Many Christians think that Halloween is a harmless holiday, when it is actually rooted in fear, death, and the occult. It is a time when unsuspecting children, teenagers, and even adults dabble in occult practices and witchcraft through séances, tarot cards, and Ouija boards. These forbidden forms of divination are an abomination to the Lord (Deut. 18:9-14), and they open the door to familiar spirits and demonic activity in our lives. However, parents can safeguard their children by offering other fun and exciting alternatives.

Halloween, or Samhain (pronounced “sow-in”), means “summer’s end” and originated in Great Britain. The tradition of trick-or-treating was introduced in the United States in the 1840s, by Irish immigrants. They strongly held to the pagan Celtic ritual of going from house-to-house, soliciting food and drinks for the “festival of the dead.” If the people gave favorably, they were blessed; if not, they were cursed or “tricked,” through the destruction of their crops or by vandalism to their homes.

The custom of wearing costumes started when villagers dressed up as ghosts and demons to guide tormenting spirits away from their homes and crops. Jack-o-lanterns originated in Scotland. Turnips were carved and then lit with candles to ward off evil spirits. When this tradition began in the United States, pumpkins were used instead of turnips. Additionally, bobbing for apples supposedly brought good luck, while roasting nuts in the fire and throwing apple peels over the shoulder were ancient forms of fortune-telling.

These customs derive from fear and the practices of necromancy, which is “the practice of communicating with the dead to foretell future events.” Today witches esteem Samhain as the most important night of the year. They believe the veil that separates the natural and spirit realms is at its thinnest during this time. Therefore, they are able to communicate better with the dead, and travel between the two worlds.

While some consider this a spiritual day, it is in no way a “Christian” day. The following is a list of alternate Halloween activities for children that can be done either at church or with their parents:
  • “Hallelujah Night”—a night of games, rides, and candy set up at a local church. Children can dress as their favorite Bible characters or super heroes. In addition, residents in the community may be invited, as this is a great way for the Church to minister the love of God.
  • A youth field trip to the movies or bowling.
  • A party, celebrating the victory we have through Jesus, which can include gospel music and Christian videos.
  • A talent show.
  • A puppet show for smaller children, explaining why we celebrate Jesus— not Halloween.
Whatever you decide to do, be sure to make it a memorable and enjoyable evening for the entire family!

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