My Thoughts on Halloween

Halloween is a mostly secular holiday that has rather obscure origins. It is a strange amalgam of the pagan Celtic day Samhain and the Christian All Saint’s Day. As it exists today it is neither particularly pagan and certainly not Christian. It is a largely secular celebration that gives retail outlets another opportunity to make money. That is my opinion.

As a child growing up, Halloween meant dressing up in a mask or a costume and going from house to house in the neighborhood collecting candy. We only went to houses where we knew the people. We were encouraged to ALWAYS WITHOUT FAIL remember to say “Thank you.”

If you went trick or treating several years in a row you learned that some people always gave out the same treats, year after year. One house always had popcorn in a small brown paper bag with the top neatly folded and stapled twice to keep the popcorn from spilling out. The bottom of the bag alway had that dark spot where the oil had dripped down.

Another house we always stopped at always had Three Musketeers bars. I have always loved those and that house was a must do. Sometimes we’d get a candied apple and we always ended up with plenty of tootsie rolls and random hard candy.

It was a lot of fun and it was innocent. We’d even have a Halloween party at our school where invariably some Mom would send cupcakes for everybody. Who wouldn’t dig that?

As we got older somebody decided to spoil the fun. Rumors began to circulate that malevolent individuals were inserting razor blades into apples and injecting “dope” into the candy. Parents began to be more cautious. Hospitals began offering to X-Ray candy to make sure it was all free from “foreign objects.” (I always thought if you were the type who would go so far as to have candy x-rayed, why didn’t you just go to the store and buy some that you could be reasonably assured had not been tampered with.)

Halloween began to have a bad name. With the rise of modern-day evangelicalism, many began to reject Halloween and the celebration of as being un-Christian. Many churches began offering a Halloween alternative, a Harvest or Fall Festival. Stores even got in on the act. Entire shopping centers began to allow children to trick or treat there.

Because Halloween has some obscure pagan origins, and because the influence of Hollywood monster movies has permeated the secular celebration of it, Halloween has become viewed as being evil by many evangelical Christians.

For my part, I think that is a bit of an overreaction. But again that’s just my opinion. One of the dearest friends of our family does not celebrate Halloween as a matter of conviction. I have no problem with that and whole-heartedly support their decision.

I hesitate to bring this up, but it’s a lot like the Harry Potter debate. Quite a few intelligent, thinking, respectable people I know want nothing to do with Harry Potter due to the biblical prohibition of dabbling with sorcery. That’s fine with me and I don’t say they are wrong.  I however, believe that Harry Potter is merely a fictional universe created by a clever writer for the purposes of entertainment, not an apparatus to covertly guide the readers down a dark and sinister trail that must end with a wholesale embrace of the occult. (That’s what Freemasonry is for, not Harry Potter or Halloween).

See over the years I’ve heard people make the statement, “It’s not like it used to be.” Oh really!?! I’ve taken my kids trick or treating a few times and it’s exactly like it used to be. We only take our children to the houses of people we know (or their grandparents know). We encourage them to say thank you and we all have a good time doing it.

October 31 was also the Day that the Protestant Reformation officially began in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to the door of the All Saint’s Church. If you are a card-carrying Protestant as I am, then I suggest you combine the celebration of the Reformation with Halloween. Print out a copy of the 95 theses and under the cover of darkness (tape, not nail) them to the door of your local Catholic Church. You can commit a harmless prank and help correct wrong doctrine all at the same time.

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3 Responses to “My Thoughts on Halloween”

  1. debeyepps Says:

    Mojo, I agree with everything in your post. I have taken my kids out trick or treating in the neighborhood in the past and it was just like when I was a kid. I have always LOVED Halloween…especially the scary black and white movies like Frankenstein. I have also been made to feel like a bad Christian for liking it by some. But I respect their feelings about Halloween and love them just the same.

    Thanks for the post and Happy Halloween!!!

  2. theworldofmojo Says:

    Debey. I believe that choosing to celebrate Halloween or not is a matter of conscious. As I have already noted some do not celebrate it as a matter of conviction, and that’s fine, but to impose your view on another is legalism plain and simple.

    You are not a bad Christian (well actually you are as are all of us. It’s only through grace that God can look at us and not our ugly sin, but see the righteous of His son.) Don’t feel bad, don’t let anyone make you feel bad.

  3. I always had fun at halloween…especially in high school when the marching band would dress-up and march the half-time show for the Sydney Lanier v. Robert E. Lee (I went to Lee, btw) football game. It was a fun tradition that we all enjoyed.

    Now, we (since I am married to Mojo) do not allow the kids to dress-up in scary costumes at halloween or any other time of year. We try to make it as innocent and fun as possible without anything too scary….after all, I am the one who can not watch scary movies AT ALL!

    I respect those in the community that decide to not participate in celebrations or prevent their children from dressing up, and I expect them to give our family the same courtesy.

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