by Bob McCurry
Excited children masquerading as witches, ghosts, goblins, demons, and other grotesque characters skipping through the neighborhood knocking on doors chanting "trick or treat" while holding out a sack in which one is to drop a piece of candy or other goodies...the party at school, church, or Sunday School where they bob for apples, tell fortunes, or go through "haunted houses"...decorations of jack-o'-lanterns, witches on brooms and black cats with arched backs...It's "Halloween"-one of the strangest days of the year.
Are Halloween activities really just the simple, innocent holiday fun most people believe them be? Where did this holiday originate? Why is this holiday celebrated?
History provides the answers. Though it was the Roman Catholic Church who designated the October 31st date as Allhallows Eve, or "eve of the holy one's day," in prelude to their November 1st All Saint's Day, it was earlier pagan peoples who gave the annual holiday the sinister meaning and traditions it still holds.
"The American celebration rests upon Scottish and Irish folk customs which can be traced in direct line from per-Christian times. Although Halloween has become a night of rollicking fun, superstitious spells, and eerie games which people take only half seriously, its beginnings were quite otherwise. The earliest Halloween celebrations were held by the Druids in honor of Samhain, Lord of the dead, whose festival fell on November 1."
"It was a Druidic belief that on the eve of this festival, Saman [Samhain], lord of death, called together the wicked souls [spirits] that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals."
"The Druids, an order of priests in ancient Gaul and Britain, believed that on Halloween, ghosts, spirits, fairies, witches, and elves came out to harm people. They thought the cat was sacred and believed that cats had once been human beings but were changed as a punishment for evil deeds. From these Druidic beliefs come the present-day use of witches, ghosts, and cats in Halloween festivities."
Halloween "was the night for the universal walking about of all sorts of spirits, fairies, and ghosts, all of whom had liberty on that night."
The pagans believed that on one night of the year the souls of the dead returned to their original homes. "There was a prevailing belief among all nations that at death the souls of good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise, but the souls of wicked men were left to wander in the space between the earth and moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living...But there were means by which these ghosts might be exorcised.
To exorcise these ghosts, that is, to free yourself from their supposed evil sway, you would have to set out food-give the demons a treat-and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your treat, it was believed they would leave you in peace. If food and shelter were not provided, or if they were not satisfied,these spirits, it was believed, would "trick" you by casting an evil spell on you and cause havoc.
"The modern custom of "Trick-or-treat" began in Ireland hundreds of years ago. A group of farmers went from house to house begging food for the village Halloween festivities in the name of their ancient gods. Good luck was promised to generous donors, and threats were made against those who would not give." Thus these ancient pagan traditions continue today as youngsters, masquerading as ghosts, skeletons and demons go "trick-or-treating"-begging in a sense for food while promising to refrain from evil deeds.
October 31
"It was the Celts who chose the date of October 31 as their New Year's Eve and who originally intended it as a celebration of everything wicked, evil and dead. Also during their celebration they would gather around a community bonfire and offer as sacrifice their animals, their crops, and sometime themselves. And wearing costumes made from the heads and skins of other animals. they would also tell one another's fortunes for the coming year."
"The celebration remained much the same after the Romans conquered the Celts around 43 A.D. The Romans did however, add a ceremony honoring their goddess of fruit and trees and thus the association with apples and the custom of bobbing for them."

The apparently harmless lighted pumpkin face or "Jack-O-Lanterns" were named for a man called Jack, who could not enter Heaven or Hell. As a result, he was doomed to wander in darkness with his lantern until Judgment Day.
"Fearful of spooks...folks began hollowing out turnips and pumpkins and placing lighted candles inside to scare evil spirits from the house."
Halloween "Christianized"
Since Halloween is unmistakably pagan in its origin and practice, how did the professing church come to accept and keep such a day?
Again history provides the answer.
Ever since the time of Constantine-who made Catholicism the state religion-the Roman emperors realized how essential it was to have a unified empire, where as many as possible would be of one mind. The civil and religious leaders saw how important it was for the sake of unity to allow only one religion within the Roman domain.
A stringent state policy was implemented to force all non-Christians to accept the state religion. The condition for "conversion," of course, made it easy for the pagan population of Rome and elsewhere to "accept" 'Christianity'. Since "acceptance" of 'Christianity' was made simple, refusal was made difficult. This plan resulted in large numbers of the heathen population within the empire to flock into the membership of the church. These people brought with them many pagan practices and celebrations, Halloween merely being one of them.
How could the church deal with this problem? The church realized that to excommunicate these pagans would only reduce the membership of the church. This they were unwilling to do. The church had also learned in past times that it was not possible to force the people into discarding all their heathen practices and adopting Roman ones.
There remained only one other way.
It was reasoned that if a pagan practice or festival could not be forbidden, let it be "Christianized." Let the recently converted pagans keep certain of their heathen festivals, such as Halloween or All Soul's Day-but label it "Christian." Of course they were asked not to pray to their ancient pagan gods on this day. They would now use this day to commemorate the death of "saints."
"In the A.D. 800's [Catholic] church established All Saints Day on November 1 so that people could continue a festival they had celebrated before becoming Christians. The mass that was said on this day was called Allhallowmas. The evening before became known All Hallow e'en or Halloween...It means hallowed or holy evening."
"The celebration of Halloween is a survival of ancient pagan beliefs. When the early [Catholic] church was unable to stop pagan practices, it accepted them and gave them a religious tune."
Halloween Today
Most of the ancient symbols and traditions of Halloween still exist today. Youngsters still dress in costume and go trick-or-treating: begging in a sense, for food while to refrain from evil deeds. And, too, they still light their candles, although much smaller than a torch, and place them inside their pumpkins.
"...It is the one night of the year in which a child experiences the emotion of fear, fantasy and mystery."
In advising on what to do on Halloween, The Good Housekeeping Book of Entertainment says: "Orange, black and red, the devil's colors, are the colors associated with Halloween and this scheme should be carried out as far as possible...Have paper streamers and lanterns hanging from the ceiling, or if you would like to have something less usual, you could make a giant spider web with black and orange strings, or in narrow strips of crepe paper coming from the four corners of the room, complete with a large spider-one of the devil's followers."

Inconsistency of Professing Christians
Bible-believing Christians cringe and shutter at the thought of Satan worship and occult rites. But how many of these same people will dress their children as witches, ghosts, skeletons, or devils and send them out to "trick-or-treat"? How many smile approvingly at the church or Sunday School and youth organizations that have Halloween parties and sponsor "haunted house" activities?
Can any Christian give any scriptural-or even logical-reason for participation in, or approval of, that which is unmistakably associated with paganism, devil-worship, witchcraft and Romanism?
God's People Governed By The Scriptures
The 18th chapter of the book of Deuteronomy, {v v 10-13} very explicitly forbids Christians to have anything to do with witchcraft, spirit-ism or the demonic. In verse 10 of that chapter we read: "There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire {this has reference to the worship of the pagan god Moloch which was state worship}, or that useth divination {a false and pagan counterpart of prophecy; the art or act of foretelling secret knowledge, especially of the future}, or an observer of times {astrology}, or an enchanter, {to cast under a spell; charm; enrapture; to chant [magic words]}, or a witch {divinations in connection with the worship of idolatrous and demoniacal powers}, or a charmer {a fabricator of material charms or amulets to be worn especially around the neck, as a charm against evil or injury}, or a consulter with evil spirits {an inquirer by a familiar spirit}, or a wizard {a false prophet, especially a conjurer. One who summons a devil by oath, incantation or magic spell}, or a necromancer {one who in one form or another seeks to find information by consulting the dead}."
"Thou shalt not learn to do after their abominations..."{Deuteronomy 18:9}. Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God" {Leviticus 19:31}.
It is obvious that the elements, symbols, and traditions of the Halloween observance with its emphasis upon goblins and demons, witches and skeletons, ghosts and apparitions rising from cemeteries constitute a dabbling with the very things which Scripture forbids to God's people and an open invitation to demonic activity.
It is at this point that many will say, "But we don't worship demons or Halloween. It doesn't mean the same thing today as it did in the past. It's now just a harmless, innocent time of fun for the children and the young people."
Yet, history clearly shows that Halloween is unmistakably a "religious" {pagan and Roman} holiday. Religion is the adoration, obedience and service rendered to the object of one's worship. It presupposes profession, practice, or observance of whatever belief and practice-in this case Halloween-as required by some superior authority. It is indisputably clear that Halloween is not commanded or sanctioned by Jehovah God-the true Christian's Superior Authority-in the Scriptures.
"Abstain from all appearances of evil" {I Thessalonians 5:22}.
"And many that believed came and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men" {Acts 19:18, 19}.
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" {I Corinthians 10:31}.
A Date And Event to Remember
It was on October 31, 1517 that Martin Luther published, by attaching to the church door, his ninety-five Theses declaring "Justification by Faith." This is a date and event to remember.

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the Heavenly places." {Ephesians 6:12}


Regardless of a believers’ particular understanding of Halloween or the spiritual implications associated with its celebration, all Christians can take an active part through prayer. Even as some in the world use this holiday to celebrate darkness and highlight evil, believers have the opportunity to spread a different message through our prayers, praises, and conduct.

In the natural world, we do not dispel darkness from the room by cursing it; instead, we turn on the light. Darkness and light cannot coexist; when light is introduced, darkness vanishes. In the same way, as Christians bathe their lives, their homes, and their families in the light of God’s presence and His word, they raise a standard against the evil implicit in “celebrating” Halloween. Here are some specific and practical ways to pray during Halloween and the “season” leading up to the calendar date:

Lift up praise and worship to the only true God.

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.” (1 Chron 16:25-26).

Magnify the name of Jesus above all other names (Luke 10:17, Phil 2:9-11).
Declare His Lordship in your community, region, and nation (2 Kings 19:19).
Read psalms of praise to displace the voices of darkness (Psalm 33, 35, 65, 67).
Declare your home, community, and nation to be a habitation of God’s Presence.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts His voice, the earth melts” (Psalm 46:4-6).

Thank God for the wall of protection surrounding His people (Zechariah 2:5).
Praise Him for the power of His Presence that disarms the enemy (Psalm 31:20).
Declare His rule and reign over all who seek His face (Acts 17:27).
Christian parents can teach their older children the truth without judging neighbors, etc., who may not share their convictions (Proverbs 22:6).
Praise God for the power of His blood to cleanse, redeem, and restore.

You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” (Hebrews 12:23-24).

Declare the blood of Jesus over your life, home, community, and nation (1 Peter 1:1-2).
Cancel any evil intent to offer blood sacrifices unto wickedness (Hebrews 10:29-31).
Pray that the blood of Jesus would cleanse deceived and defiled minds (Hebrews 9:14).
Disarm any plans of the enemy to “trick” or deceive.

While evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of” (2 Timothy 3:13-14).

Declare God’s righteous boundaries that prevent deception from entry (Psalm 101:7).
Renounce (refuse to recognize) and cancel any threats of harm or false accusations sent to cause damage or ill-will (Acts 4:29).
Pray that communications of the enemy would be confused and canceled (Psalm 55:9-10) and counter negative words spoken with the promises of God (2 Corinthians 10:2-6).
Declare that the light of Truth will dispel any darkness and expose the lies.

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (John 12:46).

Pray that self-proclaimed witches and Satanists would encounter Jesus (Acts 8:12-13).
Pray that counterfeits would be exposed bringing the fear of the Lord (Acts 19:14-17).
Pray that every evil practice would collide with Truth and Life (Acts 8:4-8).
Speak God’s blessings and protection over transportation and communication lines.

You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you” (Deuteronomy 28:6-7).

Pray protection over city streets and citizens young and old (Psalm 121:7-8).
Pray that the Spirit of truth would be proclaimed and heard (John 16:13-14).
Bless the roadways and highways with the holiness of God (Isaiah 35:8-10).
Pray for the Word of God and message of the cross to be shared with power.

(They) began to argue with Stephen. But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke” (Acts 6:9-10).

Pray for boldness to declare the truth of the gospel (Acts 4:31).
Pray for opportunities to reach non-believers (Acts 17:16-17).
Pray for oneness of spirit in the community of believers (Acts 18:9-10).
Thank God for His delivering power in defeating all His enemies.

The Lord says to my lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’” (Psalm 110:1).

Thank the Lord for the angelic host who work on our behalf (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).
Thank God for the battle that has already been won (John 16:33).
Praise Him for the victory that is already ours (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Some Practical Considerations for Neighborhood Living:

Trick-or-Treat” door-knocking is diminishing due to safety concerns for children. This helps the witness of those families choosing to refrain from the “trick-or-treat” practice.
Christians are entitled to similar concerns without being judgmental. Parents need not be intimidated if they do not want their children accepting “treats” from other homes.
Churches can offer an alternative “open house” with snacks (“treats”), games, and a Christian film. Christian parents can invite their neighbors to participate.
Christian homes displaying a loving, prayerful witness to neighbors all year will have less “explaining” to do when refraining from Halloween activities for conscience’ sake. This is a great opportunity to “love your neighbor as yourself,” which Jesus said was a corollary to loving God with all [our] heart and soul and mind (Matthew 22:37).


John 14:26 - But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Acts 1:8 - But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

John 16:13 - Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

1 John 2: 25 This is the promise which He Himself promised us—eternal life.

26 These things I have written to you with reference to those who are trying to deceive you [seducing you and leading you away from the truth and sound doctrine]. 27 As for you, the anointing [the special gift, the preparation] which you received from Him remains [permanently] in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But just as His anointing teaches you [giving you insight through the presence of the Holy Spirit] about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as His anointing has taught you, [c]you must remain in Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him].

28 Now, little children (believers, dear ones), remain in Him [with unwavering faith], so that when He appears [at His return], we may have [perfect] confidence and not be ashamed and shrink away from Him at His coming. 29 If you know that He is absolutely righteous, you know [for certain] that everyone who practices righteousness [doing what is right and conforming to God’s will] has been born of Him.

Disclosure: Much of what is in my posts are things I have compiled through the years and I do not know if they have copyrights. What I do know about origin or website I give credit and have tried to always post a link to the origin. I do not market anything in any way on this blog -- I merely hope it will encourage and inspire others.