Bible Topics In The Christian Library

Halloween personifies all that is evil. I once rented a fine video tape entitled, Halloween, Trick or Treat, from a Bible book store. I was very touched by an interview shown in the video of a man whose parents were Satan worshipers. He was raised in that way of life, but he found Christ. He told of once having a little girl playmate whom they had marked for sacrifice. One Halloween night they drugged her, tied her naked little body upon an alter, slashed her wrists and the soles of her feet, and drank her blood until it had all drained from her body. During that interview he makes a very moving appeal, and a very persuasive plea for Christians to distance themselves completely from Halloween and everything about it.

The word "Halloween" itself comes from Roman Catholic tradition. It is related to a Mass, celebrated on November 1, called Allhallowmas or All Saints’ Day. The day before that is thus called, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Hallow e’en. But the celebration of those days is much older than Christianity. Ralph Linton, who wrote Halloween Through Twenty Centuries said in his book: "The earliest Halloween celebrations were held by the Druids in honor of Samhain, Lord of the Dead, whose festival fell on November 1. This day was also the Celtic New Year’s Day, the beginning of winter and of the time of ‘the light that loses, the night that wins.’" 

Druids are a cult of soothsayers and believers in magic. Linton writes that on the night of November 1, Samhain, Lord of the Dead, "...assembled the souls of all those who had died during the previous year. For their sins these souls had been confined in the bodies of lower animals; on the New Year, their sins being expiated, they were released to go to the Druid heaven. Horses and human beings were sacrificed at this time." 

As Christianity grew in Great Britain, there was an effort to combat this evil. Eventually, the Roman Catholic church attempted to transform it into a Christian festival. Thus, in 834 AD Pope Gregory IV moved the Roman Catholic festival of All Saints’ Day from spring to November 1. However, "all saints" means, in this regard, all dead saints, both known and unknown. Later, the Catholic church began to honor all of the dead on November 2. This day is called All Souls’ Day. In this way the association of these days with the dead was continued, only this time it was supposed to be a Christian celebration. As usually happens, instead of transforming the pagan celebration, it simply created another one of a different kind. As Linten writes,

Outside the church, the belief in Halloween as a gathering time for unsanctified as well as sanctified spirits seems to have continued with little change. To the ghosts originally assembled by the Lord of the Dead were added troops of goblins and fairies. This was logical enough, for the fairy folk had their beginnings in an exceedingly ancient, even pre-Celtic, cult of the dead...They were ghosts of ancient kings and heroes mingled with elder gods...Even more characteristic than the inclusion of goblins and fairies in the Halloween picture was the association of the festival with witchcraft...In the later Middle Ages, the church began to take a stronger stand against [the practices of magic], and with the Reformation they were classed as heresy. The result was the emergence of witchcraft as a more or less organized cult in opposition to the church. Much of its ritual was a travesty of Christian rites, but it also incorporated many of the ancient beliefs and practices, among them the ancient sacred days. Halloween became the great witch night. The Prince of Darkness and his cohorts, the witches and warlocks, gathered to mock the church’s festival of All Saints by unholy revels of their own.  The whole history of Halloween has been about evil, superstition, and destructiveness. All of the popular elements associated with the modern celebration of Halloween can be traced to its evil pagan roots: ghosts, goblins, demons, witches. Those broomsticks they wrap their legs around are phallic symbols. Turn one of those pictures upside down, and it becomes more apparent. Jack-o’-lanterns are lamps lit by coals from hell carried by a man named Jack, who was a worthless drunk of long ago who used to make deals with the devil, so the story goes. He tricked the devil so often Satan refused to take him into Hell, and he was too worthless to go to Heaven. So now he roams the earth as a ghost carrying his lantern lit by a coal from hell.

Another symbol of Halloween is the black cat. Black cats have a long history of association with evil. They were considered to be animals inhabited by the spirits of witches. They are often portrayed as perched on the broomstick of a flying witch. The old witches brew was actually a concoction containing potent psychoactive drugs, under the influence of which its celebrants probably thought they were flying in the air. A few days ago my wife told me she saw a television announcement from the Searcy Animal Shelter warning residents of Searcy and White county about the coming Halloween celebration. The announcement said for owners of black cats and dogs (especially puppies) to keep them securely penned up, because Satanists, who consider Halloween a sacred night, round these up to use as sacrifices in order to indulge their unholy lust for blood and death. Many places in today’s America, and indeed, throughout the world, also sacrifice human lives, usually babies and young children. Their blood is either smeared on their often naked bodies, or drunk in mock imitation of the Lord’s supper.

These ghastly acts are the outcome of frequent exposure to morbid and perverse things. The excitement which they arouse in the body becomes appealing. Like all who indulge the baser appetites, these people become desensitized to the milder stimuli, and begin to use ever more extreme things in order to arouse the excitement they crave. For many it reaches the stage of Satan worship with all their diabolical practices. Indulging in entertainment with symbols of evil and death is no different from indulging in social drinking. Not all who drink sink to the lowest level. But, apart from the very evil itself, do we want to expose ourselves and our children to that kind of risk?

The world scoffs at such warnings. Halloween, they say, is just a cute, innocent way to have a little fun. But there is nothing cute or innocent about Halloween. Even if most people no longer take them seriously, all the old symbols of evil remain. Taking innocent young children around to cry, "Trick or treat" in order to get good things to eat, is wrong for many reasons. The fact is, the very words "Trick or treat" are words of extortion, meaning, "Either you give me a treat, or I will bring evil upon you and your property." It too can be traced back in history. It is a variation of the practice of leaving food outside for the ghosts and spirits that were let loose to wander on this "Night of the Dead". Is this what Christians should be indulging with their young children?

Whether or not most people consider it to be an innocent game, makes no difference. Should we bow down and worship an idol as part of a game, and then justify what we are doing by saying, "Oh, I know it is not really a god, but it so much fun, and the children love it"? Is there no other decent, wholesome way to share pleasant things to eat with our children without paying homage to crime, darkness, and death? It is not possible to put one foot on the side of the devil, and the other foot on the side of God.

I offer for your consideration a few scriptures from the Word of God concerning our need to keep separate from evil and darkness:

For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness (1 Thessalonians 5:5).

He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son (Colossians 1:13).

...what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14). open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God (Acts 26:18).

...I do not want you to be partners with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons (1 Corinthians 10:20-21).

And he called out with a mighty voice, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt of every foul spirit, a haunt of every foul and hateful bird" (Revelation 18:2).

1.Ralph and Adelin Linton, Halloween Through Twenty Centuries (New York: Henry Schuman, 1950) 5.
2.Linton 5.
3.Linton 7, 8. 

Copyright 1997 by Walter L. Porter may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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