Halloween? No thanks.

It was Halloween last night and, for once, we enjoyed a quiet evening. No rings of the doorbell at all. The chocolates on the shelf by the front door remained unclaimed.

I can’t say I’m sorry. To be honest I find the whole thing a bit sickening. Why would anybody in their right mind – especially a Christian – want to encourage a fixation with horror, ghosts, werewolves, witches, vampires, skulls and corpses? It is all thoroughly unhealthy. Yes, I know that for many kids it’s just a chance to dress up and collect a few goodies from the neighbours. But it’s potentially the thin end of the wedge, to be followed for some by more serious involvement in the occult, obsession and petrifying fear.

HalloweenThe commercial aspect stinks, too. In my childhood nobody had ever heard of Halloween. It was always bigger in America, of course, and in time British companies realised that here was another chance to make an annual killing. Today the supermarkets are laden with ghoulish costumes and other spooky haberdashery. Whole farms have gone over to pumpkin production.

The BBC couldn’t miss out either. On 31st October the TV featured news items on the rise of paganism and showed footage of modern-day witches prancing about in fields wearing cloaks, muttering to the spirits of the trees and talking about the spells they make each morning to protect their children when they send them off to school.

All this stuff lies at the opposite extreme from the glorious truth that has come to us in Jesus Christ. He is light, and life, and love. He is a million miles from the dark and scary stuff that forms the core of Halloween. Never the twain should meet. I’d like to see Halloween fizzle out completely.

But in the meantime it’s likely to be around for some time. So I suppose we’ll continue to have the chocolates handy, and we’ll hand them out with a cheerful word – and a prayer that God will bless the kids on the doorstep.

4 Responses to Halloween? No thanks.

  1. Ian Deakin says:

    Excellent article which I am in total agreement. There are those that say its just dressing up and its done in innocence and with enjoyment, but why sail so close to the wind. The inference to the kids that connections to witches etc if they so wish in the future have no adverse effect. If you want to dress your kids up do it at another occasion and celebrate all that is good and innocent.

    Thanks David for putting pen to paper or should I say displaying in the media form what is helpful and needs to be said.

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  2. Deane Jennings says:

    Awww come on David. I think we should lighten up. Collecting sweets dressed as cute little goules won’t make anyone a practicing satanist. If we are meant to be light in the dark world we live in we need to stop coming over as disapproving and grudging with these little kids having fun. I actually went out and bought sweets to give them, and enjoyed having a bit of fun with them this year because I want them to see that loving Jesus means loving people and showing life, and fun!

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  3. We too encourage our little daughter Callie to give out sweets to the children wearing costumes that knock on the door. It is a good chance to say hello and build relationships. We also find it a good time to chat with her about issues such as death and talk about those good people we have known who have passed on. Of course occult, spiritualism and the like are to warn against but there are positives like this that I think Christians can emphasise about this time.

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  4. Philip Williams says:

    There’s a balance, of course, between being opposed to these things and drawing even more attention to them. I know plenty of churches that offer alternative events for kids on Hallowe’en – which is laudable in many ways but in some respects only serves to draw more attention to it.

    Mischief Night was always big in Yorkshire, as David will well remember. It always fell just before Bonfire Night but I understand it’s been a moveable feast.

    I’ve read that the modern Hallowe’en is a fusion between Mischief Night and Irish practices. It’s certainly grown in gruesome popularity in recent years. It was around in my childhood in the ’60s though, but was pretty innocent back then with apple-bobbing and so forth …

    Phil Williams

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