THE HARM OF HALLOWEEN – Halloween is a dangerous day and here are the reasons why…
HALLOWEEN IS FOCUSED ON VIOLENCE – In January of 1988, I stopped at a restaurant to pick up a bite to eat before my next appointment. I picked up a paper on the way in. As I was eating I came across Ann Landers column entitled “Parents must tackle violence.” The parent wrote “I heard something today that made my hair stand on end… Last October, the teacher of a fourth grade class asked her students to write a short essay on what they would like to do most to celebrate Halloween. Eighty percent of her 9 year olds expressed the wish to “kill somebody.” Where do children get such ideas?” she asked.
The answer is a simple one Halloween accentuates mutilation, murder, blood, guts and gore. It even glorifies it! I well remember seeing the large picture in the newspaper of a mutilated corpse in a blood stained bathtub. It was utterly repulsive. The accompanying article lauded a community organization’s youth work using this “haunted house.”
The truth is, millions of people, and likely your kids will be exposed to some of the almost endless string of TV programs, videos, community and church activities that GLORIFY MUTILATION, TORTURE, and BIZARRE MURDERS this Halloween. Now before you say “it won’t hurt them, it’s only fantasy,” perhaps you should consider what a horrified mother discovered in her teenage son’s diary. She read, “Last year I stole a car at Halloween and ran over a kid and killed him for the Devil. I plan on doing it again this year.” The boy is now incarcerated.
HALLOWEEN IS HARMFUL BECAUSE OF ITS FOCUS ON VIOLENCE. Don’t you see the paradox. When we read of a violent murder any other time we gasp. But we laugh, tease, call it fun and glorify the same things when Halloween comes. Halloween’s focus on VIOLENCE breaks down the inhibitions of our children toward murder. They have difficulty separating between fantasy and fact. And that is taking it’s toll on our society. There is another reason Halloween is harmful.
HALLOWEEN IS HARMFUL BECAUSE OF THE EMPHASIS ON FEAR. I read an article in The Milwaukee Journal entitled “Haunted house fun: It could become a nightmare for kids.” It started out “ITS JUST FOR FUN, you know that. But to a young child, a trip through a “haunted house” created for Halloween could be a nightmare.” Fear is no joke. Fear is a powerful and often damaging emotion. The writer of the article quoted developmental psychologist Marvin Berkowitz of Marquette University. Berkowitz said “Some haunted houses can frighten an adult.” Children must “go in with the right mental set. Make sure they know it’s going to be a fun scare, not a real scare.” The article went on the say, “Even the most careful parents can misjudge the kid’s traumatized and shricking, you hold him and comfort him. Give him physical security.” The question is, why expose your child to such traumatizing influences? They serve no useful purpose. In fact long lasting emotional problems can develop as a result of the frightening experiences that are encountered at Halloween activities, such as going through a “haunted house.”
BUT there is another aspect I want to share with you relating to fear. Dr. Grace Ketterman M.D. says in her book, You and Your Child’s Problems: How to Understand and Solve Them. “A tragic by-product of fear in the lives of childen as early as pre-adolescence is the interest and involvement in supernatural occult phenomena.” Which leads me to the next point.
HALLOWEEN IS HARMFUL BECAUSE OF ITS FOCUS ON THE OCCULT. The two most frequent ways childen are introduced into the occult are through rock music (secular) and Halloween. I was introduced to the occult at a Halloween party. Tragically, more and more children are being introduced to the occult by teachers in the public schools. And unfortunately, Halloween is one of the two Holidays that public schools celebrate. They choose Halloween (and Valentine’s Day) because supposedly there is no “religious” significance. How wrong they are about Halloween. To be sure, there is no Christian significance to Halloween but it is obviously a religious day.
Our forefathers recognized Halloween’s assocation with the occult. The Pilgrims banned celebrating Halloween in America. The ban lasted until 1845. At that time multiplied thousands of Irish emigrants flooded into New York because of the Irish Potato Famine of 1845-46. They brought Halloween with them and gradually it spread throughout the rest of the country.