linked to a Santeria ritual.
“It’s probably something like that,” he said.