— 68 —
Why do many churches
oppose Halloween

Churches frequently disapprove of Halloween because it is really a modern version of ancient, satanic traditions which were originated by the pagan Celtic religion, and their druid priests, long before Christianity. It is assumed that the traditions of Halloween were carried to America by the early European settlers, some who viewed the traditions as mere "folklore," and others who held these rituals as sacred to their cultic beliefs. Halloween was eventually trivialized as intriguing folklore for the amusement of children and young adults. Today, it is highly commercialized, bringing great profits from the sale of candy, pumpkins, costumes, and other "ghoulish" items.

The World Book Encyclopedia says, "Halloween is a festival that takes place on October 31st. In the United States, children wear costumes on Halloween and go trick-or-treating. Many carry jack-o-lanterns carved out of pumpkins. At Halloween parties, people enjoy such activities as fortune-telling, hearing stories about ghosts and witches, and bobbing for apples."¹

However, the Dictionary of the Occult and Paranormal,² states "Halloween was originally a pagan festival of darkness, fire, and death. All Hallows Eve was celebrated by the Celts of northern Europe... Halloween was also an important date for the witches' calendar."

According to witchcraft organizations, witches have eight major festivals throughout the year. Four are the solar festivals: one at both equinoxes, and one at both solstices. The other four occur almost midpoint between the Solar festivals; the most famous of these are Samhain (Halloween to non-witches) and Beltane (May day). Samhain, or Halloween, is the beginning of their new year, and is the time when they claim that they can most effectively communicate with the dead.

Author, Richard Cavendish, in the encyclopedia Man, Myth, and Magic,³ states "All Hallows Eve, or Halloween, was originally a festival of fire, the dead, and the powers of darkness. It's the evening of 31 October, the night before the Christian festival of All Hallows Day. All Hallows Day commemorates the saints and martyrs, and was first introduced in the seventh century. Its date was changed from 13 May to 1 November in the following century, probably to make it coincide with and Christianize a pagan festival of the dead. All Souls Day in the Roman Catholic calendar is 2 November. It is marked by prayers for the souls of the dead. It is only in recent times that Halloween was reduced to a minor jollification for the children."

Cavendish continues, "The Druids were pagan priests of an early Celtic religion. Druids are mentioned by name in thirty references in Greek and Roman writers between the second century B.C. and the fourth century A.D. They were a barbaric order, dreaded for their power and blood-thirstiness. They certainly appear as lawgivers, and as being directly concerned with animal and human sacrifices..."

"They were, of course, the sole interpreters of religion. They determined all disputes by a final and unalterable decision, and had the power of inflicting the punishment of death. And, indeed, their altars streamed with the blood of human victims. Men, women, and children were often given as human sacrifices."

Irene Park, a former witch and authority on the history of Halloween says, "The Druids in Ireland would go through the neighborhoods and countryside on the eve of October 31 to collect offerings for Satan. They would carry lanterns, bags for money, and canes with very sharp points on their ends (known as leprechaun staffs, good luck horns, or fairies' wands). At each house they would demand a specified amount. If the household would not, or could not, give the offering (Penance or treat), the Druid would use his cane to castrate the male human or one of their prize animals."³

Park says, "The guisers went from house to house, singing and dancing. Their blood-curdling masks and grotesque costumes may have been meant to keep evil at bay, or more likely, were a visible representation of the ghosts and goblins that lurked in the night. These masks have now been transferred to the children, who in the United States, visit neighbors for the food offering which once belonged to the dead - or play tricks akin to the legendary destructiveness of witches and imps abroad on the night."

Most of the original folklore of Halloween has been preserved in the modern traditions: the goblins, jack-o-lanterns, Halloween parties, begging for gifts, etc., which all had their origin in the ancient celebration of All Hallows Eve.

Most people and children who participate with modern Halloween festivities, usually do so innocently, without any intention of associating themselves with the occult or other satanic traditions. However, the great tragedy is that it domesticates the occult and the powers of darkness. It creates a "tongue-in-cheek" attitude that the forces of evil are not to be taken seriously — that devils, witches, and goblins are considered merely make-believe, plastic masks, with child-like impotence. It also tends to promote an acceptance and friendliness toward dark traditions and occult beliefs; that Satan is not really so bad, witches are really not evil, demons are not really dangerous.

Members of the occult and devotees to the true satanic traditions of Halloween are ecstatic by the widespread acceptance and participation in their sacred festival. They view society's celebration of Halloween as an enormous public relations victory, and believe it's a time when their dark powers are greatly intensified, due to the unity of the masses which magnify and exalt the forces of evil. With thousands focusing their energies upon traditions of Satan, they feel this strengthens his influence in the affairs of the world.

For these reasons, many churches oppose any participation with Halloween on the basis that its relationship to evil is contrary to our relationship with Christ. The scriptures mention nothing about Halloween, but they do warn that a believer cannot mingle a relationship with God and the Devil (1 Cor. 10:21), and that we should even "Abstain from every form [appearance] of evil" (1 Thes. 5:22).

¹ The World Book Encyclopedia
² Dictionary of the Occult and Paranormal
³ Man, Myth and Magic

This article is from the book, What People Ask About the Church, authored and copyrighted © by Dr. Dale A. Robbins, 1990-2015, and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA - Nashville, TN. Unless otherwise stated, all scripture references were taken from The New King James Bible, © Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982. You may download this article for personal use as long as you retain credit to the author. Obtain permission before reproducing copies for any reason, by filling out our simple use permission form. Many of our writings are also available as free pdf tri-fold pamphlets, which can be downloaded for reproduction from our Online Catalog. For media reproduction rights, or to obtain quantities of this title in other formats, email us. A newer revised version of this book is available from Amazon. If you have appreciated these online materials, help us reach the world with the Gospel by considering a monthly or one-time tax-deductable donation.