Halloween Aversion

Halloween is undoubtedly my favorite holiday. It just has an attitude about it that other holidays could only hope to have. For many Fundamentalist Christians, however, Halloween is seen as an unholy celebration of all that is evil. This fear of Halloween is known as Samhainophobia, and it isn’t just a trivial matter to them; it is deeply rooted in the core belief of their faith.

Halloween is a Christian holiday. Or, more precisely, a Christian adoption of an ancient pagan holiday, very much like Christmas. It is the evening before All Saints Day and there is even an “Eve of All Saints Prayer” in the Book of Occasional Services. It began at least 2,500 years ago as the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, a celebration of summer’s end and a remembrance of the dead. When the Roman Empire conquered Western Europe, a Roman-Celtic syncretism occurred that mixed language and culture. Samhain proved to be popular and, in 835 CE, Pope Gregory IV moved the Catholic holiday of “All Hallow’s Eve”, which served much the same purpose as Samhain, to November 1st to coincide with it.

As mundane as any of that sounds, fundamentalist Christian sects often see Halloween as a dangerous holiday that could literally damage their souls. Examples of Christian commentary on Halloween can be found on many places on the Internet: On isawthelightministries.com, a Halloween page says that parents should, “refuse to allow your kid to take part in this evil holiday of satan.” Demonbuster.com warns the faithful: “Don’t even open your doors to pass out “tracts.” If you do, then you are celebrating this unholy day.” Sabbatarian.com also has a page dedicated to the fear of Halloween, but it was so incoherent that I found it difficult to find a quote.

Why do some fundamentalists consider Halloween “Evil”? The aversion to Halloween seems to be an extension of an extreme xenophobic fear of other religions. Strict fundamentalist thought holds that all things outside of Christianity, outside of their Christianity, are the work of devils and demons and are designed for the sole purpose of tricking the unwary into eternal damnation. If they take part in Halloween, in any way, they will be inadvertently celebrating a pagan holiday and thereby worshiping Satan. One minute they’ll be walking down the street in a Batman mask, the next, BAM, they’re possessed. Nothing they can do about it.

In their world, devils and demons actually exist. They are not symbols, signs, or personifications of more abstract threats. They are real supernatural beings looking for any chance they can get to cast magic spells on the unsuspecting. And any non-pious act can invite them in.

Unfortunately, more liberal churches that do not hold such superstitious beliefs, often give credence to the fears of the fundamentalists by shunning the holiday and holding church sponsored harvest or fall festivals on October 31st as an alternative for Halloween. This makes it appear that Halloween is a holiday to be avoided.

On Halloween night, as the faithful are cowering inside, painting crosses on their doors to keep the specter of death out, I’m going to be hauling out the buckets of (fake) blood for my homemade skull fountain and scaring the few children that will be allowed to take candy from strangers. Halloween is one of the few holidays that actually encourages people to go outside and stop by their neighbor’s house, if even for a piece of candy. I’m going to enjoy it.

“I think we ought to close Halloween down. Do you want your children to dress up as witches? The Druids used to dress up like this when they were doing human sacrifice…[The children] are acting out Satanic rituals and participating in it, and don’t even realize it.”–Pat Robertson

 

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5 Comments on “Halloween Aversion”


  1. and then there is the blogger on pat robertson’s h christian broadcasting network, who posted an article on hallween and candy being infected by withces:

    heres just one quote from the article, whivch they promptly withdrew, but the media and google had already seen it.

    “[M]ost of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches,” Daniels wrote. “I do not buy candy during the Halloween season. Curses are sent through the tricks and treats of the innocent whether they get it by going door to door or by purchasing it from the local grocery store. The demons cannot tell the difference.”

    whole article:
    http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2009/10/29-14

    These people are utterly and completely deluded.
    550 yrs ago they’d be the ones conducting the Inquisition. 400 yrs ago they were burning witches in Salem,Mass.


    • “Curses are sent through the trick or treats”

      That’s some pretty powerful energy transference. And without any wires or anything. I wonder if the auto industry could harness that power to make an energy efficient car. It would give jobs to a lot of unemployed witches that could wave their wands over the engines.

  2. vive42 Says:

    I think the Christians just didn’t do a good enough job when they co-opted Halloween, and this is the root of the modern Christian objection to it.

    If they’d named it after one particular Saint, for instance. Like Valentine’s day. Or Saint Patrick’s day. Or if they’d made some crap up about how Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead on Halloween, then presto all the zombies and gravestones and stuff would be holy.

    Of course, if that had happened all you guys would be complaining about what a superstitious load of nonsense it was and refusing to take part in it, on principle. You’d be denouncing it and maybe people like Robertson would be complaining about the war on Jesuween instead of Christmas.


    • Xmas and Easter are superstitious nonsense as well. But that doesn’t stop me from exchanging gifts with friends and family on xmas, and eating chocolate cadbury eggs on easter.

      I’d still hand out candy even if it was embraced by the mindless theists. I’d even give extra candy to those who come crucified to a cloule of two x fours.

      But I’m sure the Xtians would put a ban on M&Ms…they do, afterall, fall through the holes in Jesus’ hands.


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