Cold Blooded


It was Sunday night in Harlan County, Kentucky. Jeremiah and his girlfriend, Jamie, were walking to services at Holiness Church of Harlan. They’d heard something new and exciting was going to happen tonight. Both young people had gotten dissatisfied with their church recently. It was becoming increasingly conservative.

Near the middle of the service, some of the men carried in a wooden box. Jeremiah and Jamie looked at each other, neither knowing what was going on. The pastor opened the box and pulled out a large rattlesnake. Jamie grabbed Jeremiah’s hand. Their’s had never been a snake-handling church although they had heard of such churches. Supposedly, if the snakes didn’t bite the handlers, they had the appropriate amount of faith.

One of the men in the congregation went up to handle the snake. It took about 20 seconds for the timber rattlesnake to bite him on the hand. As he was screaming and the snake was put back in the box, Jamie and Jeremiah ran out of the church, knowing their religious preference had just changed.

Rosemary Carlson

Business Consultant and Freelance Writer

14 thoughts on “Cold Blooded

  1. It’s still hard to fathom that people create an entire theology based on one obscure passage in the Bible. It’s nuts. Both Moses (Deut 6:16) and Jesus (quoting Moses in Luke 4:12) said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

  2. Each to there own, I will give this church a wide birth if you don’t mind. But I enjoyed the images that you created.

  3. Hahahaha! My religious preference would change immediately too! That’s what that preacher gets for bringing a snake to church! LOL! Great story Rosemary!

    • Yes, they exist but they aren’t as common as they used to be. They are throughout Appalachia, with only about four in Eastern Kentucky now. About three years ago, two pastors were bitten in one church. One died, one didn’t. They are very fundamentalist churches that hold a very literal interpretation of the Bible.

You can’t get away without a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.