Halloween: Harmless Fun?

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Trick-or-treating began on my street last night, with a group of little ones dressed up as ghosts and witches and vampires, running on ahead of their mums. I thought about how excited the children must have been getting all dressed up like that, and going around with their friends getting bags full of sweets. I remember when I was young how I used to love it, and how I never would have dreamt of giving anything deeper about it a second thought. To be honest, had I not experienced the occult in the way that I did later in my life, I still may not have thought any more deeply about Halloween now. I still may have seen it as just a bit of harmless fun.

My road to coming into relationship with God came as a result of being involved in the occult when I was in my late teens. After coming out of this background, God showed me His thoughts about occult practices which are throughout the Bible, in particular that these practices are an ‘abomination’ to Him Deut. 18:12. This is a strong word, and it means that God hates, loathes, detests and is repulsed by these practices. He really is not neutral about it.

Not only did that help me to realise what spiritually dangerous territory I had been treading with my past involvement, but it also became relevant for me regarding things like checking my horoscope in the paper, watching certain programmes on TV, and also, my thoughts on Halloween.

My understanding is that Halloween has its roots in an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain. It was believed that on this night the divide between the human world and supernatural world was at its weakest and that it was possible for the spirits of the dead to return and bring harm to the living. One way that these harmful ‘tricks’ could be avoided by these spirits, was by leaving out ‘treats’ in the form of food and drink. This evening was also an opportunity for people to commune with the spirits to foretell the future. It is believed that the devil himself was also called upon to tell people about their future. The Bible clearly tells us that God does not want us to practice such things as fortune-telling and divination, so I question then whether it’s a good idea to join in with Halloween when part of its history is understood to have involved these.

For me, I see that Halloween is marked by beliefs and activities that go against God’s Word and offend Him a lot. Because I want to please Him, my decision is to part ways with the event. The way that The Message paraphrases the following verse is helpful, where God says to us, ‘Don’t link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. I’ll be a Father to you; you’ll be sons and daughters to me’ 2 Cor. 6:17-18. And where Paul says, ‘… dear friends, let’s make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let’s make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God’ 2 Cor. 7:1.

The other reason I have chosen not to go along with Halloween is definitely a result of my past experiences of the occult. It affected me in ways I didn’t expect such as developing fear in my life at the time, in a way that I had not lived with before. I know that, as harmless as it may seem, the supernatural realm is real. Not everyone may be affected by the occult as I was, and getting involved with Halloween for most people, may never lead to anything deeper in a spiritual sense. For me though, all it took was an intrigue in the things of the occult, set up years earlier by the smallest exposures. For somebody this may be found in Halloween, or in the practices associated with it.

So with Halloween looming, how should we as Christians respond? Some might choose to avoid this event altogether for reasons similar to those shared, for ‘what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial?’ 2 Cor. 6:15. But for others, Halloween might be seen as an opportunity. Jesus is the light of the world John 8:12, and He has called us to be bearers of His light Matt. 5:14-16. What better time to reveal the radiance and truth of Jesus Christ, than an event which has its origins in such spiritual darkness? Meeting with friends to pray, gifting rather than getting treats from our neighbours, hosting a Light party for our children and their friends, asking God for opportunities to overcome with good Rom. 12:21 and reveal the grace and love and light of His Son.

‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’ John 1:5.

*The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Revelation TV.

Birgit Wheelan.

Revelation TV Presenter