A dark Satanic cult has been blamed for the death of a pony which was horrifically mutilated in a ring of fire during a full moon.
Police are investigating after the young male animal had its genitals and right ear sliced off and tongue and eyes cut out - possibly while it was still alive.
Its belly has been hacked open and the pony also had traces of white paint on one of its legs - suggesting it was killed as part of a bizarre ceremony.
It was also surrounded by circular patches of burnt moorland - which experts believe were left by a ring of torches or candles.
The two-month old pony seemed to have been dragged into a clearing and placed at the foot of a slope to face the previous night's full moon.
It was found on Tuesday morning by a horse rider at Yennadon Down, a remote, bushy area of the Devon National Park in Devon.
Animal welfare officers are investigating but local horse carers believe the butchery was part of an evil occult or Pagan ceremony by Devil worshippers.
Local welfare charities have reported the death to the police and have appealed for the public to be extra vigilant.
Karla McKechnie, Dartmoor's Livestock Protection Officer, said she feared devil worshippers were behind the ritualistic horse killing.
"We do get strange things happening from time to time, normally when its a full moon.
"I've come across strange circles in the ground, boulders used as altars, that sort of thing, but thankfully animal mutilations are rare.
"I suspect its witches or devil worshippers but it's always hard to get to the bottom of it.
"My main concern is how someone has been able to walk up to a foal and kill it in the middle of the night. I'm almost certain more than one person was involved."
Jenny Thornton, of the South West Equine Protection, said Dartmoor ponies have become so used to being fed by humans they have become easy targets.
She said: "I've seen plenty of dead animals but this was horrendous. The belly has been sliced open. It's a boy and its genitals had been cut off.
"The tongue had been pulled out and his eyes are missing. There have always been rumours of animal sacrifices and sheep have been found dead in the past, often around the time of a full moon.
"All we can be absolutely certain of is that someone has caused unnecessary suffering to an animal, possibly severe suffering if it was still alive at the time."
Dartmoor and the surrounding countryside in Devon and Cornwall has been dogged by rumours of satanic rituals for years.
In 2012 a two-year-old horse called Eric belonging to Dawn Jewell, 27, was found mutilated on the day of satanic animal sacrifice.
He was found dead in his field in Stithians, near Falmouth, Cornwall, after a full moon with his right eye gouged out, his teeth removed and his genitalia hacked off.
The horrific attack happened on St Winebald Day, a date in the satanic calendar traditionally celebrated with bloody rituals.
As police hunted the sadists responsible, Inspector Chris Strickland said there was "a strong possibility" that Eric was the victim of a satanic ritual.
He said at the time: "There are people out there with these beliefs. It's one line we will pursue."
In 2006 around 100 sheep animals were found slaughtered with their tongues, eyes and sexual organs removed on Dartmoor
The bodies had been arranged in a Satanic star shape, known as a pentangle, or laid out in a circle with their necks broken.
In June of this year police appealed for information after two horses were found with "gaping" knife wounds in neighbouring fields in the village of Stokeinteignhead, Devon.
Locals feared the two thoroughbred were attacked to mark the summer solstice - a key date in the Satanic calendar.
Ms McKechnie asked anyone with any information to contact her on 07873 587 561.