Pagan God Not Wanted in New Jersey
The small South Jersey town of Lumberton is now home to an 11-foot-tall, 3,000-pound horned statue with red, glowing eyes. Not everyone is happy about it. According to which newspaper one reads, the statue is either "a god of fertility, rain, and prosperity" or "a giant demon." It is undeniably pagan, which has some local residents up in arms, even though only its head can be seen above the fence that extends out from the side of Denney Van Istendal's house.
Van Istendal bought the statue -- which was a prop for the 1955 Lana Turner movie "The Prodigal" -- from a travel agency in Smyrna, Delaware, where it had reportedly stood for decades. He moved it to his property -- on Main St. -- last November. Locals have referred to it as "despicable," "demonic," "an eyesore," and "obscene," and one neighbor even complained that it scared the horses that are stabled next door.
The township has ordered Van Istendal to move the statue to his back yard, where even its head cannot be seen by passers-by, thus ruining its potential as a tourist attraction. Van Istendal says that he will appeal. Curiously, no news source has explained why this large, strange statue stood outside of a travel agency for all of those years, nor why Mr. Van Istendel paid $6,000 to move it to a spot where it was almost certain to piss off a lot of his neighbors.[05/08/2005]
- Oct 2011: Reported moved to Philadelphia bar.