What is Halloween? Should Bible believing Christians participate in Halloween activities such as “Trick or Treat” and dressing up in costumes? Is it really a big deal, or are some Christians just fanatic party-poopers? After all, which of us don’t have wonderful memories of great childhood fun on Halloween? It’s all harmless and innocent, isn’t it?
A history lesson is essential. Halloween can be traced back to the ancient religious practices of the pagan Celtics in Ireland and northern Britain. The main feast day in their religion was at the end of summer, when they believed the physical world and the spiritual world were at their closest point of interaction. Because the division between worlds was so thin at that time, according to their belief, evil spirits easily “made the jump” into the physical world, rising out of their graves and wandering the countryside in search of their physical homes.
During this festival of the dead, the Celtic priests, called Druids, performed religious rituals of animal, and sometimes human, sacrifices to appease their over 300 gods and to ward off the evil spirits. The bones of the sacrifices were piled with wood and set ablaze. This “bone fire” (now known as a “bonfire”) represented the sun and was believed to frighten away evil spirits. Additionally, the common man would try to mollify the wandering evil spirits by offering them gifts of fruits and nuts. By offering a “treat” to the evil spirit, they hoped to avoid a “trick” by that evil spirit, such as the destruction of livestock or personal property. So terribly frightened by these superstitions, the people even went so far as to masquerade as devils, ogres, and other demonic creatures in order to hide from the evil spirits. By blending in with the evil spirits, the people hoped to go unnoticed and untouched.
Into this pagan culture entered Christianity. Instead of refuting and correcting these pagan practices, the Church compromised God’s call to holiness by blending Christian traditions with the pagan traditions. Pope Boniface IV introduced All Saint’s Day to replace the pagan festival of the dead, but without removing any of the practices of the festival of the dead. In 834 AD, Pope Gregory III decreed November 1 to be All Saint’s Day. October 31, therefore, became All Hallow’s (“saints”) Eve.
Other Halloween customs also date back to the original pagan festival of the dead. The Jack-o-lantern, a gourd carved with the representation of a dead soul or evil spirit, is the ancient symbol of a damned soul and became the festival light for Halloween. Bats, owls, and other nocturnal creatures were feared by the pagan Celtics because the people believed those animals communicated with the dead. Black cats were feared because the people believed them to be witches in disguise.
What is Halloween? It is a celebration of evil born out of pagan superstitions. It is a demon-inspired festival of death. It is the high holy day in the Satanic Church, the day Satan is glorified. On Halloween, witches and wicca observe satanic rituals, cast spells to oppose churches and individual Christians, and offer blood sacrifices to Satan.