A 100-year-old church in Gleason, Wisconsin that’s undergoing restoration was vandalized with satanic graffiti, WSAW-TV reports.
A pentagram was painted inside, and paint was thrown onto a cross valued at $3,000.
The church is owned and being restored by Bill Rebane, whose great-uncle helped establish the congregation in 1907. Rebane is best known as the director of the legendary 1975 cult classic B-movie The Giant Spider Invasion, about bloodthirsty interdimensional arachnids on the loose in rural Wisconsin.
“I’m not so sure it’s local kids,” Rebane told WSAW.
He didn’t elaborate on that statement in the interview, but it’s worth noting that in recent years the old church has taken on a new life as a creepy Internet meme that claims it is located in Minnesota, and was the site of exorcisms.
If Rebane ever wanted to return to film, this would be a great plot for his next movie, The Wisconsin Backwoods Exorcism. Side note: If Rebane made this movie I would watch it in a heartbeat. If he could turn a low-budget film about spiders from another dimension into what is arguably the greatest bad movie ever made, just imagine what he could do with the possession genre!
But obviously this meme is not fact. The church isn’t in Minnesota, and it probably wasn’t used for disturbing exorcism rituals by the Estonian Lutherans who built it. Of course, that didn’t stop one commenter (who later deleted her scathing critical analysis) of informing me otherwise and scolding me for not fact-checking when I recently shared the history of the church on the Wisconsin Frights Facebook.
“It’s not just a prank,” Rebane added. “When you do something to this level and rip the doors of something it doesn’t seem right.”
In 2013, Rebane was the victim of another atrocity, when the shell of the giant spider used in the film, a metal frame mounted to a Volkswagon chassis, was stolen and sold as scrap metal in Merrill.