The History of Halloween

Halloween has, over the years, been increasing in popularity. Stores are packed with anything that has to do with death, skulls, and witches. Houses and yards are covered with all the imaginable and even some unimaginable during this time of year. Christians should have no business celebrating this day as it has its origins in pagan idolatry and witchcraft.

All the traditions involving Halloween started in the British Isles around 700 A.D. During this time the Wiccans worshiped the ‘’Earth Mother’’, and the sun, moon, and stars. It is from the Wiccans that we get the term wizard as that is how they referred to their male members. They called their female members, witches.

The Wiccans celebrated an esbat every Friday evening, because this day was sacred to them. It was especially sacred if there was a full moon or if it was Friday the thirteenth. To celebrate the esbat, the Wiccans would meet together in a group of thirteen known as a Coven or in a group of three called a triumvirate. During the gathering, they would draw a  a six-pointed star within circle. (This is what is commonly referred to as a hexagram and each of the points of the star represent earth, wind, fire, water, and spirit.) After drawing this, they would all stand in the hexagram casting magic spells and doing rituals.

The Wiccans also celebrated a sabat eight times each year, but the most important one was on October 31, which they called Samhain.  They believed that on the night of October 31, the barrier between this world and the next, known as the Astral Plane became very thin. So on that night the spirits of departed people could go back and forth between earth and the next world. Therefore, on the night of October 31, they held wild parties and played games such as bobbing for apples. They would also tell stories from their diaries of spells known as the ‘’book of shadows”.  They would also lay out tables with food so that their dead relatives could eat.

The Druids, a group of men who wore white cloaks and worshiped Cernnunos, (who is also known as the ‘’horned hunter of the night’’) celebrated October 31 as well.  On that night, they would have a torchlight procession, dragging a dead male slave by the left ankle. They would then walk up to a house and yell the equivalent of trick or treat. The treat was a slave girl or any female that was inside the house. If they refused to give the treat, blood was drawn from the corpse and used to draw a hexagram on the door of the house. It was believed that this sign meant that spirits from Cernnunos would kill someone in that house during the night.

If the people in the house did give the treat, the Druids put a pumpkin with a carved face on it by the front door of the house. The pumpkin had a candle made of human tallow to keep evil spirits away from that house. Thus, the jack-o-lantern was a sign that you had obeyed and worked with Satan. Next, the Druids took the females to some sacred spot where they were raped and killed. Although there is some speculation behind this, the Druids are also believed to have used the treats for human sacrifice.

In order to Christianize a pagan holiday the Roman Catholics created All Hallows Eve to replace Samhain.  All Hallows Eve is actually before All Saints Day, on which the Roman Catholics commemorate, those who have attained the glory of heaven. The Roman Catholics celebrated All Hallows Eve to prepare for All Saints Day.

As we can tell from the history of Halloween, it is a very idolatrous and wicked tradition. The Roman Catholics have greatly erred in Christianizing it from its pagan roots. Christians should have nothing to do with this holiday.

Now it may be the argument from some people that nowadays this holiday is not that bad and is just harmless fun. But can one really call dressing up as vampires, hideous monsters, witches, zombies, and the like harmless fun? Does the Bible condone such activities? The Bible had very strict rules for Israel regarding witches and witchcraft. In Deuteronomy 18:10 – 12 God says, “There shall not be found among you any one 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, 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.” Anyone caught doing these activities would be put to death as Exodus 22:18 says. Witchcraft was no joke for the church in the Old Testament, they did not make light of it. Why then should Christians today make light of it, when they allow their children to celebrate a pagan holiday?  The world makes this sin fun, they even make candies in the shape of witches, skulls, and broomsticks. But it is nothing but a mockery of God and a gross idolatry.

In the days of the early Christian church when the gospel was brought to the Ephesians, those that had books of sorcery burned them as is told in Acts 19:19, “Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.” They burned their expensive books so that they would no longer be drawn into the sin of witchcraft. They wanted no longer to be associated with their past idolatry and superstition. Therefore, it makes no sense for a Christian, who has been delivered from sin, to celebrate what used to be a idolatrous night.

Therefore, let us forsake and scorn this pagan festival. Let us follow the Heidelberg Catechism which says regarding the first commandment, “That I, as sincerely as I desire the salvation of my own soul, avoid and flee from all idolatry, sorcery, soothsaying, superstition, invocation of saints, or any other creatures; and learn rightly to know the only true God . . . .”

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