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"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
. . .  Acts 4:12  . . .

The Harm of Halloween

Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D. September 1998 David L. Brown
Copies of this book are available by contacting:

Logos Communication Consortium, Inc.
P.O. BOX 173 - Oak Creek, WI 53154
Phone: (414) 768-9754 - Fax: (414) 762-8922

This book is NOT intended for children!  It is written to warn parents and adults of abominations and perversions of Halloween, witchcraft and the occult.

Links to Topics:

Halloween Is harmful
Where The Occult Will Lead Its Followers
Christ Honoring Alternatives

Halloween Is harmful

I will state boldly that Halloween is harmful! Here are the reasons why.

  • Many are exposed to Witchcraft and occult practices at Halloween activities

Like many others, I got my first exposure to occult practices at Halloween parties. My first experience came at a church Halloween party at our youth sponsor's house. A group of kids went to the basement began talking about contacting the spirits and asking them to show themselves by table levitation. I had not been exposed to anything like that before. Some of them claimed that it really worked. I became uneasy left the party. My second experience came when I attended the Halloween party of a classmate. When it came to "game" time, we went to the basement. Carol asked us all to be seated in a circle and then placed a candle in the middle. She told us to hold hands and then turned off the lights. I asked why we were doing that and she said we were going to have a seance and to call up the devil. Not me! The last person I wanted to communicate with was the Devil. I got out of there.

I can tell you that many children get their first exposure to occult activities at Halloween. I have received communications from all over the United States testifying to that fact. In one school district a "real" Witch was brought in and told the children of the wonderful world of witchcraft including teaching them how to cast a spell. Another group of teens went on a school sponsored Halloween field trip and visited a channeler, which is nothing but a spirit medium who practices necromancy. They had a seance with the intent of contacting (channeling) the spirit of a dead movie star.

Last year I got a call from an alarmed parent. They had discovered their daughter's diary and what they read blew them out of the water. She and several of her teenage friends were planning on being baptized into witchcraft on Halloween of 1997. Obviously this was not her first contact with witchcraft, but she and her friends had been reading occult material from the school library and decided Halloween would be a good time to form their own coven. Lets move on to the next reason Halloween is harmful. Halloween is harmful because

  • It provides "an acceptable" opportunity for witches and other occultists to promote pagan beliefs

From about October 1st until October 31st, witches, vampires, Satanists and other occult minions can be seen and heard on TV and radio talk shows. There will be special features on witchcraft. Newspapers and magazines with be packed with occult related articles. Americans have been receptive to this over the years. But, what happens? That brings me to my next point.

  • Children and even adults are conditioned to be receptive to occult doctrines and practices and are desensitized by the violence and death associated with its celebration

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.  Psalms 101:3

There is no better illustration of this fact than Ann Landers column that I came across while reading a newspaper in a restaurant one afternoon. The title of her column was Parents Must Tackle Violence. The parent wrote:

I heard something today that made my hair stand on end. I hope you will deal with it in your column because it is a symptom of a problem that warrants deep concern. Last October, the teacher of a fourth grade class asked her students to write a short essay on what they would like to do most to celebrate Halloween. Eighty percent of her 9 year-olds expressed the wish to "kill somebody". Where do children get such ideas? I believe it is fair to say that they get them from movies on TV. What are we going to do about this love of violence among the young? Frankly, it scares me to death. I am - Concerned in California.

Now, I can almost hear some of my readers protesting, the kids were just kidding. You dont actually believe that anyone would follow through on things like that do you? In fact there are some who do! Evangelist Dave Benoit tells of a mother finding a strange diary, called "The Book Of Shadows" in her son's room. She, with fear and trembling, leafed through pages filled with satanic drawings. Then her eyes fell on these horrifying words, "Last year I stole a car at Halloween and ran over a kid and killed him. This year, at Halloween, I plan to do the same thing!" The words in his satanic diary proved to be true. He murdered a person the previous Halloween as a sacrifice to Satan.

All parents ought to be concerned. Halloween does desensitize our children by exposing them to violence, death, mutilation and gore. Not only do they expose them to it, they glorify it! I well remember the only haunted house that I have ever been in. I took a camera with me loaded with high speed film. I was shocked by what I saw. In one of the first rooms, there was a partially dismembered woman on an operating table. As I made my way along the darkened hallway a frightening mutilated man jumped out racing a electric saw and threatening to dismember me. And then, perhaps the most gruesome of all was a large lighted butchers meat case loaded with very real looking bloody body parts. Listen readers, I do not think that is funny at all. I spent several years on a fire department rescue squad and dismembered and mutilated people have never amused me. And why should it be acceptable at Halloween? Did you laugh and joke on July 22, 1991 when you heard the news t! hat police discovered 17 mutilated and dismembered bodies in apartment #213 which was occupied by Jeffery Dahmer? What are we telling our children if we accept that kind of scene on Halloween and yet gasp with true horror when murder-mutilations come to light on the news?

Halloween is desensitizing our children by its glorification of violence, death, mutilation and gore. Standard television and video viewing fare this Halloween will be slasher/horror movies like Dracula, Scream, "Nightmare on Elm Street", "Halloween", and "Friday the 13th" film series and others. Jeffery Dahmers favorite was the Exorsist II.

 He "watched this movie on almost a weekly basis, for approximately six months, and sometimes 2 and 3 times a week. He identified with the main character in the movie because he appeared to be driven by evil. Tracy Edwards (one who escaped from Dahmer) testified that Dahmer forced him to watch this video. He said that Dahmer identified with the possessed former preacher and he wanted to be demonized. Edwards went on to say that Dahmer began to chant, rocking back and forth. While he did this, it seemed like he was not even there."

Are you wondering why I am bringing Dahmer into this picture? Ill tell you why. Many of the horror/slasher pictures are inspired by incidents like the Dahmer case and Dahmer was inspired by a demonic horror picture. I should say, that this is not just my "wild speculation." Consider actor (and I use the term loosely) Robert Englund. He portrayed razor fingered, mass murderer Freddy Krueger in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series. Where do you suppose he got his inspiration to play his part? He drew his inspiration from the late Ted Bundy, who raped, brutalized, mutilated and murdered more than 28 women. Englund told Slaughterhouse magazine, "I just read an article on Ted Bundy, so a lot of my imagery is based on him."

I have had parents and media people tell me that TV does not have any influence on people. Do you believe that? In fact thats bunk! Companies do not pay millions of dollars to air their commercials during Super Bowl Sunday or the Olympics because they do not influence anyone!

Syndicated columnist George Will does not believe that! He says that studies prove that "a 14-month-old infant can adopt behavior it has seen on television." He goes on to say that young children are unable to distinguish fact from fantasy, and that they regard television as information about how the world works.

Harriet Kozkoff does not believe that either. This public TV producer told the press:

Entertainment is a powerful socializing agent in contemporary society. Slasher and horror movies...use violence and sexual arousal to maximize profits and are an inevitable prescription for conditioning sexual sadism into our pre-teen, teenage and young adult film fans.

Psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Radecki does not believe that television is neutral either. He said, "Every year film violence and real-life violence continues to get worse. We must protest and stop this growing sadism in our homes, schools, and on our streets."

Obviously, the problem is wider than just on Halloween. But television programming and video rentals that feature gory, sadistic, demonic, bloody, violent themes are at their peak at Halloween.

Halloween conditions children and even adults to be receptive to occult doctrines and practices and desensitizes them by the display of violence and death.

  • Fear can have detrimental affects on people

Fear hath torment  1John 4:18

Fear can have adverse affects. Sometimes the affects can be momentary and at other times they can be long lasting. Here are some examples.

A Christian organization, which works with young people, planned a haunted evening for teens. More than 550 attended. One woman sponsor became so frightened that she wet her pants. What was just as disgusting was that the organization's newsletter even reported the embarrassing incident to all of its constituents. Let me quote directly:

Over 550 attended the event and there were over 45 salvation decisions. It has been reported to me by very reputable sources that one leader, who will remain nameless, was so scared by a certain individual with a chain saw that she had to endure wet pants the rest of the evening.

What's going on? Wouldnt you be frightened if, unexpectedly, a man came at you with a chain saw buzzing! I would. And if I wet my pants from the fright, I certainly would not want someone to publish it for all to read. My point is simply this, when it comes to Halloween, many Christians have set aside their discernment.

It gets worse. An article in the Milwaukee Journal, entitled "Haunted House Fun: It could become a nightmare for kids" stated, "It's just for fun, you know that. But to a young child, a trip through a "haunted house" created for Halloween could be a nightmare." Psychologist Marvin Berkowitz of Marquette University said, "Some haunted houses can frighten an adult." He warned that a child must "go in with the right mental set." He said, "Make sure they know it's going to be a fun scare, not a real scare." The article went on to say that even though you do your best to let the child know this, he still may be traumatized by such an experience.

I don't believe children should be exposed to such manufactured traumas. Why? Because exposing a vulnerable child can have harmful consequences that run the spectrum from nightmares to emotional damage. In fact, Dr. Grace Ketterman, M.D. says in her book, You and Your Child's Problems:

A tragic by-product of fear in the lives of children as early as preadolescence is the interest and involvement in supernatural occult phenomena.

I have been counseling in this area long enough to tell you that what Dr. Ketterman says is true! What kids need is not an exposure to horror and violence. What they need to experience is the love of Christ, the love of mom and dad. The apostle John wrote, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18

The final reason that Halloween is harmful is because

  • It provides the opportunity to experiment with the occult to see if it works and an excuse to do evil

Many who are curious about the occult experiment with occult rituals and practices at Halloween. Some of those who were "just playing around" get hooked. Ouija boards, seances, casting spells and small animal sacrifices are among the most common avenues of experimentation.

Others cannot wait for Halloween. They believe it is the most powerful occult day of the year. Jack Roper, occult researcher with C.A.R.I.S. (Christian Apologetics: Research & Information Service) says "...the time of the year where you have the highest rate of satanic ritual crimes is Halloween." He went on to say, "Around Halloween, one of the things you see is graveyard desecration." Self-styled Satanists use human bones in their rituals. Graveyard vandalism is a common occurrence at Halloween.

A Milwaukee county parks and recreation employee contacted me several years back. He told me that he found the remains of small animals that had been sacrificed in area parks around Halloween. It was clear that these sacrifices were occult related because the remains were associated with either an altar inside a circle, triangle or pyramid structure.

Just last year a frightened woman called an associate of mine and asked us to come to her house. When we arrived she described an occult ritual that she and her daughter had seen from their upstairs window complete with hooded figures, fire, and an animal sacrifice. It took place in her neighbor's yard.

While deer hunting in Marinette County, Wisconsin, I came across the remains of a bull that had been sacrificed within a stone circle. Most likely this was part of a Halloween ritual sacrifice performed by a satanic group.

I well remember the shock and trauma caused when a Christian care facility discovered that several of the residents had been ritually abused in occult rites two years in a row at Halloween. I counseled with one of those who had been sexually abused. How could such a hideous thing ever happen at a Christian facility you may ask? The occult group was able to infiltrate the organization when one or more of their members were hired as house parents. Through carefully planned deception, occult members slipped in and forced some residents to participate in their perverted Halloween demon worship rituals. Residents were threatened with horrible reprisals if they breathed a word of what happened to anyone. Thankfully, after a second year of Halloween ritual abuse someone talked. The Christian organization moved quickly and brought in the police. After a careful investigation only one was prosecuted, though several were fired. But there were no convictions. The occultists got off scot-free. Those that were abused were left to deal with their physical and mental scars.

In my efforts to expose the dangers of Halloween and the other occult holidays I have been asked to evaluate many ritual sites and evaluate photos to give my opinion as to whether they are occult related. I have envelopes full of pictures of animals that have been sacrificed, graves that have been desecrated, living persons whose bodies have been mutilated in occult rituals by tattooing, cutting, piercing, whipping and branding. And then there is the envelope marked pictures of human sacrifice. There is not the least little doubt in my mind that Halloween is the Devil's celebration, packed with evil!

Lets review. Halloween is harmful because

  1. Many kids are exposed to Witchcraft and occult practices at Halloween activities.
  2. It provides "an acceptable" opportunity for witches and other occultists to promote pagan beliefs.
  3. Children and even adults are conditioned to be receptive to occult doctrines and practices and are desensitized by the violence and death associated with its celebration.
  4. Fear can have detrimental affects on people.
  5. It provides the opportunity to experiment with the occult to see if it works and an excuse to do evil.

Where The Occult Will Lead Its Followers

There is no doubt that Halloween is rooted in the occult. Neither is their any doubt where the occult will lead those who follow. The occult will lead you into

Idolatry You will worship other gods and goddesses, which the Lord God of Heaven forbids. "Modern and ancient witchcraft is a nature-based, pantheistic religionThe god of the hunt and the goddess of fertility were its primary deities." I might add, they still are. Worshipping anything or anyone else is an affront to almighty God. Just read the first two of the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20:3-5.

Immorality Perverse, sexual immorality abounds within a variety of occult groups. Regardless of the "wholesome" picture witches try to paint, their worship is rooted in pagan fertility rituals and ritual prostitution. I well remember reading the account of photographer Serge Kordiev. One of the modern definitive works on the occult, found in most good libraries, is an encyclopedia titled, Man, Myth and Magic. Serge Kordiev was the main photographer for that work. After he had written an article in a Sunday newspaper describing his interest in the occult, he received a telephone call from a man who asked whether he would be interested in joining a witch coven. He said yes. By appointment, Serge and his wife were picked up in an expensive car and driven to a large old house. After being given drinks at a bar they were told to strip naked and put on small black satin aprons. They were taken into a large room with a black floor and red car! pets hanging on the walls. Half a dozen hooded figures stood in front of an altar. A naked man, his body gleaming with oil, appeared before the altar. Two black-hooded girls stood on either side of him. The Kordievs were ordered to kneel, to swear perpetual homage to Satan, and to sign their oaths in blood. They were given magical names, and the naked man placed his hand on their genitals. After several meetings the Kordievs began to have second thoughts about the coven. On one occasion a young girl was accused of betraying the groups secrets. She was humiliated before the group and made to serve as a human altar while a Black Mass was said over her, after which she was raped by the Master. When the Kordievs discovered that they still had to go through a confirmation ceremony which involved sexual intercourse with the Master and with a High Priestess, they decided to leave the group. Almost immediately they began to have troubles, including having their photo studio broken ! into and trashed.

I have personally talked to others who have been forced into illicit sexual rituals that cover the spectrum from oral contact to sodomy. The Bible calls us to sexual purity. Sexual contact and sexual relationships are only to take place within the context of marriage between a male husband and a female wife. (See Exodus 20:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Leviticus 18:22-23)

Injury I have a file folder filled with articles and pictures that relate to injuries that are the result of occult rituals. Branding -- "A self-avowed Satan worshipper is jailed in Crawford County on charges that he burned an inverted cross onto a 15-year-old boys chest. The burned youth was examined by a doctor, who described the wound as a third-degree burn." Cutting "A 14-year-old girl was found cowering on her bed after participating in a satanic ritual involving sexual assault and mutilation. A razor blade was used to carve symbolsinto the girl's thighs, police said. Satanic symbols were painted on the floors and doors of the house. Pages of the family Bible were torn out and knives and candles were arranged in what police said was a ritualistic manner." Piercing Tongues, cheeks, noses, eyebrows, navels, lips, nipples, sex organs, etc. are all targets for voluntary or forced piercing rituals, not to mention ritual tattooing. It is important to note that cutting and piercing is pagan in origin. Baal worshippers cut themselves in pagan rituals as we see in 1 Kings 18:28. God tells his children that they are not to cut themselves, which would include piercing. (Jeremiah 16:6). The only exception I find is that women are allowed pierced ears (but not noses, navels, nipples, etc. (Ezekiel 16:12). Our body belongs to the Lord and we are not to harm it (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Brands, cuts, tattoos and pierces (except a womans ears) are indicators of pagan ownership.

Degradation & Torture Over the nearly two decades I have been a Biblical counselor, I have worked with numerous teens and adults who were required, as a part of their initiation, to participate in horrendously degrading activities. One woman told me she was required to spend the night cinched up in the gutted carcass of a horse and was "reborn" into the coven group the next morning. Another told of having to drink a mixture of blood, seman and urine as part of the initiation. Another was whipped over every inch of her torso. Then there is the case of Thadius, who walks with a limp today. That is because an occultist "popped" the bones in the boys legs to punish him for trying to escape "two hellish days of torture by a teenage neighbor who has pleaded no contest to trying to kill the boy by methodically breaking his bones. When both legs were broken, Thadius was forced to stand over a board painted with satanic symbols and 666, the numbers that are said to identify the anti-Christ."

Insanity Occult involvement warps and twists your mind. Several years ago, I was called upon to visit a person who was in the psychiatric ward. As I began to talk with this teenager I discovered that he was into the occult. He started out just dabbling in the occult, but then was irresistibly drawn deeper and deeper into it. He began hearing voices and obeying them. The voices told him to tear up his Bible and he obeyed. The voices told him to harass his younger siblings and he obeyed. The voices told him to get four knives and kill his family. He purchased the knives and carefully labeled them with the names for his mother, father, brother and sister. He was waiting for the right opportunity to obey the voices, but thankfully his mother came in to clean his room and found the knives. Thats why he was in the hospital. Another pastor and I had the opportunity to show him his sinfulness and need of Christ. Right there in the psychiatric ward this tee! nager repented of his sins and trusted Christ as his personal Savior and was born again.

I warn you. Dabbling with the occult often leads to demon possession. And today, the possessed person often lands in a mental hospital. In our day the medical world does not recognize demon possession, but categorizes these people as having psychiatric problems. If you want a Biblical glimpse into the world of demon possession read Mark 5:1-15.

Suicide I have personally talked to Steve Taylor. His step-son Dereck got involved in the occult. "Early on the evening of February 5, Dereck, 16, phoned his girlfriend, Tara, while his parents were out and told her that on the previous night he had been visited by Satan, appearing in a blue light and demanding his soulhe went to his parents bedroom and fetched his stepfathers hunting riflecarried the rifle down to his bedroom in the basementput the rifles barrel into his mouth and fired." The article goes on to say, "For the Taylors, their sons death was the culmination of four months of growing alarm about his involvement in satanic worship. Indeed, last October the couple confiscated black candles, a large hand-drawn pentagrama five-pointed star-shaped symbol alleged to have magical powersand instructions books that, Dereck had told his mother, he had used to conduct satanic rituals." Occult connected suicides are all too common. That doe! s not surprise me since Satan is the destroyer. God warns, But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death. Proverbs 8:36

Homicide Occult involvement too often leads to murder. I well remember listening to a woman who claimed to have been forced to participate in the ritual murder of a teenage girl. Or, consider the case of professed Wiccan, Damien Wayne Echols. He was involved with the brutal ritual murder of Michael Moore, Christopher Byres and Steve Branch. There are those who accused Echols of being a Satanist but Echols asserts that he is a Wiccan. In a search of his home they found a book of spells, potions and prayers which was his book of shadows. It begins with an entry stating "all rites are to be performed within a nine-foot circle." The article goes on to say, "following that, there is a ritual to be used for improving the memory, which includes using the heart, eye or brain of a lapwing or plover (birds) and hanging it on ones neck." He moved from killing animals to killing people. The Sixth Commandment is clear --Thou shalt not kill. Exodus 20:13

Please listen! This is where occult involvement will lead: Idolatry, Immorality, Injury, Degradation, Insanity, Suicide, Homicide.

Read the word of Jesus Christ -- I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:9-10

In conclusion, An increasing number of people are realizing that Halloween is a pagan worship day. It is a day that honors false gods and goddesses, demons and Satan. I have neither the desire to honor, enter into the worship of false gods, nor honor the devil, do you? I hope after considering the material presented that you WILL NOT CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN. Put Ephesians 5:11 into practice, "...have NO fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them."

Christ Honoring Alternatives

 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good>.  Romans 12::21

I have come to the conviction that Halloween cannot be celebrated to the glory of God. Since I do believe in the principle of replacement spoken of in Romans 12:21, we have replaced the celebration of Halloween with something completely unassociated with it. We make it a family night and do something special as a family. But, what about churches? What should they do? If you belong to a Protestant Church I suggest you have a gathering focused on Reformation Day, for it was on October 31, 1517, that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg. There are many good videos available on the Reformation, and the History of the English Bible. Our office carries several titles that relate to our English Bible Heritage. Whatever you do, be sure to carefully choose the activities that will glorify God.

Ye that love the LORD, hate evil  Psalms 97:10

Please click here for the Most Important Message of the Bible Concerning You. "
Is any of the following a blessing to you today?
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
Matthew 24:3

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Acts 4:12

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

1 Corinthians 2:9

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