Excited children masquerading as witches, pirates, devils, ghosts, Dracula and other creatures bounding through the neighborhood, going from door to door shouting “Trick or Treat” … the party at school or a friend’s house where they tell ghost stories, bob for apples or tell fortunes… the visit to the community “haunted house” and homes decorated with witches, skeletons and eerie looking grinning Jack O Lanterns… It must be Halloween! Sounds like harmless fun, doesn’t it? But there is a dark side to Halloween you should know about, a side that I never liked because it was associated with evil, the devil, fear, death, and violence. That side of Halloween always gave me “the creeps.” And after a thorough study of Halloween I know why I felt that way because BENEATH HALLOWEEN’S CANDY COATING IS A HISTORY OF DIABOLICAL EVIL.In these next few days, I will share with you some of my findings relating to THE DARK SIDE OF HALLOWEEN. I will share with you briefly three things.
- The History of Halloween
- The Heroes of Halloween
- The Harm of Halloween
THE HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN
Halloween is a “religious day” but it is NOT a Christian day. Tom Sanguinet, former high priest in the Celtic tradition of Wicca (witchcraft) said “The modern holiday we call Halloween… has its origins in the full moon closest to November 1st, the witches’ New Year. It was a time when the “spirits” (demons) were supposed to be at their peak power and revisiting the earth planet.” He went on to say, “Halloween is purely and absolutely evil, and there is nothing we ever have or will do that would make it acceptable to the Lord Jesus.”
What is the man talking about, you might be asking yourself? Let me explain. The origin of Halloween isthe Celtic Festival of Samhain, lord of death and evil spirits. Long before Christ (at least 2025 years), Druids in Britain, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany and other Celtic countries observed the end of summer by making sacrifices to Samhain. The Celts considered November 1st as being the day of death because the leaves were falling, it was getting darker sooner and temperatures were dropping. They believed Much Olla, their sun god was losing strength and Samhain, lord of death, was over powering him. Further, they believed that on October 31st Samhain assembled the spirits of all who had died during the previous year. These spirits had been confined to inhabit animals’ bodies for the past year, as punishment for their evil deeds. They were allowed to return to their former home to visit the living on the eve (Oct 31st) of the Feast of Samhain. Druid priests led the people in diabolical worship ceremonies in which horses, cats, black sheep, oxen, human beings and other offerings were rounded up, stuffed into wicker cages and burned to death. This was done to appease Samhain and keep spirits from harming them. It was clear to see that HALLOWEEN HAS ALWAYS BEEN A CELEBRATION OF DEATH.
Which brings me to my next point. How were these sacrifices obtained? Druid priests and people would go from house to house asking for fatted calves, black sheep and human beings. Those who gave were promised prosperity and those who refused to give were cursed and threatened. In addition, it was likely that all of the “wandering spirits” would get hungry. If you set out a treat for them, they would not trick or curse you. Hence we have THE ORIGIN OF TRICK OR TREAT. “Trick or Treat is a reenactment of the Druidic practices. The candy has replaced the human sacrifices of old, but it is still an appeasement of those deceptive evil spirits. The traditional response to those who do not treat is to have a trick played on them. When you give out Halloween candy, you are, in essence providing a sacrifice to false gods. You are participating in idolatry says the former high priest of Wicca, Tom Samhain.
Did you know that even the Jack O Lantern has its origin with these pagan practices? In the book, Occult Conceit the author says on page 190, “The candlelit pumpkin or skull served as a signal to mark those farms and homes that were sympathetic to the Satanists and thus deserving of mercy when the terror (“trick or treat”) of the night began.” Further, an old edition of The World Book Encyclopedia says “The apparently harmless lighted pumpkin face of Jack O Lantern is an ancient symbol of a damned soul.”
What about COSTUMES? They originated with these terrible Druid death rites also. As people and animals were screeching in agony while being burned to death the observers would dress in costumes made of animal skins and heads. They would dance, chant and jump through the flames in hope of warding off the evil spirit.
It is obvious that Halloween is a pagan day rooted in the worst kind of pagan rituals and worship. The Bible urges Christians to “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness…” (Ephesians 5:11). Though Halloween is diluted somewhat there is obviously nothing Christ honoring about the day. It is a pagan sacrifice day and the Bible warns Christians “… the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils” (1 Corinthians 10:20). Halloween is the devil’s day!
THE HEROES OF HALLOWEEN
You could not celebrate Halloween without the WITCH. The oldest known illustration of a witch, dates back to the pre-Columbian era. The drawing shows the pagan goddess Tlazolteolf naked, wearing a pointed-hat and riding a boom stick. Where you find witchcraft you will find nudity, divination, gross immorality and occult practices just to name a few. According to the Old Testament of the Bible witchcraft and the whole spectrum of the occult were capital crimes, punishable by death. In the New Testament, in Galatians 5:20, witchcraft is listed among those things that are to be renounced by believers. In fact, Acts 19:18,19 records how that those who became Christians renounced all dealings with the occult and burned any occultic material they had. Popular west coast Bible teacher, Dr. John MacArthur expresses it clearly enough when he says, ‘Dressing up like witches, ghosts, or goblins is incompatible with a Christian’s testimony. Furthermore, many of the customs of Halloween are associated with the worst kind of pagan ceremonies; they are usually centered on the sinister things such as demons, witchcraft, and superstition.’
The other heroes of Halloween aren’t any better. Consider Dracula. Did you know he was a real person? He lived from 1431 to 1476. During his six year reign this demented maniac massacred 100,000 men, women and children in the most hideous ways. He devised a plan to rid his country of the burden of beggars, handicapped, sick and aged. He invited them to a feast at one of his palaces. He fed them well and got them drunk. Then he asked them, “Do you want to be without cares, lacking nothing in this world?” They yelled “Yes!” Dracula then ordered the palaced boarded up and set it on fire. No one escaped. This tragic event was the original House of Horror.
The overwhelming majority of Halloween Heroes are evil, demented or demonic. That should not surprise us. Halloween is the devil’s day! But there is something else that concerns me even more…
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.
An increasing number of people are seeing the dangers associated with celebrating Halloween. Christians, when exposed to the dark side of the day, are deciding that celebrating it is not pleasing to the Lord Jesus Christ. Wise parents are replacing Halloween with family night activities. Others are have “GLORY GATHERINGS” where all references to Halloween are removed and wholesome games are played. Christian songs are sung and Christian videos are shown. Others are using Halloween as a night to pass out Gospel tracts. How pass this out? Don’t dress in a costume, walk around your area, putting these into people’s sacks, you can do over 100 an hour, more than people coming to your own door. Where to get Gospel tracts? www.chick.com, www.livingwaters.com, or local Christian bookstore. And don’t forget to pray over the people who receive the tracts. Whatever you do, “Be not overcome of evil, but over comecome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
I hope you will carefully consider the information I have related in short series in the past few days on “The Dark Side of Halloween” and decide NOT to celebrate Halloween. But there is an even more important decision you should make first. That is deciding to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Here’s what to do.
REALIZE that God loves you – John 3:16; Romans 5:8
RECOGNIZE that you cannot be saved from sin by your own good works – Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5
ADMIT that you are a sinner separated from God – Romans 3:23
REPENT of your sins – Luke 1:5, Luke 3:19
CALL upon Christ in faith, believing that He died for your sins and arose from the dead – Romans 10:9