Many think Halloween comes from North America, but it is a Celtic pagan festival from Britain and north- west Europe, dating from at least 500 BC. The Celts worshipped many gods & goddesses, encouraged by a secret priestly society known as the Druids. They engaged in occult arts, especially nature worship, and gave supernatural qualities to oak and mistletoe trees. Even the Celtic kings feared the Druids. When a king became too old to lead in a battle, the Druids would sacrifice him, cutting him up while still alive and using his organs for divination.
The Celts had at least 400 gods, and one of them, “Samhain,” their god of Death, was worshipped on October 31st, the last day of the northern autumn, their New Year’s Eve. They believed that on this night, the Lord of Death gathered the souls of the evil dead who had been condemned to enter the bod- ies of animals and then decided what animal form they would take for the following year. The souls of the good dead were also believed to be reincarnated as humans. They even falsely thought that the punishment of the evil dead could be lightened by sacrifices, prayers, and gifts to the Lord of Death. And on this night, Samhain allowed the spirits of those who had died during the previous year to return for a few hours to associate with their families.
Druid priests wore long black robes and carried a hollowed-out turnip or pumpkin with the face of their “Familiar” – a demon – carved into it with a small candle inside for light. The lamp was often fuelled by fat from a previous human sacrifice. These lanterns were known as Jack-O-Lanterns, allegedly named after a miser trapped between heaven and hell and rejected by both. The Druids would go house to house demanding special foods. If supplied obediently, they would leave for the next home; but if not, the household was cursed with trouble. Often a hex sign would be slashed into the door with the threat of the death of the oldest child within a year. That’s the original “Trick or Treat!”
Some homes weren’t asked for food – instead, they required a young virgin girl. As midnight approached, these young girls were sexually abused and then ritually sacrificed to appease this evil god of death. The Druids danced and screamed, drunk and demonized, to invoke Satan’s help with their magic, witch- craft, sorcery and divination. The bodies of those sacrificed were thrown into the bone fires – now called bonfires.
As the centuries passed, the Romans conquered much of Europe. The Druids declined in number and power, allowing the ordinary people to pick up the practices of Samhain and more. Many things were done to invoke “good luck” – trying to find favour with the evil spirits many believed controlled their lives.
By the 8th century, the Christian church (now more political than spiritual) attempted to overlay many pagan festivals and holidays with a “Christian” veneer. To counter Samhain, the Pope decreed November 1st as “All Saints Day” to honour the Christian dead, particularly those martyred for their faith during the earlier Roman persecutions. This attempted substitution didn’t work.
Other elements of Halloween: Witch on a broomstick – The Dark Ages saw a revival of witchcraft and paganism. Mediums (often thought of as witches) were employed to convince the nature spirits to allow a good harvest of crops such as grain. These mediums, usually women, would ride their broomsticks naked and leap around the growing crops as part of their fertility ritual. The height they jumped was al- leged to become the height of the crop. This leaping on a broom was often confused with Astral Travel when witches went out to spy on others or cause mayhem.
A familiar or evil spirit often inhabited the Black Cat. The Raven had a similar reputation.
The use of Masks arises from the idea that it was best to hide one’s identity from the visiting souls of the dead by wearing costumes as a disguise. There may also be a connection with the use of masks in many other pagan festivals, which change the wearer’s personality and allow communication with the spirit world.
This form of ‘celebration’ is not unique to the Celts. The Hindus have their night of Holi, the Indians have their Feast of the Dead (every 12 years), and in Mexico, the Day of the Dead begins on November 2nd and lasts for several days.
Halloween was brought to North America by Irish immigrants escaping the potato famine during the 1800s. Promoted by pagans of various kinds, along with commercial interests, Halloween has gripped once God-honouring nations with its occultic tentacles.
Police reports for crime are higher in October than in any other month here in North America. Children are kidnapped and sacrificed on altars, black cats are tortured and beaten to death, and witches and warlocks “celebrate” on a scale imaginable in our society today. Unfortunately, most people in this world do not know what is happening. An old expression says that “the greatest tragedy of human life is to now know what you don’t know.” People are deceived about the true meaning of Halloween, and they don’t know that they are deceived.
Halloween and similar subjects desensitize us to evil; it isn’t reasonable to expect rewards on demand; the benefits of acting out modern versions of old pagan rituals are questionable. Instead of scaring little kids, we should be telling children good things about being active in our society and helping other people, like food banks and charities and telling their children about the Christmas story instead of desensitizing them to evil pagan festivals.
Therefore, why are we celebrating this?