Halloween – The History.
“Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
It is believed that Halloween has its origins in Ireland and was celebrated by pagans as a harvest festival, which they called “Samhain”, pronounced “sow-en”. Later on, it got anglicised to “All Hallows’ Eve”. Traditionally Samhain falls on November the 1st. The Celts intermingled as a society around 800 BC.
It was the celebration of their new year, and it was their most significant and most important holy day. The word “Samhain” comes from the Gaelic words for “summer” and “end”. They believed that at this time, the year’s dead would traverse between the acausal (spirit realm) and the causal (the living, our world). They believed the righteous spirits ascended into Tír na hÓige, and the bad or lost spirits would remain behind.
The spirits that were left behind were believed to be able to cause harm to the living, so, the Celts performed many ritualistic and symbolic acts to prevent themselves from being harmed. These acts were to become the foundations of modern Halloween.
The druids were the priests of Celtic society and religion and held positions of power and privilege. They were regarded as the final authority on all matters. Whatever they said, you had to comply, otherwise they would make an example of you. They believed their god would die around Halloween time, and in order for him to be re-born—blood had to be shed to appease him in the hope that he would produce an abundance of crops the following year.
It’s been said that they would go into villages and bang on doors and demand a human sacrifice, and if the household complied, they would give them protection from evil spirits by placing a Jack-o’-lantern, made from a hollowed-out turnip, in which holes were cut to represent a grimacing face and containing human fat, in front of their door, but if they refused, they would curse them and their home, by painting a hexagram in blood on their door, which would attract evil spirits to wreak havoc upon them. This is where “trick-or-treat” originated from.
If the druids were given someone from a household to be sacrificed, they would give the victim a chance to live before the ceremony began, by binding their hands and giving them one attempt to take out an apple from a cauldron of boiling liquid, using only their mouth. If they succeeded, then they would be given liberty, although they would be severely scalded and would have long-lasting health problems, but if they failed then they would be decapitated on the spot. This is where “apple bobbing” originated from.
It is a popular misconception held by people today that the druids were these animal-loving, peaceful people that were in tune with nature, before Christianity came along and converted them. There is overwhelming archaeological evidence showing that they practiced human and animal sacrifice—not only on Halloween—but all year round on a regular basis. It wasn’t just the druids, but ubiquitous pagan cultures the world over would also sacrifice animals and humans to appease their gods.
Bear in mind, before Christ said “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15), the whole world was pagan and followed an ungodly, Satanic way of life, with the exception of the Jews, and even they too were often hell-bent on turning away from the only true Living God and taking up pagan practices—read Psalm 106.
Neo-druidism of today is not the same as druidism two millennia ago. Today, we have the watered-down version to appear acceptable to our current way of life, and now the only oblations they give their gods are plants, herbs and other flora stuff. Nevertheless, they are still playing with fire, by consorting with evil spirits and practising what is forbidden by God.
Halloween – Today.
Today, Halloween, with the addition of new symbolism and practices, didn’t arise until the 1800s, at which point Irish immigrants brought observance of it to America en masse. American cultural influence changed Irish sobriety concerning the dead, turning Halloween into a jovial representation of supernatural forces, ghosts and witches.
“In the first half of the twentieth, Hallowe’en developed steadily into a national festivity for Americans, guising becoming a ubiquitous tradition of fancy dress to represent ghosts, goblins, and witches, pumpkins replacing Irish vegetables as cases for lanterns, and mischief-making and house-to-house calls combining in the custom of trick-or-treat. The same process occurred in Britain, partly as a result of a parallel massive influx of Irish under Victoria but mainly also because of increasing American cultural influence from that period onward.” ~ Ronald Hutton.
Halloween isn’t exclusive to the Celtic traditions, there are other versions of it in other cultures:
– In Mexico, in the fall, countless numbers of Monarch butterflies return to Mexico and the shelter of its oyamel fir trees. The beliefs of the Aztecs live on in many contemporary Mexicans who believe that the butterflies bear the spirits of their dead ancestors. It is these spirits that the people honour during “Los Dias de los Muertos” (The Days of the Dead).
It is believed by them to be a joyous, happy holiday—a time of remembering past friends and family who have died. It is celebrated, during Halloween, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, Oct-31 to Nov-2. Altars in the homes are decorated with bread, sweets, fruit, and flowers. Candles are lit in memory of their ancestors.
The people dress up as ghouls, ghosts, mummies and skeletons. They parade a live person in a coffin through the streets. Vendors toss fruit, flowers and candies into the coffin. Families visit the cemetery carrying tools to spruce up the graves and decorate them. They stay over-night. American Halloween customs are gradually taking over this celebration though.
– Modern Ásatrú celebrate it as an old Nordic event. In the old Norse religion an event believed to occur around the same time of the year as Halloween was the Álfablót (elven blót), which involved sacrifices to the elves and the blessing of food. The elves were seen as “powers” that connected to the ancestors, and it can be assumed that the blót related to a cult of the ancestors.
MY OWN STORY
Before I started following the Lord Jesus Christ, I used to love Halloween and celebrated it every year—both when I was a Wiccan and when I was a Satanist. I didn’t have much interest in the activities of Halloween when I was a kid though. I never took part in trick-or-treat because—even at a young age—it seemed immoral to me to knock on random doors and ask strangers for a treat, or play a trick on them if they refused.
Looking back at it now, I’m glad I didn’t, because there are many people that are sick in the head and you don’t know—improbable it may seem—if a stranger has laced the sweets with drugs or even poison that they could give you. Neither did I take part in “mischief night”, which, in my area, coincides with Halloween and usually involves throwing eggs at random people and setting wheelie bins on fire.
When I was a Wiccan, Halloween was an exciting time for me to attempt to contact the dead. I inscribed the names of dead people I wished to remember onto a light-blue or violet candle, lit some incense, lit the wick of the candle, cast a circle—foolishly believing it would protect me from any evil spirits and then prayed to ‘the dead’ and meditated on the memories I had of them.
I would occasionally use a ouija board to try and contact the spirits, but all I ever got was a little ideomotor effect from the planchette. I had more success using a crystal pendulum, and even that wasn’t very significant. One time when I was holding the pendulum and asking for spirits to present themselves, the pendulum started spinning very quickly then suddenly shot up and hit me on the head. I was a little intoxicated at the time and thought the spirits were joking around and I found it amusing, but it could have easily been my own doing.
I once had a go at trying to see spirits by scrying with a black mirror, but didn’t see anything I wanted to see.
I was a solitary practitioner, and one time on Halloween, after consuming many mouthfuls of elixir (well, vodka to be precise) to give myself some Dutch courage, and after being enchanted by the ambience of the night, decided to intrepidly (or foolishly) walk alone to a nearby wooded-hill that has a notorious reputation for witchcraft and the like—to get closer to the “deities” and perhaps bump into a fellow pagan.
I didn’t see a soul, which, looking back at it, was a good thing. I walked to a long, flat sandstone outcrop that I knew about and visited many times before, where there is a four-and-a-half foot long carving of a sun goddess with outstretched arms. The head of the goddess faces the direction to where the sun sets on Midsummer’s Day. Also, there is a carving of a cat-headed moon goddess with a moon at her feet.
These carvings are thought to have been done by Viking settlers in the area—probably the 9th-10th century AD. However, one source estimates the age of the carvings as being Roman from the 2nd century AD. I did a ritual to the goddesses, then I walked to a nearby cemetery and traipsed around the graves saying words of blessing to the dead. I was disappointed to not stumble across any other witches, or see any ghosts that night. All I did see was a poppet hanging from a tree and a hexagonal mirror on a grave, which indicated that somebody with similar interests as myself had been around earlier.
In all my methods I used for necromancy, I never saw any spirits, nor noticed any significant spirit activity that was indicative of success. So, boring as it may seem, I don’t have any jaw-dropping ghostly experiences of Halloween to share with you. In those days, I was of course disappointed, but now as a Christian, I am relieved that I was unsuccessful. I now realise that the dead are conscious of nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5), and if I had been successful in contacting a spirit, it would have most definitely been a demon, that no doubt would’ve caused mayhem in my life.
In my past dabblings with witchcraft and necromancy, I was very fortunate not to experience any direct spiritual attack, poltergeist activity, or even possession. Why? I could’ve just been fortunate, or maybe the spirits didn’t want me, howbeit, I now believe it was because God was protecting me.
You see, what I didn’t mention earlier in this article is that before I got deceived and ensnared by witchcraft and Satanism, I was a Christian. I was a true believer in Christ and was filled with His Holy Spirit, but fell away from the truth, turned my back on the Lord and followed lies.
Some Christians believe that once you are filled with God’s Spirit, He will never leave you, so maybe the demons didn’t want to go anywhere near me because I still had the Holy Spirit within me, which I was unaware of, or conveniently forgot at the time.
Or maybe the demons knew that if they came too close to me, even masquerading as something benign, in which I was fully aware of their presence, I might have come to my senses and remembered the days when I followed the Lord and rebuked them and turned back to the truth, the light, which is in Jesus Christ and Him alone, and they certainly didn’t want that, and allowed me to continue in my ignorance of deception.
Demons aren’t stupid, they know the past of each individual and how they tick. They have had thousands of years to become uber-strategists! They were aware of my situation and past and wanted me to remain deceived and not rock the boat.
I have since repented of my sins and returned back to the Lord. Now, even though I played with fire and didn’t succumb to any horrific burns, doesn’t mean that will be the outcome for everyone that dabbles in the occult. My case is a rare example. If you call upon spirits, they will come, whether you notice them or not.
The extent to how much demons can affect you is subjective and each individual case is different. To be on the safe side, never partake in necromancy, witchcraft and the like. I’ve heard some harrowing stories of demonic harassment arising from just playing around with the ouija board only once—that led to the destruction of people’s lives. Do you want to take a chance and go down that road?
The belief that only on Halloween the walls between the world of the living and the world of the dead are ‘thin’ and spirits have only one day a year to harass the living is a complete lie. It is true that demons have their own realm, but they can travel to and fro between our world and their realm any time they like, all year round. These spirits are not the dead.
Depending on which Christian belief you hold, the dead are either in Hell, which is either the grave or a literal place of torment, or they are in Heaven. In either case, the living cannot contact the dead, and the dead cannot contact the living. Demons are fallen angels that were cast to earth, and they dwell amongst us, and can masquerade as the dead, they know your ancestry so well.
I celebrated Halloween when I later became a Satanist (atheistic LaVeyan type) too, but by that time, I had ceased believing in anything supernatural and just celebrated the occasion for the ritualistic thrill of it.
Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan said :
“After one’s own birthday, the two major Satanic holidays are Walpurgisnacht and Halloween.”
Here are two excerpts from The Church of Satan to illustrate my stance on Halloween when I was a Satanist :
– “Since Satanism is a self-centered religion, the highest holiday of the year would be the Satanist’s own birthday, which needs no ritual but should be spent in doing things a Satanist would enjoy. There is no requirement that a Satanist celebrate any holidays, and there are no hard and fast traditions or rites associated with them. Since Satanism embraces Nature, the other holidays a Satanist might choose to celebrate would be the seasonal turning points marked by the equinoxes and solstices—the dates of which vary from year to year, as well as the mid points between these which can be recognized as the climaxes of each season. In particular, April 30th, called Walpurgisnacht, is the Spring climax and the anniversary of the founding of the Church of Satan and is generally noted. Halloween, October 31, is the Fall climax and may be celebrated as a time when one’s inner-self might be explored through the use of a costume, or one might recall those of importance in one’s life who have died – as was done on that night in European tradition.”
– “We see this holiday as the night when the mundane folk try to reach down inside and touch the “darkness” which for Satanists is a daily mode of existence. Particularly in the United States, Halloween is a time for celebrating monster films, wearing costumes of a macabre nature, and evoking the thrill of “fun fear.” Children (of all ages) can indulge their fantasies by donning costumes that allow for intense role-playing and the release of their “demonic cores,” the parts of their personalities often hidden from their friends, co-workers and families.
Though there are traditions making this an occasion for recalling the dead, it has been popularized as a time to play with what historically were fears directed towards what were thought to be unquiet spirits of the departed. And the grand traditional question “Trick or treat?” has become a means for fulfilling an indulgence in sweets, without the need to resort to the optional coercion.
Satanists embrace what this holiday has become, and do not feel the need to be tied to ancient practices. This night, we smile at the amateur explorers of their own inner darkness, for we know that they enjoy their brief dip into the pool of the “shadow world.” We encourage their tenebrous fantasies, the candied indulgence, and the wide-ranging evocation of our aesthetics (while tolerating some of the chintzy versions), even if it is but once a year. For the rest of the time, when those not of our meta-tribe shake their heads in wonder at us, we can point out that they may find some understanding by examining their own All Hallows Eve doings, but we generally find it simpler to just say: “Think of the Addams Family and you’ll begin to see what we’re about.”
I’m now a Christian and take my relationship with the Lord seriously, and will NEVER celebrate Halloween ever again and neither should any Christian, or non-Christian for that matter.
What’s wrong with Halloween? Everything about it is wrong! It does not have even one single redeeming virtue. It is a demon-inspired, devil-glorifying occult festival! Those who love the Lord Jesus Christ should have nothing to do with it!
The Bible does not mention Halloween. However, both the ancient origins of Halloween and its modern customs show it to be a celebration based on false beliefs about the dead and non-corporeal entities.
The Bible warns :
“There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits (demons), or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord : and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).
While some view Halloween as harmless fun, the Bible indicates that the practices associated with it are not.
“But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.” (1 Corinthians 10:20-21).
If God does not exist, and if demons aren’t real, and if the Bible was inspired by nothing more than man’s ego, then celebrating Halloween would be harmless. However, from many personal experiences and from my unshakeable conviction after studying the Bible, I can confidently assert that God does exist and He’s recording every deed and thought you make, demons do exist and are constantly yearning an invitation to destroy you, and that the biblical scriptures are true and accurate and warn against attempting to contact the dead. God knows you will be actually contacting evil demons posing as the dead!
Therefore, it is wise for Christians and non-Christians alike, to never open any doors—no matter how innocuous they may seem—and allow any eagerly awaiting demon to step into your life. If you do, demons could wreak havoc in your life, and your life will take a turn for the worse.
You might end up having a series of bad luck. You might end up getting sick. You might end up getting demonised and start “hearing voices” and mistakenly get diagnosed with something like schizophrenia and end up in a psychiatric hospital being pumped full of pernicious medication that won’t do you any good and your health will deteriorate.
Or you might end up getting fully possessed and jump off a bridge. You may think my examples are far-fetched, and I’m being a scaremonger, but I know such examples have happened to people before. ( NOTE from Laura : I agree!)
Be wise, be safe, trust in the Lord and take heed of His sound advice and have nothing to do with Halloween!
If anyone is reading this and doesn’t know the Lord, and is subject to a demonic attack. There is only one name that can help you, and that is Jesus Christ! Call out to Jesus Christ and rebuke the demons in His name. The blood and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only authoritative name demons will obey. Pray to God for protection in Jesus’ name too. Get right with God, not only for security, but more importantly, for eternal life.
Read the Bible, acknowledge that Jesus Christ is God; that He came to earth as a man in order to live the sinless life that you cannot live; that He died in your place, so that you would not have to pay the penalty you deserve.
Admit that you have sinned and in need of redemption.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).
Confess your sin (out loud) to the Lord and say something like :
“Eternal Father, my God, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus Christ to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.”
If you’ve prayed this prayer of salvation with true conviction and heart, you are now a follower of Jesus. This is a fact, whether or not you feel any different. Religious systems may have led you to believe that you should feel something—a warm glow, a tingle, or some other mystical experience. The fact is, you may, or you may not have felt anything! If you have prayed the prayer of salvation and meant it, you are now a follower of Jesus. The Bible tells us that your eternal salvation is now secure!
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
For similar testimonies, or radio interviews of myself with Ex Satanists/New Agers/Occultists over the years, please see https://yourspiritualquest.wordpress.com/?s=satanist
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Many thanks and God bless you!
Many thanks for taking time to read and share the above post. For similar posts please visit my blog Your Spiritual Quest.
Laura Maxwell does not necessarily agree with all the information and conclusions presented by friends, guest articles on her blog, TV or radio interviews or her own radio show.
Laura does not get paid for writing in books, magazines or appearing on tv, radio or at events. All of her ministry work is of a voluntary nature.