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  • Writer's pictureAsk Pastor Adrienne

What Happened to Halloween?

Q: Dear Pastor,

Halloween used to be fun; spooky, mysterious…even exciting and joyful. Now it’s terrifying and demonic. How can Christians continue to celebrate it?


I’ve been asking this question for two decades.

Let me tell you a story:

My father was a commercial artist in Cincinnati, Ohio for over fifty years. Halloween was one of my family’s favorite holidays because Dad made it truly creative.

Every year, near the end of September, our house hummed with excitement as Dad prepared to make paper-macheˊ Halloween masks upon our grinning faces. (There were no Walmarts then; no made-in-china, plastic costumes either.) We would each choose a typical Halloween character; a ghost, skeleton, witch or clown; and Mom would be duly informed that her sewing machine was now employed. A custom-made costume was then pieced and stitched into the best version of a Halloween stereotype for each of us. Yet the cherries on the top of our Halloween get-ups were always Dad’s masks; hand-applied strips of warm newspaper soaked in cornstarch and flour that were applied to our Vaselined faces. We sat on the kitchen counter while Dad toiled in layer after layer of paper-macheˊ as the masks slowly developed, then dried on the skin of our primary-school features. When finally peeled-off and set aside to cure for a day or two, Dad painted gorgeous renditions of the characters we chose on each one. They became magnificent works of art and are still preserved in cedar chests and tissue to this day. (My brother has them all.)

Trick or treating in the late 1970’s; my brothers and I began to experience the slow demise of house-to-house candy stops and pillow cases full of sweet-loot. By the late 1980’s it was becoming dangerous for children to walk the streets of small towns on Halloween night. During the latter ‘90s, the practice of knocking on a stranger’s door to proclaim “trick or treat!” would be considered rare. The world darkened and turned mean as Halloween was stolen and bent by thieves, abductions, serial killers, slasher movies, zombies and demons of the night. Why did this happen?

As an adult, seeking answers like these, I found Jesus Christ and discovered the real world of the supernatural. There are many things that live in the unseen dimensions of the spiritual world, and unfortunately, not all of them are benevolent. I learned that Halloween wasn’t child’s play; it also sat on the annual schedule-of-services for The Church of Satan. (Yes, Satan hosts a denomination in honor of himself.) Halloween, I found out, is the Black Sabbath which includes: human sacrifice, animal sacrifice and horrific practices you don’t want to know about. (Think “Christmas” and “Easter” wrapped into one, giant demon-fest for the Devil.)

Coupled with this new knowledge, I began to observe an uptick in Hollywood’s portrayal of evil on the screen coinciding with an appetite in our American culture to match it, demand it and even crave it.

Today, it isn’t uncommon to find children in elementary school enjoying demonic theology and horrific evils portrayed on the TV screen after homework…while their parents sit approvingly beside them. Harry Potter, a deep dive into the fantasy world of the occult; its wizards, warlocks, demons and crawling things; became standard reading for fifth graders. Soon, the ability to discern gateways of evil, threats to the welfare of our children, or observe an American Christian culture in flames…fell into hazy confusion.

Christians have been tasked by The Almighty to reflect and celebrate God’s goodness. How then, in celebrating Halloween as it is today, can our light shine? It isn’t matter of personal preference or pious-party-pooping. Nope, the plastic, dismembered body parts and blood-soaked masks sold in a Walmart aisle to first graders should silence the idea of the Halloween celebration for Believers. How is evil fun? How is that Christian? October has become Satan’s month. Why are we giving him any part of our calendar?

This is the Lord’s message: “Now come back to Me with all your heart. Cry and mourn and fast! Show that you are sad for doing wrong. Tear your hearts, not your clothes. Come back to the Lord your God. He is kind and merciful. He does not become angry quickly. He has great love. Maybe He will change His mind about the bad punishment He planned. Who knows, maybe He will change His mind and leave behind a blessing for you.”

(Joel 2:12-14, ERV)

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