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History traces Halloween back to the ancient religion
of the Celtics. The Celtic people were very conscious of the spiritual
world and had their own ideas of how they could gain access to it -
such as by helping their over 300 gods to defeat their enemies in battle,
or by imitating the gods in showing cleverness and cunning. Their two
main feasts were Beltane at the beginning of summer (May 1), and Samhain
at the end of summer (Nov. 1). They believed Samhain was a time when
the division between the two worlds became very thin, when hostile supernatural
forces were active and ghosts and spirits were free to wander as they
The Celtic priests who carried out the rituals in the open air were
called Druids, members of pagan orders in Britain, Ireland and Gaul,
who generally performed their rituals by offering sacrifices, usually
of animals, but sometimes of humans, in order to placate the gods; ensuring
that the sun would return after the winter; and frightening away evil
spirits. To the Celtics, the bonfire represented the sun and was used
to aid the Druid in his fight with dark powers. The term bonfire comes
from the words "bone fire," literally meaning the bones of
sacrificed animals, sometimes human, were piled in a field with timber
and set ablaze. All fires except those of the Druids were extinguished
on Samhain and householders were levied a fee to relight their holy
fire which burned at their altars. During the Festival of Samhain, fires
would be lit which would burn all through the winter and sacrifices
would be offered to the gods on the fires. This practice of burning
humans was stopped around 1600, and an effigy was sometimes burned instead.
was the supreme night of demonic jubilation. Spirits of the
dead would rise out of their graves and wander the countryside,
trying to return to the homes where they formerly lived. Frightened
villagers tried to appease these wandering spirits by offering
them gifts of fruit and nuts. This is the origin of our present
day "trick-or-treat." They began the tradition of
placing plates of the finest food and bits of treats that the
household had to offer on their doorsteps, as gifts, to appease
the hunger of the ghostly wanderers. If not placated, villagers
feared that the spirits would kill their flocks or destroy their
The problem was... if the souls of dead loved ones could return that
night, so could anything else,human or not, nice or not-so-nice. The
only thing the superstitious people knew to do to protect themselves
on such an occasion was to masquerade as one of the demonic hoard, and
hopefully blend in unnoticed among them. Wearing masks and other disguises
and blackening the face with soot were originally ways of hiding oneself
from the spirits of the dead who might be roaming around. This is the
origin of Halloween masquerading as devils, imps, ogres, and other demonic
Trick or Treat has been thought to have come from a European custom
called "souling". Beggars would go from village to village
begging for "soul cakes" made out of square pieces of bread
with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more
prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of
the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo
for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers could guarantee
a soul's passage to heaven.
In many parts of Britain and Ireland this night used to be known as
'Mischief Night', which meant that people were free to go around the
village playing pranks and getting up to any kind of mischief without
fear of being punished. Many of the different customs were taken to
the United States by Irish and Scottish immigrants in the nineteenth
century, and they developed into 'trick or treat'.
When Christianity spread to parts of Europe, instead of trying to
abolish these pagan customs, people tried to introduce ideas which
reflected a more Christian world-view. Halloween has since become
a confusing mixture of traditions and practices from pagan cultures
and Christian tradition. The Romans observed the holiday of Feralia,
intended to give rest and peace to the departed. Participants made
sacrifices in honor of the dead, offered up prayers for them, and
made oblations to them. The festival was celebrated on February
21, the end of the Roman year. In the 7th century, Pope Boniface
IV introduced All Saints' Day to replace the pagan festival of the
dead. It was observed on May 13. In 834, Gregory III moved All Saint's
Day from May 13 to Nov. 1 and for Christians, this became an opportunity
for remembering before God all the saints who had died and all the
dead in the Christian community. Oct. 31 thus became All Hallows'
Eve ('hallow' means 'saint'). Sadly, though, many of the customs
survived and were blended in with Christianity.
Numerous folk customs connected with the pagan observances for the dead
have survived to the present. The various activities traditional to
Halloween are mostly associated with the idea of obtaining good fortune
and foretelling the future. The idea behind ducking, dooking or bobbing
for apples seems to have been that snatching a bite from the apple enables
the person to grasp good fortune. Samhain is a time for getting rid
of weakness, as pagans once slaughtered weak animals which were unlikely
to survive the winter. A common ritual calls for writing down weaknesses
on a piece of paper or parchment, and tossing it into the fire. There
used to be a custom of placing a stone in the hot ashes of the bonfire.
If in the morning a person found that the stone had been removed or
had cracked, it was a sign of bad fortune. Nuts have been used for divination:
whether they burned quietly or exploded indicated good or bad luck.
Peeling an apple and throwing the peel over one's shoulder was supposed
to reveal the initial of one's future spouse. One way of looking for
omens of death was for peope to visit churchyards, because the spirits
of those who were going to die during the coming year were thought to
walk around the churchyard during this night.
The Jack-o-lantern is the festival light for Halloween and is the ancient
symbol of a damned soul. Originally the Irish would carve out turnips
or beets as lanterns as representations of the souls of the dead or
goblins freed from the dead. When the Irish emigrated to America they
could not find many turnips to carve into Jack O'Lanterns but they did
find an abundance of pumpkins. Pumpkins seemed to be a suitable substitute
for the turnips and pumpkins have been an essential part of Halloween
celebrations ever since. Pumpkins were cut with faces representing demons
and was originally intended to frighten away evil spirits. It was said
that if a demon or such were to encounter something as fiendish looking
as themselves that they'd run away in terror,thus sparing the houses
dwellers from the ravages of dark entities. They would have been carried
around the village boundaries or left outside the home to burn through
the night. Bats, owls and other nocturanal animals, also popular symbols
of Halloween, were originally feared because people believed that these
creatures could communicate with the spirits of the dead. Black cats
has religious origins as well. During the Middle Ages it was believed
that witches could turn themselves into black cats. Thus when such a
cat was seen, it was considered to be a witch in disguise.
and witchcraft are dominant themes of the holiday. Witches generally
believe themselves to be followers of an ancient religion, which
goes back far beyond Christianity, and which is properly called
'wicca'. Witches are really just one side of a ;modern
revival of paganism - the following of pre-Christian
nature religions, the attempt to return to worshipping ancient Norse,
Greek or Celtic gods and goddesses. The apostle Paul said Witchcraft
is one of the acts of the sinful nature and those who practice it
will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:16-21; see also
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his
son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets
omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or
spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is
detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the
LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless
before the LORD your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to
those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your
God has not permitted you to do so. [Deuteronomy 18:10-14]
Should Christians adopt such practices? "Do
not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind." [Romans 12:2] Can we borrow the
pagan customs and superstitions of ancient peoples and "Christianize"
them? "Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of
evil. [1 Thesalonians 5:21-22] Who can deny that virtually all of the
symbols of Halloween are evil? Witches, monsters, ogres, vampires, ghosts,
ghouls, goblins, devils and demons all portray evil.
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,
but rather reprove them." [Ephesians 5:11] The
sort of practices celebrated on Halloween are what defiled the ancient
nations [see Leviticus 18:24-30]. The Israelites were warned against
such practices when they entered the Promised Land,
"When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth
thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations."
Is Halloween just another innocent holiday that
doesn't harm anyone? Is it really just childish fun? Should the church
be compromised by accommodating itself to the culture? Vandalism and
wanton disregard for the property of others is common on Halloween night.
Even normally well-behaved children are driven by unseen forces to destructive
behavior. Police officials everywhere report a great increase in such
activities on Halloween. Worse yet are the horrifying accounts of poisoned
candy and fruits booby-trapped with razor blades and needles. Such threats
are so real that many hospitals offer free X-rays of Halloween treats
in order to prevent children from being harmed. Who but Satan could
inspire such monstrous actions?
an alternative to the celebration of evil and death, Christians should
rather do what Christians are supposed to do every day and that is shine
the light of Jesus Christ. We should emphasize the Christian influences
and strive to make Hallow's Eve a celebration of the acts of God through
his people the saints. We should make it a day when acts of charity
instead of vandalism and hatred abound. A day that emphasizes the light
of Christ instead of the darkness of evil. A day when people meditate
on the acts of Godly people instead of ghosts and goblins.
America and the world celebrates the Festival of Samhain and the
powers of darkness by masquerading as evil creatures or decorating
our homes, schools, businesses and churches with occult symbols,
Satanic power is glorified. While you may have participated "all
in fun," be assured, Halloween is serious business for Satanists
and witches. Those who oppose Christ are known to organize on Halloween
to observe satanic rituals, to cast spells, to oppose churches and
families, to perform sacrilegious acts, and to even offer blood
sacrifices to Satan.
evil prevails, Americans have embraced an evil day of Satan, with the
pranks of 'would be' hoodlums, combined with 'demon faces' on pumpkins,
clothing of 'death' being worn, and calling it fun. When Christians
participate in Halloween, it sends a message to children that witchcraft,
demonism, Satanism, and the occult are something fun, entertaining and
years ago, C.S. Lewis wrote that one of Satan's most deceptive tactics
is to convince people that he doesn't exist. Apparently he has done
a good job in his deception. Sadly, many people think of the devil
as no more than a symbol of evil: like Santa Claus, he is just a
fictional symbol. Many people today also do not think of witches
as real people who practice magic, but simply as imaginary figures
who represent the supernatural world and everything that is 'spooky.'
Recognizing this pagan holiday gives the false impression that what
is actually lethal is innocuous. Some children develop a fascination
with the supernatural which leads them later into more sinister
occult practices. It's the spiritual equivalent of painting a loaded
gun to look like a toy and giving it to child to play with.
It is the kind of celebration that encourages kids like the 16-year-old
in Pearl, Mississippi who stabbed his mother to death in her sleep and
then opened fire at his high school, killing two students and wounding
seven. Authorities found this student along with at least six others
involved in a small, avowedly satanic clique that calls itself "Kroth."
How some people can defend this kind of activity as just another innocent
holiday that doesn't harm anyone is beyond me.
has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because
their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and
will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
to Satan's goals is the widespread acceptance of the supernatural, including
the occult, on the part of North Americans, accompanied by a great revival
of spiritism all over the world. Over the last 30 years, the occult
has moved into the mainstream of America - in television, movies, magazines,
business, and various aspects of daily life. Movies, books, magazines
and encyclopedias of the supernatural have abounded. Turn on your TV
and hear from the ever-present "Psychic Friends" hotline,
or see lead characters in TV shows meet their "spirit guide."
Entire bookstores devoted to the occult have become common. Universities
regularly offer courses on witchcraft and magic - usually the so-called
"white" variety. Myriads of mystical Eastern religions, bizarre
and often demonic, have invaded North America and found in most cases
an amazing responsiveness.
the curriculum in many public schools is becoming a primer in occultism.
Impressions, a curriculum used in many school districts instructs teachers
and students in how to cast spells. One teacher's manual reads, "Tell
the children that a magician has cast a spell on some children. Have
them work in pairs to write the magic spell the magician used. Have
each pair write another spell to reverse the first spell. Have them
chant their spells." About 16,000 school districts use the Pumsey
the Dragon curriculum, by Jill Anderson. Many of the relaxation techniques
used are identical to those used in hypnosis. Another curriculum called
Duso the Dolphin employs relaxation techniques and sends hypnotized
youngsters off on guided fantasies to a place called Aquatron.
a California skateboard manufacturer used a package enclosure similar
in appearance to a gospel tract to encourage purchasers to sell
their souls to the devil. The brochure titled, "Let's Make
a Deal" has a smiley-faced devil who explains to Flame Boy
what happened in heaven after he was banished: "First off,
they set up a bunch of dumb rules, and then they imposed a really
strict dress code. I'l wager that people must be quite bored up
there, but hey, that's what they get for being good." He contrasts
this with, "Flame Boy, even a dimwit like you can see that
hell is by far the best place to retire. Just look at all the fun
to be had." Children are asked to sign and return a contract,
by which they give possession of their souls to the devil for eternity.
has become a phenomena that crosses the city limit into the rural areas
of our nation. It is reported there are some 6000 witches, and approximately
10 million people are involved in the occult. However, it is very difficult
to establish how many actually participate. These individuals are involved
in a wide variety of activities from simply casting spells to human
sacrifice. The news wires carry story after story about young children
being kidnapped, only to be found later as victims of some bizarre ritualistic
satantic involvement among our youth increases, we begin to see
the primary goal of such activity. According to Scripture (2 Cor.
4:4; Rev. 12:9), Satan's goal is to deceive man by blinding him
to the truth of the gospel and to receive worship for himself (Matt.
4:9; Isa. 14:12-14). It has become clear that the primary goal is
to alter an individual's values and turn him against himself, his
beliefs, family, God and society.
sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring
lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." 1 Peter 5:8
satanists believe the strong will rule with Satan. Once an individual
becomes involved, they often make a pact with Satan. They commit themselves
to a future date when they will take their own lives by suicide. They
believe if they submit themselves to Satan in death, they will come
back in another life as a stronger being and rule with him forever.
According to recent statistics, fourteen young people a day take their
wrong with Halloween? It does not have even one single redeeming virtue.
It is custom born out of pagan superstition. It is a demon-inspired,
devil-glorifying, occult festival. It is an evening holy unto evil,
death, and divination. The Scriptures tells us to "Abstain
from all appearance of evil." [1Thess. 5:22] Wake up Christian!
This is the night of evil and those who love the Lord Jesus Christ should
have nothing to do with it.
are all accountable for our choices and decisions. Ignorance is no excuse.
The choice is up to you. Have you been involved in this satanic holiday?
Do you struggle with giving it up because "it's just fun"
and an innocent opportunity for children to dress up and collect candy?
Don't take my word for it. Let God show you what he would have you do.
Taken from the Jeremiah Project Website