Like Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, Inwood Hill Park has long been known as a popular spot for Santeria animal sacrifices. Joggers have reported seeing mutilated chickens tied to trees, and one assistant Parks Department gardener recently came forward to share her fun story about picking up animal remains in the park. These include decapitated turtles and roosters, plus a cow’s heart with magnets and a picture of a boy and a girl tied around it. Awww. Here's a slideshow of some of what she's found; it's really not as gross as it sounds, but probably not the best lunch accompaniment:

The gardener, Sagrario Almonte, shared her grisly experiences with Northattan, a website published by graduate student journalists at Columbia University. (Hat tip NYC The Blog.) Almonte tells Northattan she "found other sacrifices this past summer around the time that local Councilman Miguel Martinez was forced to resign under corruption charges. Almonte believes the sacrifices were aimed at saving his political career. As news spread of embezzlement charges against Martinez, Almonte retrieved five bags in the park, each with a photo of Martinez inside."

To make things more complicated, Almonte is from the Dominican Republic and believes in the strength of Santeria. She only touches the bags and the sacrifice items with her left hand, which protects her from the power of the sacrifice! "I get scared, I really get scared," she tells Northattan. "My mom keeps telling me ‘don’t touch it, just throw it away.'"