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Pagan God Not Wanted in New Jersey

Roadside America Tourism News


Smyrna, Delaware - Babylonian snake god statue

I am the owner of the Babylonian god statue on Rte. 13 across from the Smyrna rest area. We have moved our travel agency (Tranquility Travel) 4.5 miles south. The Statue is still at the same place which is now The Village Gallery. The statue is actually a prop from the movie "The Prodigal" starring Lana Turner and is for sale for the cost of a new sign ($5,000) and you will get more notability from the statue then you would from any sign you could ever have! [Pat, 03/09/2002]

[RA: Update - July 2004 - The statue has been sold to a man in Lumberton, NJ, for $4,000. The fiberglass demon was moved to Denny Van Istendal's large back yard, visible from NJ Rt. 541. He plans to restore it and fix the missing serpent's head. ]

Lumberton, New Jersey - 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. [Update: April 2006 - the whole statue is visible from the street.]

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]

Comments

Awesome!!! Alright..

"PUt that over there sir.. right next to the dead guy hanging by his wrists and feet...."

:>P sorry...
Such a silly reaction ... What'd they have done if they saw a real-ish Baal-statue ?
Actually, it probably stood outside that travel agency until it was sold. There are very few travel agencies anymore, most people go online for their stuff now. But its funny that its supposedly scaring horses now in NJ, but was fine in DE.
Hi! Sorry for the totally off-topic post, but I noticed that you list fat-activism as one of your interests and I wanted to both let you know about the book project I'm working on and to invite you to take part. I apologize if you're already aware - livejournal can be a small community sometimes - but since you're not on my friends list, I thought I'd drop you a line. :) More info abou the project is here: http://www.stacybias.net -- Essentially, I want to interview 150-200 women of size across the united states and as many parts international as I can afford and, based on the interviews, fictionalize the least common and most common threads into a series of monologues suitable for stage performance, as well as published as a short fiction anthology. Thank you for your time, and sorry again for the off-topic post!