Witnesses called in a ‘ritual mass murder’ — it was actually a yoga class

Split screen image of people in corpse pose alongside a photo from inside the North Sea Observatory, where police were called to the scene of a yoga class that was mistaken as a ritual mass murder in progess. Getty Images/Unity Yoga/Facebook

A pair of concerned citizens jumped to some scary conclusions after they stumbled upon a group of yoga practitioners in corpse pose in Lincolnshire, England.

The participants’ form was clearly very convincing, as police were called over a “ritual mass murder” in progress, according to a statement from the yoga teacher.

“It’s safe to say that last night’s meditation was incredibly relaxing,” Millie Laws wrote on Facebook.

The class took place on Thursday evening at the Seascape Cafe within the North Sea Observatory, a building that features floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the coast. The open architecture also allowed two dog walkers to peer inside at an inopportune time.

The 22-year-old yoga teacher told the BBC that she was leading a group of seven people in Shavasana, or corpse pose, during the relaxation portion of the evening when the couple walked up to the window.

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At that point, the students were lying still on the ground in the dark with candles lit around them. They were covered with blankets and had their eyes closed as Laws walked around, playing a drum.

Photo of candles lit inside a room in the North Sea Observatory, where a couple of bystanders called in what they thought was a ritual mass murder in progress. Unity Yoga/Facebook

Laws noticed the dog walkers looking inside but said “they walked off really quickly” and she “didn’t think anything of it.”

Unbeknownst to Laws, the couple had interpreted the scene as “some kind of ritual” in which Laws was a mass murderer walking over her victims. She told the BBC the couple thought she was wearing a robe when she was actually wearing a flowy top with bell sleeves.

The yoga class ended and Laws and her students went home. Soon after, five police cars showed up outside the North Sea Observatory.

Photo of the North Sea Observatory provided by the Seascape Cafe. Seascape Cafe - NSO/Facebook

Managers at the Seaside Cafe said police arrived around 9:30 p.m., “after someone had reported a mass killing in our building.”

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The managers wrote on Facebook looking to reassure residents who heard the “mass of police sirens” that the cafe is “not part of any mad cult or crazy clubs.”

“Thank you to Lincolnshire Police for their prompt response. I can’t imagine for one moment what would have been going through their minds on the way,” the statement reads.

Millie Laws practicing yoga at the North Sea Observatory.
Millie Laws practising yoga at the North Sea Observatory. Unity Yoga/Facebook

Lincolnshire police confirmed the incident to CNN, saying that officers were happy to find everyone was safe and well after responding to the 911 call.

“The call was made with good intentions,” police said.

Laws wrote on Facebook that while “it’s easy to see the funny side” in the situation, her heart “goes out to those people who thought the worst.”

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“I’m sure their imagination was running wild with what was going on,” she told the BBC.

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