FAIR LAWN, N.J. -- A dozen or so small bags left at several Fair Lawn intersections early Saturday held baby food jars containing black candles that at first looked like M-80s, police said.
Streets were closed off and residents asked to remain in their homes while the Bergen County Bomb Squad checked out the packages, which were left in the center of intersections on Rosalie Street from Banta Place to 27th Street, Sgt. Brian Metzler said.
A 27th Street resident walking home from a Banta Place business called police after spotting the shopping bags of different colors around 7:40 a.m., Metzler said.
Fair Lawn detectives and Bomb Squad members "determined that the items were black candles" that at first "appeared to officers to be M-80 firecrackers," the sergeant said.
The county Sheriff's Bureau of Criminal Identification collected all of the candles to be examined for fingerprints. Several crushed baby food jars were left behind ( see photo above ).
Detectives were investigating said Metzler, who noted that black candles have been known to be used in rituals.
Black candles are used in a variety of rituals -- most commonly involving protection of oneself and retribution against an enemy.
Spells involving black candles are considered strongest on a Saturday, "when the planet Saturn is strongly placed and waxing," according to angelfire.com .
Rosalie Street and every cross-street from Broadway to Raphael Street was closed off for nearly three and a half hours. All streets were reopened at 11 a.m.
Rosalie Street runs a dozen blocks from Banta Place to 36th Street.